It’s the preseason, so even the public address announcers need time to get into a rhythm. During Monday night’s Denver Nuggets home game against the Phoenix Suns, the Nuggets PA announcer called Nuggets big man DeAndre Jordan, DeAndre Ayton during player introductions. The team had a good time with the slip up.
DeAndre Jordan's reaction after the Nuggets announcer introduced him as Deandre Ayton 🤣 pic.twitter.com/yZ45At5kyJ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 11, 2022
Obviously DeAndre Ayton plays for the Suns, for now, so it’s easy to understand the mix up. Plus it’s not like Jordan is a long time Nuggets player. This is his first season in the Rocky Mountains.
The Nuggets did win the game and Jordan had seven points and 10 rebounds in 22 minutes of action.
This is year 14 in the NBA for Jordan, a well-liked and respected veteran who is an excellent locker room presence. However he is a long way removed from his All-NBA, All-Defensive prime. 2017 was the last time he earned one of the NBA’s elite team honors.
Since that decline he’s been somewhat of a journeyman.
During that timespan he’s played for the Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and now the Nuggets.
At his peak Jordan was a rim-running lob threat, monster rebounder and interior defender. Those Los Angeles Clippers teams with him, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were awesome. They were just always one or two bench guys short of making deep runs.
From 2013-2017 Jordan finished every NBA season no worse than the 85th percentile in EPM, including two seasons in the 94th and 96th percentile.
Drafted in the second round, 35th overall, Jordan has had a very good NBA career.
Contrast that with Ayton, who is still very early in his career. Was it disrespectful to call Jordan, Ayton?
Ayton was the number one overall pick in the 2018 draft. The same draft that included Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Jaren Jackson Jr. The latter have combined for five All-Star, four All-NBA and All-Defensive honors.
As the first overall pick Ayton was expected to have earned some of those honors by now as well. Circumstances, and perhaps his dedication, have limited those opportunities. This summer, while the aforementioned members of his draft class had already received their rookie extensions, Ayton was forced to wait until he received an offer sheet from the Indiana Pacers in order for the Suns to match.
The unwillingness to commit by the Suns and Ayton’s rift with Monty Williams seem to have cast a dark shadow over a team that is a season removed from having the best regular season record, and two seasons removed from a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals.
In Monday night’s game Ayton had the better stat line with 19 points on 9-for-12 shooting and 11 rebounds in 27 minutes.
Jordan may be in the final stages of his career, but he has an established role and knows where he fits in the current NBA.
Ayton has an idea of who he wants to be as a player but it doesn’t appear Phoenix will be the place where that happens.
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