In his prime, Michael Jordan thinks he would have defeated LeBron James and other NBA legends in a game of one-on-one. But there's one matchup Jordan wasn't sure about.
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Jordan was interviewed by Ahmad Rashad for an upcoming promo video for NBA 2K14. He said he'd like to have played games against Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Julius Erving, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade, among others, and was confident in his ability to defeat all comers.
"I don't think I would lose," Jordan said, "other than to Kobe Bryant because he steals all of my moves." The clip hasn't yet been fully released, so it's impossible to say whether Jordan dropped the mic and stared at the camera for seven seconds after delivering that line.
You want to know why MJ's the greatest? Because he can lower the boom on two future of Hall of Famers in the course of a single sentence. I'm better than LeBron and Kobe is derivative, he's saying. That's trash-talking gold.
Of course, Jordan said it with his wry smile that gave the impression he was joking and belies the fact he almost certainly wasn't. Nor should he be. His explosiveness to the basket, late-career fadeaway and disruptive defense would give him an advantage over everyone. LeBron could overpower him, but MJ is MJ. He'd get all the calls.
Earlier in the clip, Jordan waffled when asked to pick the better player, Kobe or LeBron. "Kevin Durant," he said with his trademark grin. When he got serious, Jordan praised both players - Kobe for his championships and determination, LeBron for his skills.