Isaiah Stewart Talks NBA Player Comparisons, Michael Jordan, More in B/R AMA

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 26, 2020

Washington forward Isaiah Stewart in action against California during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in Seattle. Washington won 87-52. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

Isaiah Stewart's time as a member of the Washington Huskies only lasted one season, but the freshman sensation made those 32 games count.  

The 19-year-old tied for second in the Pac-12 with 8.8 rebounds per game, tied for third with a 57.0 shooting percentage and ranked seventh with 17 points per game. 

Stewart is looking to capitalize on that performance by moving to the NBA after declaring for the 2020 Draft in April.

He took time from his draft preparation to sit down with Bleacher Report for an AMA with questions on a variety of topics, including comparing his style to NBA players and how The Last Dance changed his opinion on the NBA GOAT. 

The following is the full transcript from the AMA session.   

    

@JamieHatmann: What player do you feel your game is most like?

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I would say two guys I watched the most and take parts of their games from—Montrezl Harrel and Bam Adebayo.

@StayCoCool: Who is the NBA GOAT?

After watching the documentary, I was always a LeBron is the GOAT, but man Michael Jordan is different. I'm on MJ's side now.

@BadRhonda: What did you take away from The Last Dance documentary that you didn't know before?

How popular he was without social media. There was no social media back then, and anytime he can get peace of mind was in his hotel room. I didn't grow up watching him, I honestly grew up watching LeBron. When people kept bringing up the GOAT debate, I kept saying LeBron...but seeing how MJ was with his teammates, the things he'd say to guys, it's crazy. I feel like the league is not that way anymore.

@GSW2021champs: Favorite player of all time?

Probably Patrick Ewing, that's why I wear number 33. I feel like he was one of the first bigs to start shooting the midrange shot, the turnaround J, i always liked his game. He's from Jamaica as well, and my family they're from Jamaica too.

   

@Jalen_H7: What NBA player do you want to 1v1 the most?

I know everybody will be like, say LeBron or something like that...I'll probably want to face Montrezl or Bam, one of those guys that I look at and watch film on. Feel like that'd be cool.

   

@49ersGSW: Why did you choose UW?

Because of the relationship I had with Coach Hop, I knew him since I was 14 years old.

   

@Chuck80: Did you consider coming back to Washington?

Coach Hop told me I wasn't coming back...after the season, I just spoke with him, my family, my circle and we all decided it was in my best interest to take the next step.

   

@alexshrader00: What advice would you give to kids who are basketball players that want to be like you?

Just work hard. Just always be determined and anything that gets inside your way just keep your mindset of being determined to overcoming it.

   

@therealGM: What would you say to the people who hate Pac-12 basketball?

They need to stay up and watch it. A lot of people talk junk about Pac-12 basketball because the games are late, but you look at the draft prospects coming out of the Pac-12, a lot of them are freshmen and a lot of the top recruiting classes are from Pac-12. They just have to watch the games and stop making those bad comments.

   

@TyLockUp: Chick-fil-A or Popeyes?

Chick-fil-A. I tried the Popeyes sandwich, it's good, but Chick-fil-A you can't beat the combination of the sandwich and fries.

   

@alexshrader00: What is something that a coach has told you that you will remember forever?

Run the floor like a dare. My very first coach of elementary school, he always told me to run the floor like a dare.

 

@Jasper_Pail: Who is the best dunker of all time?

Probably going with Zach LaVine. Aaron Gordon's good too but Zach LaVine is different.

  

@DontTestEddiie: If you were an animal, which animal would you be?

Lion. I like to hunt prey and be a beast.

   

@WakaFlocka15: How does it feel to dunk on someone so hard the rim is destroyed?

It feels good to give your teammates that energy. It also boosts your game to have a dunk like that, helps you play better.

   

@JCTheLit: Was there any player or team you especially wanted to beat?

Washington State, they got us twice. I wish I could go back in time and definitely get those two dubs. Those two L's still stick with me today, makes me mad sometimes.

 

@drewcarson21: What has been the hardest part about preparing for the NBA during the pandemic?

Just not being able to get in the gym as much as I'd like to. The plan was to get in at least three times a day and now I'm limited with everything going on.

 

@100katcurryman: Which NBA player would you like to train with the most?

Probably Kevin Garnett. Or Rasheed Wallace. I like those two mindsets.

 

@49ersGSW: Favorite Mike Hopkins moment?

Man, it's a lot. Probably when I was playing against USC and it was a big matchup, I was doing my thing, killing the matchup. Every timeout, he'd get in the huddle and start cursing, call me a monster.

 

@CreamyBoy3: What is your 2nd favorite sport?

Soccer or boxing, stuck in between those two. Soccer was my first sport, then I went to boxing, and then I did basketball.

 

@NicoMannion_GOAT: Favorite sneaker to ball in?

I'd probably say my favorite Adidas I played in this year was the Damian Lillards, those are dope. The most recent ones.

 

@htexans27: What was your favorite moment at UW?

Baylor was good, but probably down in Hawaii. That's when our season was going good and we were playing great as a team, great chemistry down there. Definitely enjoyed the Hawaii trip.

 

@Leroy8Whaler: If you weren't playing basketball what would your dream job be?

Honestly, like a police officer. Could see myself doing that, just help the community, give back.

 

@tsmouse3: Is a hot dog a sandwich?

Yeah. Because it's something that goes in-between two slices of bread.

 

@eli_b320: When did you throw down your first dunk?

I was 12. I was training myself in the summer in my dad's living room, setting chairs up, doing squats and calf raises...I was like, I'm this close to dunking, the next time I'm in the gym I'm gonna dunk...next time in the gym I dunked it.

 

@CeeDeeLamboy: Who is your favorite NFL player?

Probably going with Russ Wilson or Arik Armstead...being in Seattle I turned into a little bit of a Seahawks fan knowing Russell Wilson...

 

Universal AMA Questions


What is your favorite game or play of your career?

When I hit the game-winner when we played Baylor, it basically gave us the lead to win the game. It was crazy because we were down the whole game, playing from behind, last 3-4 minutes we found it from within to come back.

 

Go-to pre-game song or soundtrack?

He's here from Rochester and his name is Lil Perco, he started blowing up on social media and he made a sign and labeled it ‘Isaiah Stewart' so I listened to that a lot before my games

 

How far do you think the moon is from Earth?

Man...far. 

While the NBA has yet to make any decision about when the 2020 draft will take place, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported some teams anticipate it could move from June 25 to September. 

Whenever the draft ends up happening, Stewart seems like a safe bet to hear his name called.

B/R's Jonathan Wasserman has the New York native ranked as the No. 41 prospect in the 2020 class, noting he may have "shooting potential tied to his form and touch" after shooting 77.4 percent from the free-throw line.