In his prime, Michael Jordan said there’s “no question” he’d beat LeBron James in a game of one-on-one.
Jordan, 52, deftly touched on a wide range of topics while fielding questions from kids at his basketball camp this weekend, including the inevitable comparison to James.
“Why you guys ask me this question?” Jordan said with a smile. “You know this is an ESPN question. You know it’s gonna be all over ESPN.
“If I was in my prime, could I beat LeBron in a 1-on-1 game? No question!”
However, if he had to play either Steph Curry or James in a 1-on-1 game today, Jordan said he’s choose Curry.
“Because I’m a little bit bigger than him and I could back him in,” he said. “LeBron’s a little too big, but that’s okay, I can foul. I can’t foul out.”
Jordan also said he’d take Dean Smith over Phil Jackson if he needed a coach for one game.
“Phil was lucky because I was taught the game by Dean Smith,” he said.
Biggest trash talker Jordan ever played against?
“Probably Larry Bird. He talked a lot of trash,” Jordan said. “Good trash, not dirty trash. Good trash.”
As for Shaquille O’Neal’s recent claim that the Los Angeles Lakers’ five greatest players would crush the Chicago Bulls best five, Jordan not surprisingly begged to differ.
“I just felt like he was just talking. It’s a debate. The thing is, we would never know,” he said. “I think we could’ve killed them. He thinks they would’ve killed us. You guys decide.”
If Jordan, in his current role as Charlotte Hornets owner, could pick one player from NBA history and put him on his team, he said he’d choose Hakeem Olajuwon.
“Not counting myself,” he said.
Asked if he had any advice for Kobe Bryant, Jordan said the two are good friends who talk a lot and that he holds him in high regard because of his true love for the game of basketball.
“Even though he stole all my moves,” he said. “But that’s okay. I still love him like a brother.”
Jordan also said he’s a huge Mike Trout fan, that Robin Thicke is one of his favorite singers and that if he hadn’t played pro basketball or baseball, he would’ve become a weatherman.
Check out the entire question-and-answer session below.