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Debate

Could Anthony Edwards' message to LeBron finally end the endless LeBron vs. Jordan debate?

Although Anthony Edwards is only 22 years old, he has turned into one of the biggest superstars in the league today. So much so that many have even deemed him the second coming of Michael Jordan because of his vibrant personality, insane athleticism, and killer mentality. However, stepping on the court alongside some of the legends of the game in today’s exhibition match against Canada, Ant-Man’s message to LeBron James before the Olympics experience could hurt his MJ comparison.

Set to play in the Olympics for the first time in his young career, Edwards secretly admitted feeling tense to LeBron before today’s exhibition game, “I was nervous for real, I ain’t gonna lie. I told Bron… I ain’t been nervous in a minute. My first time playing in the Olympics. I definitely was nervous.” Recently coming off a deep playoff run where he averaged 27.6 points and led the Wolves to the West Finals, you would think that Edwards would be more confident than ever heading into the Olympics. But his admission to LeBron proves otherwise.

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While it is natural to get the jitters before doing something new, the legend Edwards is always compared to, Michael Jordan never seemed to face this problem. Even when MJ scored the game-winning shot in 1982 against Georgetown to lead UNC to a national title as a freshman, he was more composed than most veteran players would be taking that shot. “I was young, but I had no time to be nervous,” MJ said in an interview with ESPN addressing the iconic game-winner.

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Moreover, his unparalleled confidence has been well documented in The Last Dance series, which dives deep into his legendary career and how the high stakes in a competition motivated him to get better. And with Edwards admitting to feeling nervous, that too for an exhibition game, fans might start to rethink the Jordan comparison.

Ant-Man’s performance made up for his honest admission

With Edwards’ viral admission to LeBron, you would think that he might have crumbled under pressure. Well, that’s far from what actually happened on the court. In fact, Ant-Man had a dominant outing against Canada as he finished with a game-high 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field. To add cherry on the cake, he even hit an insane buzzer-beater at the end of the third quarter, his first and only three-pointer of the entire game. While he played only 19 minutes and came off the bench, Edwards left his impact by helping Team USA win 86-72.

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Maybe this performance will also relieve some of his pressure, as he is no longer haunted by the memory of the last time he faced the Canadian team. Yes, the last time these two teams met was for the bronze medal match at the FIBA World Cup last year. And we all know how horribly that turned out for Team USA. Even that day, Edwards scored a team-high 24 points, but it was not enough to topple the Canadian team as SGA and Dillion Brooks combined for seventy points and shattered Team USA’s hopes to take any hardware home.

But now that Edwards has finally defeated Canada, even though in an exhibition game, he can shift his focus to the Olympics and use the upcoming exhibition games to build his confidence for the tournament in Paris. And if he can lead Team USA to a gold medal, maybe the MJ comparisons will start catching fire once again.