Chandler Parsons FanDuel TV Mike Greenberg UConn NBA Screen grab: FanDuel TV

In today’s day and age of embracing debate, it’s not often you see a take get universally panned.

That’s what happened Monday after ESPN’s Mike Greenberg suggested that the UConn men’s basketball team could compete for a playoff spot in the NBA.

“If they were in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, would they make the playoffs?” Greenberg said on Get Up. “UConn’s an NBA team.”

Despite Greenberg adding, “the mere fact that we’re having this conversation, I think, says it all” about a conversation that he started in the first place, his Get Up colleagues Jay Williams and Seth Greenberg were quick to disagree. Greenberg’s hot take also made its way to FanDuel TV’s Run It Back, where his former Get Up co-host, Michelle Beadle, noted that “Greeny is not a clickbait guy.”

“Yes he is,” Lou Williams chimed in.

“He is now,” Chandler Parsons added.

Unsurprisingly, the two former NBA veterans took offense to the idea that a team full of college kids could challenge a middling NBA team.

“He’s full of s***,” Williams said. “So as it stands, Greeny, UConn can beat the Atlanta Hawks tonight? Can they compete with the Chicago Bulls right now?”

“The Miami Heat are in the play-in,” Chandler noted.

“Can they beat the Miami Heat?” Williams continued. “They might not even win the NCAA championship, let alone compete for a Play-In spot in the National Basketball Association. This is crazy.”

While Williams’ list of NBA teams that the Huskies couldn’t compete with primarily included teams currently in position to make the Play-In Tournament, Chandler took his response a step further, stating that UConn wouldn’t even be able to beat the league’s worst team.

“The best player on UConn wouldn’t play on the Detroit Pistons right now,” the former SEC Player of the Year stated. “So how the hell would this college basketball team beat any of these teams that are in contention to make the NBA playoffs? It’s just stupid.”

For what it’s worth, ESPN’s most recent mock draft projects Huskies center Donovan Clingan to be the No. 5 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft and three UConn players to be taken in total. Whether Clingan, Stephon Castle, or Alex Karaban would be able to crack Detroit’s rotation this season is beside the point. Victor Wembanyama is currently playing on a team full of veterans and the San Antonio Spurs currently have the NBA’s third-worst record. And none of UConn’s current players are even in the same stratosphere that Wembanyama was as a prospect.

Talking heads suggesting that college teams could compete at the pro level is nothing new, but usually, it’s at least a team that’s considered historically great. As impressive as UConn is, this isn’t a generational roster. It’s not like we’re asking if the 2019 LSU football team could beat the Cincinnati Bengals (and even then, the answer would still be a resounding “no”).

Nevertheless, I’ve gotta give Greeny this much — at least he committed to the bit. If anything, my biggest issue with his take is that he felt the need to qualify that the Huskies could only make the Play-In Tournament, and do so if they were in the Eastern Conference.

[Run It Back on X]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.