Shaquille O'Neal: Michael Jordan Would Average 45 Points Per Game in Modern Era

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 8, 2020

Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan speaks to the media about hosting the NBA All-Star basketball game during a news conference in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Shaquille O'Neal has chimed in on the debate about how good Michael Jordan would be if he played in the modern NBA.   

Appearing on ESPN's Get Up, O'Neal believes Jordan would be able to average 45 points per game. 

"He would average 45 and the league would be complaining about two players," the Hall-of-Fame center said. "They'd be like: 'Mike is too good and the kid named Shaq down in Orlando is too dominant. What are we going to do?'"

Since The Last Dance debuted on ESPN last month, the discussion about how good Jordan would be playing under modern rules has been a hot topic.

Speaking on The Boardroom with Jay Williams, Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant said Jordan would "fit in as the best player in the league."

David Falk, Jordan's agent, told The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan that His Airness would "average between 50 and 60 a game" and shoot 75 percent. 

It's not out of the question that Jordan could reach the 40-point barrier for a season with more relaxed defensive rules in place today. He averaged 30.1 points per game for his career, including a high-water mark of 37.1 in the 1986-87 season. 

Houston Rockets star James Harden leads the league in scoring this season (34.4 per game), but his 43.5 shooting percentage would be the second-lowest single-season mark of Jordan's career with a minimum of 20 games played.