The comparisons between Michael Jordan and LeBron James keep being made with the continued success of the four-time MVP. Now, even the former Chicago Bulls superstar has weighed in on the matter.
In a video released on Tuesday that promotes the “NBA 2K14” video game, Jordan discusses never having the opportunity to play some of the all-time greats one-on-one. If he did get a chance to face James in his prime, though, Jordan is confident that he would come out on top.
“I don’t think I would lose,” Jordan said. James is currently 22 years younger than the Hall of Famer. The two narrowly missed playing against each other. James was the No.1 draft pick in 2003, while Jordan last played in the 2002-2003 season.
The Miami Heat are in the Bahamas for training camp in preparation to defend their back-to-back titles. When James was told what Jordan said after Tuesday’s practice, he wasn’t ready to make a prediction on the hypothetical matchup.
"MJ said that? I've thought about the matchup, but no one will ever see it and it's not going to happen," James said. "It's good for people to talk about."
James is on the cover of NBA 2K14, following perhaps his best season as a pro. In addition to his 26.8 points per game, he set a career-high by grabbing eight rebounds per contest. He was more efficient than ever, shooting 56.5 percent from the field, 40.6 percent from three-point range and turning the ball over three times a game.
Jordan also addressed facing Kobe Bryant. The six-time champ wasn’t as confident in his chances against the Los Angeles Lakers star, joking that “he steals all of my moves."
Bryant and Jordan were in the NBA at the same time during four seasons. They are largely considered to be the best shooting guards of all time.
Before the 2013 playoffs, Jordan was asked to choose between James and Bryant. He ultimately decided on the Lakers star because of his five championship rings. James, though, could be on his way to matching Bryant’s five titles or even Jordan’s six, after having won two straight.
Bryant could be running out of time to win another, entering his 18th year in the league and after tearing his left Achilles tendon during an April game. James will begin the 2013-2014 season at just 28 years old.
He might not be able to beat the top stars in the league today, but even at 50 years old, Jordan can still go toe-to-toe with a lot of NBA players. Last season, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist revealed that he lost to Jordan one-on-one.
Besides Bryant, Jordan said he’d beat other greats in a head-to-head matchup. He included Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Julius Erving, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade in that category.