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“Was Jordan Tired at 22?”: Anthony Edwards’ Exhaustion Guarding Kyrie Irving Has Shannon Sharpe and Ochocinco in a Heated Debate

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

"Was Jordan Tired at 22?": Anthony Edwards' Exhaustion Guarding Kyrie Irving Has Shannon Sharpe and Ochocinco in a Heated Debate

The Minnesota Timberwolves had a nightmarish homestand against the Dallas Mavericks in the first two games of the Western Conference Finals and are now down 0-2 ahead of their trip to Texas. One of the main reasons for Minnesota’s dip in form was Anthony Edwards‘ reduced output due to fatigue. The guard’s poor showing on both ends of the floor has been attributed to exhaustion caused by his team’s epic seven-game series against the Denver Nuggets.

However, Shannon Sharpe isn’t buying that excuse. On a recent episode of the Nightcap podcast, the analyst brought up Ant-Man’s rampant comparisons with Michael Jordan and made it clear that fatigue is not a viable excuse for the 22-year-old to shirk accountability.

Sharpe told his co-host Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson,

“You can’t get tired at 22! Was Kobe [Bryant] tired at 22? Was [Michael] Jordan tired at 22? Was LeBron [James] tired at 22? For the most part, they took on the [best players of the other team]…”

Meanwhile, Ochocinco interjected saying those guys didn’t have to contain an elite scorer and ball-handler like Kyrie Irving. But Sharpe had already made up his mind. For the three-time Super Bowl Champion, being tired is not an acceptable excuse at this level.

“That’s what makes those guys [Kobe, LeBron, and MJ] great. When LeBron was in his prime, he could take a Kevin Durant, try to hold him under what he’d normally get, while still giving you what [he] normally gives you on the other end,” Sharpe added, to conclude his argument in the heated debate.

While Sharpe’s point about those three superstars playing exceptionally well on both ends of the floor is valid, the comparison is unfair. Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James are among the greatest players in NBA history.

On the other hand, Edwards is still a rising star, an inexperienced youngster tasked with guarding one of the most skilled players ever, while also operating as the first offensive option for his team.

At 22, Jordan was in his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls and had missed the playoffs. At the same age, Edwards is spearheading his team’s first deep playoff run in years and is feeling the effects of a gruesome 7-game series against the defending champions.

Sharpe is holding the young guard to an extremely lofty standard, which is unfair to the latter. That being said, Edwards has played well enough for fans and analysts to demand the best out of him, even if he’s literally out of breath.

Kyrie Irving leaves Anthony Edwards needing an oxygen tank

The Timberwolves’ game plan in Games 1 and 2 to contain Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving was to play team defense against the Slovenian star and let Ant guard the veteran. Unfortunately for Minnesota, it failed spectacularly.

Guarding Irving not only negatively impacted Edwards’ offensive output, but also left him needing an oxygen tank to aid his recovery.

The Timberwolves will have to switch their tactics and play team defense against the Mavericks’ superstar duo and let Edwards, who has shot 7-for-19 in the first two games, focus on offense. Minnesota needs their young guard to return to the form he showed against the Phoenix Suns on the offensive end to stand a chance of winning this series.

Post Edited By:Satagni Sikder

About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar


Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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