The naivety of youth is great. When most of us were younger, we all had fantasies of doing things that, while we didn’t know it yet, were impossible. Apparently those thoughts extend into the older teenage years of some Jordan Brand All-Stars.
Some of the players got into a debate over whether or not they could beat Michael Jordan in 1-on-1. No, not 50-year-old M.J. We’re talking Jordan in his prime.
So USA Today took a poll. Some of the players, such as Washington-bound guard Nigel Williams-Goss, knew the right answer.
“He’s the best to ever do it,” said Findlay Prep point guard Nigel Williams-Goss. “I mean, c’mon now, it’s M.J. No one’s beating him one-on-one.”
Goss said he would lose, in a game to 11, 11-0. Kennedy Meeks (11-6), Wayne Selden (11-2) and Chris Walker (11-7) shared his thoughts. Turns out not all of them shared their opinion.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (11-10), Dakari Johnson (11-10), Andrew Harrison (11-7) and Matt Jones (11-5) all think they could beat Jordan in a game of 1-on-1.
They all were asked to provide an explanation as to why they would win or lose.
“I think he’d get a couple buckets here and there, but then I’d start to lock him down and give him buckets. Yeah, I think I’d get him.”
Yea, Andrew. You’d lock down a career 30.1 points per game scorer down.
“Well, I’m feeling a little generous today, so I think he’d get his five points. This is how it would go: I’d get ball first, then I’d score the first few baskets because he’d definitely be sleeping on me. Then I’d go to my old-man game and take it to the hole every time. No matter how small the foul was I’d call ball every time until I made it. So it’s gonna be a long grind-it-out win. But I’d win.”
I’m going to assume he was joking. The man was too competitive to sleep on anyone. This is a dude, at 50, that just beat Charlotte Bobcats guard Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who is barely older than these guys, in 1-on-1. Oh and your “old-man game” isn’t getting past a former NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Have fun.
Then there’s Johnson, who provided the most reasonable answer to the question.
“I’m taking him to the post every time. He’d stop me a couple of times, but I’d just keep going back down there. I’d just contest his jump shots and pray that he’d miss. I think in the end, I’d get him though. I’m too big down there.”
Ok, this I can at least deal with. He’s a great post player. And a 6-6, Jordan would have an issue with him. But for starters, praying is the best you can do to hope a career 49.7-percent shooter misses. Then we could just show Dakari what happens when Jordan gets the ball against big dudes.
I understand the competitive fire that drives these guys. It’s all in fun and hey, they’ve worked hard enough to earn some bragging rights, being that all of these guys are major college signees and some might be future NBA draft picks. But someone needs to show these guys an hour-long highlight film of Jordan. Or just a video of Game 2 of the 1986 Eastern Conference First Round.
Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten