Michael Jordan told the media during his 20th Michael Jordan Flight School in Santa Barbara, Ca. this past weekend he would have beaten LeBron James in his prime.
Michael Jordan has said it: He would have beaten LeBron James in his prime.
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He said this during his 20th Michael Jordan Flight School in Santa Barbara, Ca., per SI.com.
"This is the ESPN question," Jordan said. "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.'"
According to SI.com, James surpassed Jordan for most minutes in the postseason. However, Jordan's field-goal percentage (49.7 percent) and scoring average (30.1) is still higher.
Jordan answered several more interesting questions during his basketball camp.
Jordan then said he'd choose Stephen Curry over LeBron James, per USA TODAY (via ESPN):
"Right now, or when I was in my prime? Right now? Buddy, I couldn't beat -- well, I'd go against Curry because I'm a little bit bigger than him. So I could kind of back him in. But LeBron is a little bit too big."
A reporter asked who he would choose between Dean Smith and Phil Jackson. Jordan said he would choose his former North Carolina Tar Heels coach, per USA TODAY.
"Dean Smith," Jordan said. "Fortunately Dean Smith helped me become the basketball player I am today. Phil was lucky because I was taught the game by Dean Smith."
He also singled out Larry Bird as the biggest trash talker during his era, per USA TODAY.
"Probably Larry Bird," Jordan quipped. "He talks a lot of trash. Good trash, though, not dirty trash. Good trash."
He told USA TODAY he wasn't bothered by the Detroit Pistons walking off the court 24 years ago. The Bulls swept them in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals. Jordan called the act "bad sportsmanship":
"I felt fine. I felt accomplished. We beat them and they felt ashamed about us beating them. I felt like it was bad sportsmanship. I would not advise you guys to do that.
"You've got to able to lose and win in grace -- so don't walk off the court. Even though you hate losing, that just bad sportsmanship if you do that."
Jordan also said he would go into meteorolgy if he didn't play basketball or baseball, per USA TODAY:
"Great question. I went to college, got my degree in cultural geography, and everybody wanted to know what is cultural geography? Well, it's an introduction to meteorology. I always wanted to be the weather man. Don't laugh. But that's what I really wanted to do.
"So if I wasn't playing basketball or baseball, I was going to tell you what the weather was going to be like tomorrow."
Jordan said he has plenty of respect for Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, per USA TODAY:
"Actually, Kobe and I are good friends. I like Kobe, we talk a lot, I hope he comes back healthy. I think he's one of the great players in the game, I think he's done a lot for the game, and he has a true love for the game of basketball. I absolutely have high regard for Kobe Bryant.
"Even though he stole all my moves, but that's okay. I still love him like a brother."
Several items from Jordan's last year with the Chicago Bulls were auctioned last month.
The backboard, hoop, net and stand where Jordan made his last shot as a Chicago Bull sold for $41,825 on July 31. They National Sports Collectors Convention sold them in Chicago, per ESPN.
The items were from the Utah Jazz's Delta Center. Jordan sank the jumper with 5.6 seconds left in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals. The Bulls won the game and their sixth NBA title, per ESPN.
Seventy-two million people watched the game on television. The ESPN update says it is still the most watched NBA game in United States television history.
Bruce Jenner carried the Olympic torch for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The torch sold for $24,000. He is now known as Caitlyn Jenner, per ESPN.
A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card was the most expensive item. It sold for $382,400. The second-most expensive one was a Mickey Mantle jersey. It sold for $322,650, per ESPN.
Roberto Clemente's Topps rookie card sold for $310,700. William "The Refrigerator" Perry's Super Bowl XX ring sold for $203,150. It is the second-most expensive sports ring ever.
The most expensive is Lawrence Taylor's Super Bowl XXV ring. It sold for $210,000. Sports ring expert Tim Robins confirmed this to ESPN.
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