Wayne Gretzky compares pair of NHL rookies to NBA's Bird and Johnson
It seems like Wayne Gretzky is a fan of both Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. The Great One spoke to Buffalo's WGR recently and said McDavid and Eichel remind him of another famous sporting duo: the NBA's Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
"We’ve had a lot of great players come through the National Hockey League, and whenever someone retires we always say, ‘Who’s going to take over the mantle?’ and somebody steps in and takes over that role and we don’t miss a beat," Gretzky told WGR. "Now, with Eichel and McDavid both in the league, this is the closest we’ve had to a Larry Bird and Magic Johnson situation."
Larry Bird and Magic Johnson of course had an incredible rivalry as Bird was the star of the Boston Celtics while Johnson was the face of the Los Angeles Lakers at the same time. They constantly competed with each other both on the court and in the endorsement world, and their incredible play contributed to an outstanding period of time for the NBA.
Eichel and McDavid do not have much of a chance to compete against each other at the moment since McDavid is out with a broken collarbone, but the two talents have bother been referred to as generational players and could become the faces of hockey in the years to come.
Whether they live up to the Bird-Johnson hype, however, remains to be seen, but Boston native Eichel probably does not mind being compared to Larry Bird.
(h/t Sports Illustrated)