B.J. Armstrong believes Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson would excel in the Michael Jordan era over any current player, but does he have a point?
On Monday morning’s episode of ESPN’s First Take, Armstrong, who won 3 NBA Championships with the Bulls alongside Jordan in five years, shared an intriguing take.
"“One of the players I think would excel most in that era would be Klay Thompson. Klay Thompson, I think, is equipped to play in that era because of the way he plays. He’s a big guard, I think he has some physicality of the game, and he played the game in the way they all played. We ran plays where the two-guard has to provide spacing, and you had to be able to take your matchup. I think he was big enough to take that matchup every single night. I just think he would be a player that would fit into that era beautifully because of how he plays the game now. I think it translates.”"
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Although Thompson’s lethal three-point shot would not be as universalized back then as it is in today’s game, the guard does check all of the other boxes.
Standing at 6-foot-6, Thompson ironically is the same listed height as Michael Jordan when he played and could also be a significant matchup issue for many teams on both ends of the court.
The guard’s electrifying offense would clearly be a nightmare for opposing defenses as Thompson has proved himself to be one of the most dynamic scorers in the league for the Warriors.
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Having earned five straight All-Star appearances that all included seasons of averaging 20+ points per game, the 30-year-old undoubtedly asserted himself as a top-tier threat on the offensive end.
Simultaneously, Thompson has proved to be a phenomenal defender, having earned an All-Defensive selection in 2018-19.
A solidified top-tier two-way player in the game today, Thompson could be a devastating matchup for opposing teams with his large frame and physicality, as showcased in his game today.
While many other star players in the game today may seemingly fit the description that Armstrong gave, he assured that he still stated that Klay Thompson ranks a step above.
"“You look at LeBron James, you look at Kawhi Leonard, you look at these guys, but Klay Thompson to me is a player that I said: You know what? He was a prototypical two-guard that would fit very nicely into that era and the way they played the game back then.”"
In his statement, Armstrong definitely made some intriguing claims, that could also get classified as valid points. Thompson’s fiery style of play on both ends of the floor has flourished in today’s game, and could seemingly have taken the same effect in a much more physical era.
Hopefully, Thompson can retain some of that high-level play when he returns from rehab next season for the Warriors.