Michael Jordan knows what it’s like to be a great two-way player. Not only was he one of the NBA’s best scorers during his time, but he also had the reputation of a fierce perimeter defender. Jordan did everything he could on the court, and sometimes that meant stepping up on the defensive side of the ball.
At a Q&A with young fans, Jordan was asked what he thought about Kawhi Leonard. He stood there and thought for a bit before reaching a conclusion. He said Leonard is the best two-way player in the NBA — strong words coming from a player many deem the greatest ever.
“He’s good. Great player. He’s the best two player in the game right now,” Jordan said.
M.J.’s praise for Leonard isn’t unwarranted. A serious case can be made for Leonard as the NBA’s best two-way player. He’s already won two Defensive Player of The Year awards, and last season saw his role on offense change drastically. He wasn’t just an important piece to the Spurs offense. He was the piece that made it function.
Jordan’s comments show just how far Leonard has come as a player. He was originally a defensive specialist that could do some good things on offense, but he’s evolved so much as a player now that it’s impossible to not recognize what he’s become.