Jay C. Brandriet

Stephen A. Smith is excited about this Utah Jazz team and Donovan Mitchell. The Jazz have remained hot. Mitchell has simply outplayed the entire league at the mid way point of the playoffs.

Smith has been screaming superlatives on Donovan’s behalf.

Donovan Mitchell is a superstar. He’s D Wade 2.0. This brother is a closer. Where’s my camera? I Don’t wanna hear about John Stockton. I Don’t want to hear about Karl Malone. Mitchell is the best player in Jazz franchise history. I just said it, and I’m not stuttering.”

Stuttering may have sounded better. He could have avoided degrading the careers of legends.

What an insult to the basketball efforts of John and Karl. The way we determine “greatest” isn’t just level of play. It’s level of play put to the test, over and over and over again.

I might feel different if he was saying……………

A- Donovan will be better IN THE FUTURE.

B- Mitchell is more of a three point threat and has a larger rolodex of ways to score than those guys.

C- A 24 year old “Spider” Mitchell, could hang with prime John and Karl.

D- Mitchell will be the top Jazz member ever if he led Utah to the title this year.

Because of the way we perceive and judge winning, even choice “D” has some legitimacy.

Instead Smith went out of his way, to point fingers and snarl at Utah’s dynamic duo.

The best color commentator in men’s pro basketball, is a woman. Doris Burke is all about being sharp. She’ about the details and the integrity of the game. Something about her reminds me of my favorite basketball mind, Hubie Brown.

During last nights telecast Mark Jones said to Doris, “you wanted to address Stephen A. Smith’s comments that Mitchell is the best player in Jazz franchise history? A franchise that includes Stockton and Malone.”

Burke took the floor and said, “Stephen A. is so talented. He is uniquely gifted at debate and proclamation. I’d like to think I’m smart enough to never get in the ring with Laila Ali. I’m uninterested in the back and forth. Can we just talk about John Stockton? Eleven time All-NBA, 5 time All-Defense, 9 time assist champion, 10 time All-Star, and assist and steals leader in NBA history. That’s a bad man.”

Jones added in, “preach. Church.”

Doris continued, “Karl Malone? Two time MVP, 4 time All-Defense, 14 time All-Star, 14 time All-NBA.”

“I think Donovan is gifted. I think his greatest impact in life may be beyond the basketball floor which is saying something. That’s how talented, smart, and capable Mitchell is. WE GOTTA PUMP THE BREAKS STEPHEN A!”

Doris Burke had to give Stephen A. some Jazz lessons.

The level Mitchell arrived at in the bubble, is a place John and the “Mailman” knew for a long time.

They are statues. They are much more than those crazy accomplishments.

They are the masters of the pick and roll. They are cohesion at its finest. John and Karl were as durable as anyone in pro sports.

In 1992 the iconic Red Auerbach said of Malone, “He’s 6’9″, 265 lbs., and runs the floor like a deer. I’ve never seen anyone like him.”

John Stockton’s decision making, toughness, and efficient play remain astonishing to this day.

Just like we have to leave wiggle room that “Spider” could win a ring this year, we also can only count what he’s achieved to this moment.

Side note. Adrian Dantley and Pete Maravich were not scrubs.

I love everything about Mitchell. After his 55th pro game I put in print that he “would be a Hall of Famer.”

I’m not questioning his potential.

Stephen A. Smith knows his NBA. I’m not sure why he would say something so sloppy. He’s enough of a made man, that he doesn’t need cheap clicks.

Long term, he will be linked with number 45. That’s smart.

Short term, he used the rise of Donovan, to insult the two greatest players in Utah Jazz history.

Jay C. Brandriet

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