Yes Morant says he would “cook” Michael Jordan and he’s right

The bold Ja Morant recently told Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks that he would have “cooked” Michael Jordan if they had played 1-on-1. He’s right – in his opinion. And that is the most important.

Why do sports fans get so upset when a player says he (or she) would be able to compete with the very best of previous generations? Isn’t that the point – to have a level of self-confidence that is insurmountable, a desire for greatness that is insatiable? The metaphorical mountaintop is a constant pursuit for those who truly strive for the top of their respective fields…and in professional basketball, Michael Jordan is the mountaintop.

So of course Yes Morant said Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report he would “cook” Michael Jordan in 1-on-1.. Because he would, in the spirit of Ja Morant, absolutely destroy the greatest of all time (for many) and make it clear that it’s “12” who is “he”, not Jordan.

Michael Jordan is revered in most basketball circles, and usually with good reason. Personality “quirks” aside, watching Jordan compete at the highest level in terms of the combination of talent and tenacity was a sight to behold. He was so dominant and so respected for his mental and physical abilities on the floor that it’s offensive to a strong minority of basketball fans to simply suggest that LeBron could have surpassed James Jordan in terms of “GOAT” status.

If a megastar like LeBron can’t get any respect compared to MJ, surely young Ja Morant shouldn’t even be in the same arena of public discourse.

If Ja Morant thinks he can beat Michael Jordan, that’s all that matters

Unless he is. Because he wants to be – with the same audacity and confidence that Jordan wielded like a flaming sword even at his peak. And whether you like it or not, or whether he’s doing it “too soon” for your liking, is irrelevant.

Yes Morant believes so. That’s all that counts for Ja Morant.

It’s meant as a compliment. Morant’s relentless independence is a major reason he just signed the biggest contract in Memphis Grizzlies history. Because of this, he dominated eventual NBA champion Golden State Warriors before injury (38.3 points, 8.3 assists, 6.7 rebounds in three games against Golden State) as the NBA’s most-improved player second-team All-NBA selection in his third season in the NBA. He has superb athletic ability, an underappreciated skill as a dribbler and remarkable vision as a passer.

But perhaps his greatest gift is the fact that he did it when no one thought he could be what he has become. Yes, Morant is the pinnacle of this generation of NBA players when it comes to the chip-on-the-shoulder mentality. Nothing was given to him. He took everything.

So, given the chance, would he take the throne from the eternal king of the NBA?

Absolutely. At least for Ja Morant.

That’s what makes him great. And what will lead him – and his Memphis Grizzlies – to unprecedented success. Yes Morant says he would “cook” Michael Jordan and he’s right

John Verrall

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