Jahlil Okafor vividly remembers the unfair backlash Andrew Harrison, who recently finished up his freshman season at Kentucky, got this time last year for saying that he’d not only give a prime-performing Michael Jordan buckets in a one-on-one game to 11, but he’d also win 11-7.
“Everybody was mad about that,” Okafor, a senior center at Whitney Young (Chicago), said with a laugh. “But you’re not gonna say you’re not gonna win.”
The mentality makes sense; there’s a certain level confidence and pride that goes in to being the consensus No. 1 high school player in the country, regardless of class, and the All-USA Player of the Year, who reputable NBA draft sites project will be shaking NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s hand first in 2015.
That said, Okafor, a Duke signee, prefaced his prediction on the score of his mythical one-on-one game against Jordan with what his confident response is sure to elicit, “I’m gonna get so much hate on Twitter for this!”
“I cannot say I will lose to Michael Jordan,” Okafor said. “I don’t care what nobody says.”
Don’t be. Truth is a 17-year-old Michael Jordan would almost certainly have said the same thing about Magic Johnson. Plus, Oakfor wasn’t alone.
In advance of Friday’s Jordan Brand Classic (7 p.m., ET) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, we caught up with a handful of JBC All Americans to ask how they feel they would fare in a one-on-one matchup against the six-time NBA champion in his prime.
Check out the video.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY