KEY POINTS

  • Michael Jordan named his favorite basketball player as a kid in a rare interview
  • Jordan said his favorite player would be a problem for most guards in modern NBA
  • Jordan predicted how he would have matched against his favorite player

Michael Jordan named his favorite basketball player growing up and broke down how they would have possibly matched against each other.

Most of '90s and current NBA fans may have never heard of David Thompson, a former ABA and NBA star who was once famous for his highlight-worthy dunks and moves. Thompson was one of the original high-flyers in the league. In fact, he was also one of the rim rattlers who had the highest measured vertical leaps ever, recorded at 48 inches. 

Overall, Thompson was a great scorer and made quite an impact during his seven-year stint with the Denver Nuggets. His explosive playing style inspired many during his era, and one of them was the greatest basketball player to ever grace the court – Jordan.

Finest Magazine recently unearthed a rare interview of Jordan from around the time he was playing for the Wizards. In the interview, Jordan lauded Thompson for being “a force to reckon with” and talked about how the former NBA star would be able to play in the modern era.

According to Jordan, Thompson would have become a big problem for most of the modern day guards in the NBA. Jordan insisted that Thompson would have dominated them with his combination of incredible offensive repertoire, creativity and explosiveness.

“He would be a force to reckon with. His scoring abilities, his uniqueness, creativity I think, would give a totally different dimension to our team without a doubt. His scoring abilities, he would definitely be a treat. To be honest, a lot of my guys don’t remember David Thompson, but I do,” Jordan said.

Magic Johnson Michael Jordan Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson are two of the greatest NBA players of all time. Photo: Getty Images/Tiziana Sorge

During his prime, Jordan rivaled some of the best shooting guards in the league. Most of the time, he dominated all of them. But when asked how he would have matched with his favorite player as a kid, Jordan predicted that he would use height to his advantage when trying to guard the 6-foot-4 Thompson. However, he also admitted that it would probably be much easier said than done.

“It would be tough. First, I would have to study his weaknesses, and right now, I wouldn’t know what his weaknesses would be. One way I would play him is physical, try to use my size as much as possible. I guess if I’m guarding him, the best defense is a stellar offense. I would make sure he pays on the other end and take some energy from his offense,” Jordan predicted.