David Falk is best known for representing Michael Jordan for his entire career. He was one of the key people in MJ’s deal with Nike, one of the best off the court deals in professional sports history. You could say Falk is a bit biased when it comes to Michael Jordan. Still, his latest quote is beyond absurd.
All I can say is that I hope Falk is using hyperbole here (even though he was dead serious while making the statement.) Averaging 60 points on 75% shooting is insane. But, for argument sake, let us examine the foundation of Falk’s case. In his eyes, the main reason why is because the level of competition in today’s NBA is much lower.
If you ask me how many superstars are there in today’s NBA, I’d say four or five. In Michael’s era, there were probably twenty-five.David Falk, Sirius XM
First of all, that’s absurd. The top talent in the NBA today is tremendous. I’m not going to get into lists, but to say there were five times more superstars in the 90 is insane. More importantly, superstars impact playoffs, not season averages. When speculating on someone’s average, you have to look at overall average talent. Apart from a few teams in the Eastern Conference, your average matchup in the NBA today is as good as it ever was.
This is the moment when people start talking about the softness of today’s NBA and how it’s so geared towards offense, saying MJ would score 60 may not be insane. The game is more open and offense friendly, but that doesn’t mean scoring the way MJ did would automatically be easier.
Yeah, it’s less physical; you can’t hand check. There’s no Detroit Pistons body-slamming people to the floor, but the defense is so much more complicated. You can play zone; you can overload one side of the floor. Isolation is so much more complex of an attack mode than it was when Michael played.Zach Lowe, The Jump
In the end, in the recently released full Cigar Aficionado interview, MJ himself said cross-era comparisons and projections are pointless and disrespectful towards the game.