One-on-one with Michael Jordan

One-on-one with Michael Jordan

Athlete Blogs

One-on-one with Michael Jordan


In their downtime last week at the McDonald’s All American Game in Chicago, a handful of the nation’s top high school basketball players engaged in a heated debate about the greatest one-on-one player of all time.

Some said Kobe Bryant. Some said LeBron James. Most said Michael Jordan.

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“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.”

Not every player agreed with Williams-Goss, however. In advance of Saturday’s Jordan Brand Classic (8 p.m., ET, ESPN2) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, we asked eight JBC All Americans how they would fare in a one-on-one matchup against the six-time NBA champion in his prime.

Nigel Williams-Goss, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.), PG

Signed to: Washington

The Score: 11-0

The Victor: Jordan

The Why: “Are you serious? Maaaaaan, it’s M.J. I’m not gonna disrespect him and say I’d get a bucket. I think if I had ball first I’d try and get him off balance and take a quick jumper and hope it went in. You’ve gotta remember, Jordan was the Defensive Player of the Year. He doesn’t have to let me score, and I don’t think he would because he was so competitive.”

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Kennedy Meeks, West Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C.), C

Signed to: North Carolina

The Score: 11-6

The Victor: Jordan

The Why: “Well, I’m gonna just keep it real, he’s gonna win. I’d get ball first and he’d sleep on my jumper because I’m a big guy. So I’d go on a quick 3-0 run off top. The other points would come from me backing him down. But then he’d get the ball and it’d be a wrap. I mean not 11 straight, but he’d win after that. I gotta keep it real!”

Matt Jones, DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas), SG

Signed to: Duke

The Score: 11-5

The Victor: Jones

The Why: “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.”

Dakari Johnson, Montverde (Montverde, Fla.), C

Signed to: Kentucky

The Score: 11-10

The Victor: Johnson

The Why: “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.”

Wayne Selden, Tilton (Tilton, N.H.), SG

Signed to: Kansas

The Score: 11-2

The Victor: Jordan

The Why: “In his prime? Man, I’d get one point going to the rack, then he’d stopped that the next time so I’d have to go to a quick pull-up jumper and hope that it goes in. So yeah that’s two points. That’s it. I mean, that’s Jordan in his prime. I’m not doing more than that. Nah!”

Andrew Harrison, Travis (Richmond, Texas), PG

Signed to: Kentucky

The Score: 11-7

The Victor: Harrison

The Why: “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.”

Chris Walker, Holmes County (Bonifay, Fla.), PF

Signed to: Florida

The Score: 11-7

The Victor: Jordan

The Why: “I think I’d hit a couple jumpers because he’d think because I’m 6-foot-10 I can’t shoot. I’d be like ‘Aight, Jordan sleep on me then, I’m just gonna hit these shots in your face.’ So when I start making them he’d cut that out and go ahead and win. It’s M.J.”

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Chester (Chester, Pa.), SF

Signed to: Arizona

The Score: 11-10

The Victor: Hollis-Jefferson

The Why: “Well, it will come down to the last possession. He’ll take the ball and get me with the move, then I’ll recover and block it off the glass. He thinks it’s a foul, but it’s really not. So we shoot for it to settle the bad call he made and I’d make the do-or-die shot. I get the ball back and I give him a bucket with heavy defensive pressure. Ball game.”

This seems like as good a time as any to share this blast from the past — 45-year-old CEO John Rogers’ one-on-one showdown against a past-his-prime Jordan:

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Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter @JayJayUSATODAY.


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