Michael Jordan: I could beat LeBron James one-on-one, not sure about Kobe Bryant
Michael Jordan probably feels like there is not a basketball player in the world who could beat him in a game of one-on-one during his prime. Many people consider him to be the greatest player who has ever lived, so he has every right to feel like he’s unbeatable.
In an interview with Ahmad Rashad to promote the NBA2K14 video game, Jordan spoke about some of those fantasy matchups.
Of course, His Airness was asked which players he would want to play 1-on-1 in their primes. His list included Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony.
Here’s how he answered the question:
“I don’t think I would lose,” Jordan said. “Other than to Kobe Bryant, because he steals all of my moves.”
Scottie Pippen once said that Kobe modeled his game after Jordan to the point where he even talks and walks like the Bulls legend. It sounds like MJ agrees. When asked who he considers the better player between Bryant and James (a question MJ has answered in the past), Jordan gave the following response.
“In terms of dominance of the game of basketball at this stage, it’s LeBron,” he said. “Championship wise, Kobe Bryant. If you had to chose between the two, that would be a tough choice. Five (championships) beats one.”
We’re going to assume the clip was recorded several months ago, because I doubt Jordan would have forgotten that LeBron just won back-to-back championships with the Miami Heat. I feel like any of Jordan, Bryant or James could beat each other in a game of one-on-one on any given day. But if you asked me who the best basketball player of the three is given their legacies at the moment, the choice is easily MJ.