Longtime NBA journalist and current FS1 personality Chris Broussard caught major flack from basketball fans on Friday after sharing an aggressive take regarding Nikola Jokić’s place among the best players of all time.
Jokić’s star has reached dizzying heights this season, with the two-time MVP averaging a playoff triple-double as the leader of a Nuggets team now within three wins of its first NBA championship after beating the Heat in Game 1 of the NBA finals on Thursday.
During Friday’s First Things First, Broussard stunned co-hosts Nick Wright and Kevin Wildes after saying he believes winning a ring would elevate the Nuggets center over several Hall of Famers, one of whom didn’t win a title, in the pantheon of NBA greats.
“He’s ahead of Kevin Garnett if he wins this championship, probably Charles Barkley. I love Barkley, but this dude is leading a team to a championship. And his numbers are outrageous.”
Broussard continued his blazing-hot argument after he was asked if Jokić would pass Dirk Nowitzki if he wins a ring, which he quickly backed with a strong yes before adding more fuel to the fire.
“If he wins this championship, he’s definitely better than Dirk. I think he’s just better than Dirk, period,” he said.
Broussard further stood in his case for Jokić-over-Nowitzki by downplaying the one-time MVP and NBA champion’s impact, saying the Mavericks lifer was “great” but “overrated by a lot of people” during his 21-year career.
While Broussard’s opinion on Nowitzki–the NBA’s sixth all-time leading scorer–and Jokić received the most attention, the analyst may have saved his hottest take for last. When asked if a ring would move Jokić past Kevin Durant, Broussard replied, “Not yet” but noted he believes he eventually will when his career is “all said and done.”
Needless to say, Broussard certainly appeared ready to welcome all the smoke from those who disagreed with his perspective. Although, to be fair, there’s likely still at least a few people out there who also believe Jokić leading Denver to a title in its franchise’s first Finals would vault him among the league’s all-time greats.