Michael Jordan: ‘No question’ I’d beat LeBron 1-on-1 in prime

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LeBron James, then a member of the Miami Heat, and Michael Jordan greet each other during the 2014 NBA postseason (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Former Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan has fanned the latest flames on the fiery LeBron vs. Jordan debate.

During a Q&A session at the Michael Jordan Flight School in Santa Barbara, Calif., Jordan was asked if he thought he could beat Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James one-on-one if he were in his prime, according to Sports Illustrated.

His response:

“This is the ESPN question. I know it’s going to be all over ESPN. If I was in my prime, could I beat LeBron in a one-on-one game? No question. And he’s going to say no question.”

Jordan added that he’d rather face reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry over James in a potential one-on-one matchup.

“I’d go against Stephen Curry because I’m a little bit bigger than him so I could back him in, but LeBron’s a little bit too big,” Jordan said.

Curry won the NBA Finals with the Golden State Warriors last season. James, who faced Curry in the Finals with Cleveland, surpassed Jordan for ninth all-time in career playoff minutes played during Game 5.

According to Basketball Reference, Jordan is fourth all-time on the NBA scoring leaders list, behind Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. James, 30, currently sits at 20th.

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  • No Question, Is Right

    “If I could be like Mike”

    That is the truth, plain and simple. Back then or now.
    Either way, if I was a gambling man, my money would be on Jordan if he made a rare 1 season reappearance even at his age now.
    Anyone who would be assigned to MJ would find themselves in a very bad situation.
    Jordan may not be as fast as he was back then, however his skill set I really do believe has been unequaled even to this day. I am sure there would be a lot of people who will say otherwise.
    But at the end of the conversation who else can say “3 PEAT”.

    Could’ve, should’ve or would’ve. Man I will tell you I would pay whatever I could financially afford to see Michael Jordan play one more time.
    I was fortunate to have been around to have watched him upteen years ago and you know, I really do think that think he could be very competitive in the NBA even now against guys 20 years younger than him.
    No one would or could ever say he was and is still the greatest to have ever played the game of basketball.
    Well one could dream.

  • Hmmm

    Yes the Bulls did 3 peat, so did the Lakers.
    I believe if Jordan didn’t retire when he did, I do not believe that Kobe Bryant and the Lakers would not have won 3 in a row.
    The Bulls in all probability would’ve won one of those 3.
    Now Jordan returning, highly doubtful but what a movie later down the road that would make.
    I agree, to see Jordan come back even if for only 1 year only at his age and take to school the “star players” in the NBA now. Well that would be magical.