Michael Jordan believes he could have beaten LeBron James in a game of one-on-one when he was in his prime. However, he’s not sure about Kobe Bryant.
In a video promoting the “NBA 2K14″ video game released Tuesday, Jordan said there’s a long list of players he would’ve liked to have played one-on-one — Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Julius Erving,Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Bryant and James, who is on the cover of this year’s game.
“I don’t think I would lose,” Jordan, 50, says in the video, before smiling and adding, “other than to Kobe Bryant, because he steals all of my moves.”
James, when informed of Jordan’s comments, acknowledged he has thought about the hypothetical matchup.
“MJ said that? I’ve thought about the matchup, but no one will ever see it and it’s not going to happen,” James said Tuesday after the Miami Heat’s training camp practice in Nassau, Bahamas. “It’s good for people to talk about.”
This year marks the first time on the cover for James, a four-time league MVP who has led the Heat to back-to-back NBA championships.
When reminded that he is on the cover of the game, James referred to Jordan’s comments as good for business.
“Where he’d say this at? Oh, it was for my game? It’s good promotion then,” James said.
Jordan, a six-time NBA champion and five-time MVP, also said that the game was much more physical when he played than it is today.
“You go in with the understanding of, ‘I’m going to get hit. I’m going to pay the price,’” he said. “But that’s part of the game. I’m not going to be afraid to go inside. Those are the types of things that these kids don’t even have a clue of how we had to grow up and how we had to play.”
Jordan has had a sponsorship deal with 2K Sports since 2011, when he first appeared on the cover of the popular game. He shared the cover the next year with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.