While appearing as a guest on the popular podcast Club Shay Shay, former NBA champion Metta Sandiford-Artest spoke about guarding Michael Jordan.
Metta Sandiford-Artest was one of the most elite defenders the NBA had ever seen. Artest was a 6″7′ physical specimen. The All-Star was known to be one of the most aggressive players in the league, especially on defense.
Artest is a 2x DPOY and has two NBA All-Defensive First Team and Second Team selections, respectively. The former Pacers player could limit superstars such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James with his defense.
The perimeter defender was known to frustrate the opposition with his defense. Artest had a controversial 17 seasons career in the NBA. Though he was involved in several suspensions and scuffles, the former All-Star was the best defensive weapon for his team.
During a conversation with former NFL player Shannon Sharpe, Artest revealed that Jordan was the only player who could score 50-points on him.
Metta Sandiford-Artest talks about the elite scoring ability of Michael Jordan.
Artest was one of the few players with the opportunity to defend superstars of different eras. The former champion played against Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant.
During his conversation with Shannon Sharpe, Artest spoke about how Jordan was tougher than he appeared to be. The former DPOY added that MJ would be the only player who could score 50 over him.
“Nobody ever scored 50 on me.. I think Jordan woulda gave me 50 a couple times. The reason I say that, ’cause even in my prime he had 40 against us, when he was old – he was old. I was an amazing defender and Jordan had 40, so I’m like what the h*ll is going on.”
Artest further added that Jordan would average 50 PPG if he played in the current era.
“Jordan would average 50…If he wanted to. James Harden wants to average 50. He just can’t. He got 38. Amazing. If Jordan wants to average 50 and he was playing in this era, I think he averages 50. And that’s no disrespect to any of the (current) guys that’s killing.”
Though Artest’s statement may seem like an exaggeration, one cannot deny how efficient Jordan was as a scorer. To date, MJ remains the all-time leader in PPG (30.12). His Airness has 10 scoring titles, which is the most in NBA history.