Shannon Sharpe forms one end of the enigmatic duo that is Shannon and Skip: Undisputed on Fox Sports 1.
A former NFL tight end, Sharpe is one of the most popular sports analysts as a result of his stint with Skip Bayless on Undisputed. While normally not as outrageous as his counterpart, Sharpe has also delivered strong statements that have trended both ways with the NBA following.
With recency bias often kicking in, “analysts” tend to lose sight of reality in search for headlines. Sharpe has often provided the reality check to counterpart Skip Bayless and that trend seems to be continuing this Playoffs.
Shannon has opted to go in the Slovenian phenom’s favor with his observations.
How has Sharpe defended Doncic on Undisputed?
Sharpe took account of Luka’s relative youth and went on to provide him the benefit of the doubt rather than joining the blame game. Sharpe pointed out how rare it is for even the biggest of stars to thrive from the get-go.
.@ShannonSharpe on whether getting swept will hurt Luka’s stock:
“It will absolutely have no impact on his stock. Some of the greatest of the greats have been swept: MJ, LeBron, Kobe, Magic, Bird, Kareem and Shaq. If he was averaging 7 points a game, it’d be different.” pic.twitter.com/WtWCCTQ12A
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) May 24, 2022
He made the case for Luka by reminding Skip that Luka won’t be the first star to be swept. Sharpe mentions how Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O’Neal were swept in their career without it harming their legacies.
Sharpe goes on to note how Luka has put up stellar numbers and hasn’t gone down without a fight. He notes that unlike how Skip makes it sound, Luka isn’t playing poorly himself.
The Warriors boast a championship-winning core and beating them in a series of 7 without a fellow all-star is definitely a huge ask of a 23-year-old. This fact hasn’t gone amiss on Sharpe as he defends Luka.
Should Luka’s youth be considered while judging his performances?
Even if it isn’t considered while judging his performances, it definitely should be factored in while pouring in with criticism.
To put into perspective, Luka’s opponent Steph Curry, had zero playoff appearances when he was Luka’s age.
At Luka’s age, Steph Curry had been in the league 3 years and hadn’t played in a playoff game.
Be excited about where he is already, but remember to give the man some time.
— Roy White III (@RDubThree) May 23, 2022
Steph is often referred to as one of the greatest to ever play the game. The fact that Luka is into his first conference finals and third year of playoff basketball before even turning 24 should highlight his greatness and a sweep in a conference final to this Warriors team shouldn’t be thrown in such bad light.
The stat with reference to Steph is also a reminder as to how much time Luka has left in the league. The sky is the limit for Luka. With years of basketball left in his tank, barring injuries, he should comfortably cement himself as an all-timer.