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“Forget MJ”: Shaquille O’Neal Wants Anthony Edwards To Let Go Of The Michael Jordan Comparisons

Abhishek Dhariwal

"Forget MJ": Shaquille O'Neal Wants Anthony Edwards To Let Go Of The Michael Jordan Comparisons

Ever since coming into the league, Anthony Edwards has been on an upward trajectory year in and year out. So far, this season has been a standout year for Ant-Man. Leading the team to a tie for the number one spot in the Western Conference, Edwards has drawn numerous comparisons to Michael Jordan these past few months. But, as much of an honor as that would be for any player in the league, Hall of Famer, Shaquille O’Neal simply does not want that for the Minnesota Timberwolves guard.

Shaquille O’Neal recently addressed the multiple comparisons drawn between Anthony Edwards and the Chicago Bulls legend this year. And The Big Aristotle only had a few words of wisdom for the 22-year-old guard on the latest episode of The Big Podcast with Shaq.

During the episode, the Los Angeles Lakers legend and co-host Adam Lefkoe talked about numerous ups and downs around the league before eventually landing upon Anthony Edwards. Adam went on to mention how future WNBA legend and Las Vegas Aces star Candace Parker has been constantly drawing comparisons between Ant-Edwards and Air Jordan. Parker brought up factors like his mannerisms on the court, his body, and the way he jumps give Michael Jordan vibes.

Shaquille O’Neal did not hesitate to interrupt his co-host as he went on to say,

Forget MJ. He need to be Ant-Edwards. And I’m not telling him how to think but when I was coming in, especially a guy they used to tell wasn’t good enough. But I tell them, they start comparing names, I was like, ‘F**k everybody.’ You going to know my name. So, no disrespect to Kareem and Wilt and Bill but I don’t want to hear them names.”

Shaquille O’Neal’s advice may have gone on to save a world of hurt and pain for Anthony Edwards in the future. Over the years, numerous players have been touted as the next Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant or LeBron James. But in reality, these comparisons only take away from the player’s achievements while building unrealistic expectations from them as well.

Anthony Edwards may give off shades of Michael Jordan when he is on the floor, but these comparisons only help when things are going well. The minute the team starts losing or you miss a game-winning shot, those very people drawing comparisons, tend to turn it against the player. So, as Shaq said, “That’s my advice to him. Don’t focus on being the next Mike. Be who you are.”

KG was proudly comparing Anthony Edwards to MJ

The comparisons between Anthony Edwards and Michael Jordan started some time back but it did not take long for these narratives to reach the point of absurdity that many started believing the two may have actually been related.

"Forget MJ": Shaquille O'Neal Wants Anthony Edwards To Let Go Of The Michael Jordan Comparisons
Credits: USA Today Sports

Apart from the outlandish fan-conspiracy theories, Timberwolves legend Kevin Garnett was one of the most recent ones to weigh Anthony Edwards against Michael Jordan. Or to be precise, a rookie Michael Jordan.

“Anthony Edwards got a motto. I’m putting my bread on the young fella. He like a young ’84 Michael Jordan… You see how he’s coming through the lane? If KAT (Karl-Anthony Towns) wasn’t on this team, he would average 30-something.”

While Garnett’s comparison of Edwards to a rookie Jordan came from a place of appreciation, O’Neal’s advice came from a place of experience, 19 years of experience to be precise. So, was The Big Ticket in the wrong while setting these two players side-by-side? That is for you to decide.

For now, let’s see who comes out on top in the battle for the West as the Minnesota Timberwolves face off against the Denver Nuggets for the number one seed, leading to a much clearer picture of how the playoff matchups in the West will turn out.

About the author

Abhishek Dhariwal

Abhishek Dhariwal


A fan of the sport since the late 2000s, Abhishek has been covering the game of basketball for the past five years now. Having done his masters in Journalism and Mass Communication, Abhishek prides himself in being referred to as a sports journalist at The SportsRush. A fan of the San Antonio Spurs since the Tim Duncan era, Abhishek has an extensive knowledge of the sport and has covered more than 1500 articles. Having a firsthand experience of the sport, Abhishek has represented his city and state at a district and national level. And it is the same level of expertise he aims to bring while covering extensive topics both on and off the court of your favorite basketball stars.

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