"Just outrageous" - NBA Fans slam ESPN insider for comparing Nikola Jokic's career to Bill Walton

NBA Fans slam ESPN insider for comparing Nikola Jokic
NBA Fans slam ESPN insider for comparing Nikola Jokic's career to Bill Walton.

NBA fans are not happy with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski for comparing Bill Walton's game to Nikola Jokic. Walton died at the age of 71 on May 27 after a battle with cancer. The Hall of Famer was a former league MVP and a two-time NBA champion.

On "NBA Today" on ESPN, the crew of Wojnarowski, Kendrick Perkins and Malika Andrews discussed Walton's legacy as a player and broadcaster. Woj compared Walton's game to the Denver Nuggets big man, who revolutionized the center position as a playmaking big man.

"You look at Nikola Jokic and what he has done to revolutionize the center position in the NBA and basketball, perhaps the closest comparison to Jokic is Bill Walton," Wojnarowski said.

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Despite paying tribute to Bill Walton in a great way, NBA fans are upset with Adrian Wojnarowski's comparison. Many feel that Jokic is way better than the Hall of Fame big man, who had a great career but cut short by injuries.

"Got nothing but luv for Bill Walton, Woj and the ESPN crew but to compare Bill Walton's career in ANY way to Jokic is just outrageous dawg. I get trying to honor BW but that ain't the way to do it," one fan wrote.
"Jokic will be top 10 All Time," another fan remarked.
"Jokic 100,000 times better than Walton ever was," a fan commented.

Other fans think that Jokic was inspired by European players like Arvydas Sabonis and Vlade Divac rather than Bill Walton.

"Arvydas Sabonis bridged their gap," a fan wrote.
"Jokic is the new age Arvydas Sabonis not Bill Walton," one fan commented.
"Vlade Divac is more on par with Jokic than Walton," another fan remarked.

Comparing Nikola Jokic and Bill Walton's careers

In a way, Bill Walton was ahead of his time because he could make passes even though he was the center.

Walton's career was cut short by injuries, as he peaked early in his career with the Portland Trail Blazers. He's also a huge fan of Nikola Jokic, who he has praised during broadcasts.

Let's look at some comparisons between Walton and Jokic:

Career Averages

  • Nikola Jokic: 20.9 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 6.9 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.7 BPG, 56/35/83
  • Bill Walton: 13.3 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 3.4 APG, 0.8 SPG, 2.2 BPG, 52/00/66

Average on Best Season

  • Nikola Jokic (2021-22): 27.1 PPG, 13.8 RPG, 7.9 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.9 BPG, 58/33/81
  • Bill Walton (1977-78: 18.9 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 5.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, 2.5 BPG, 52/00/70

Career Accomplishments

  • Nikola Jokic: 1x NBA champion, 1x NBA Finals MVP, 3x NBA MVP, 6x NBA All-Star, 4x All-NBA First Team, 2x All-NBA Second Team
  • Bill Walton: 2x NBA champion, 1x NBA Finals MVP, 1x NBA MVP, 2x NBA All-Star, 1x All-NBA First Team, 1x All-NBA Second Team, 1x NBA Sixth Man of the Year, 2x All-Defensive First Team
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