Grand Slam Debutant Defeats Michael Jordan’s ‘Counterpart’ Despite 2x World Champion Crown

Published 11/12/2023, 6:35 AM EST

Follow Us

via Getty

The Black Cat is not the benchmark only in basketball. Stars across every sport aspire for similar glory. One American contender in the game of darts was against someone he likened to Michael Jordan. It made the victory harder to believe and all the more sweeter. It was a thrilling and close clash between a strong frontrunner and a world champion. Almost like watching an All-Star slam dunk contest.

America’s Favorite Video Today

Both players impressed after the tournament with their graciousness. To the winner, it was like defeating His Airness.

Darts champion invokes Michael Jordan in victory against his idol

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Stowe Buntz from Virginia moved up in the competitive world of darts while looking up to Peter Wright. Buntz, who qualified through the CDC Continental Cup in October, turned out to be the big unknown at the Grand Slam of Darts. Yesterday, he competed with his idol and two-time world champion from Europe.

The 44-year-old served a big upset at the opening in Wolverhampton, defeating Wright 5-1. Buntz, the underdog, secured a lead early on and sealed his victory with a 13-darter. Winning against the world champion was shocking even to Buntz.

Trending

Get instantly notified of the hottest NBA stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

I don’t know what to say,” the shocked Buntz mustered immediately after the win.

In a post-victory haze, he’d praise his opponent with a huge comparison. “To play against one of my idols, it’s like playing against Michael Jordan if you’re a basketball fan.” Buntz didn’t just show it in lip service.

Like how some athletes would wear Air Jordans to channel that MJ mindset, Buntz chose a colorful outfit for his first championship as a nod to Wright’s own vibrant fashion. “He’s a big inspiration for me, hence the attire.”

Buntz needs to embody His Airness going further. Reigning Grand Slam champ, Michael Smith is cruising through his division and could possibly clash with the first-timer. Meanwhile, someone in the basketball court is close to actually outdoing MJ.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Luka Doncic inches closer to MJ record

Back on Michael Jordan’s turf, Luka Doncic is rising to the standard MJ set. The Dallas Mavericks superstar scored a record 44 points with six rebounds and six assists, making it his 31st game with over 40 points.

He’s now the third player in NBA history after Jordan and LeBron James with over 30 games with 40+ points. Jordan has 52 career games with that record.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY | “Shot Over Some Shoes”: Michael Jordan-Related Crime Led to Strict 1-Word Safety Prohibition for Celtics Legend

That’s definitely greatness to aspire for. But Buntz attributed it to an opponent he has admired throughout his career. We’ll have to see if he progresses further after making such a mark as the Grand Slam of Darts continues.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Written by:

Caroline John

1,014Articles

One take at a time

I was 7 when I saw 'Space Jam' but didn't know till the third rewatch the lead actor is actually a living basketball legend. It was while studying journalism that my friend would go on about the Warriors from Golden State. Keen on athletes' personas outside their arenas, it was Stephen Curry's confidence and philanthropy that drew me to follow the news on NBA pros and explore sports media.
Show More>

Edited by:

Aakash Nair

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK

America’s Favorite Video Today