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“He Steals All My Moves”: Michael Jordan Names The Player Who Can Beat Him In A 1v1

Published 04/17/2020, 8:00 PM EDT

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Michael Jordan left behind a legacy when he retired from the NBA. His greatness is unparalleled in every way. Jordan during the final stages of his career was always bugged with one question. “Who do you think is the next Jordan?”

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Now this question was in the minds of all the fans who wanted to know who the Jumpman thought his heir was. A lot of talented players feature in the NBA and naturally, it is hard to pick just one.

In another instance, the six-time champion was asked to name a player he would like to be up against.


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Michael Jordan said only Kobe Bryant could beat him in a 1v1

Jordan was special. He had everything in his skillset. His competitiveness made him a player to fear in the NBA. When Jordan was asked his list of players he wanted to go up against, he answered that the list was too long. 

He started off with Jerry West’s name and then mentioned Lakers legend Elgin Baylor’s name. Jordan also continued by naming Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony. He said he would like to face all of them in his prime although he wouldn’t lose. 


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Jordan did make one exception though. After naming the players, he said, “That’s a good start. I don’t think I’ll lose. Other than Kobe Bryant because he steals all my moves.”

Michael Jordan had always admired Kobe Bryant ever since he stepped foot in the league. Being a five-time MVP and publically admitting that he’d lose against Kobe Bryant in a 1v1 deserves true respect. 

Throwback: When Jordan schooled OJ Mayo

Jordan also recalled conducting a basketball camp for freshmen in college. His goal was to pass on his knowledge of the game to the next generation.

While Jordan was doing his thing at the camp, he noticed a young high schooler named OJ Mayo talking trash to him. Mayo being only 17 was already becoming famous for his talent on the court. But when you talk trash to the greatest, you’re bound to know that it wasn’t going to end well. 


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Jordan wanted to teach him a lesson. “I stopped the camp. Sent the kids to bed. We go back to playing,” he said. 

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As they were playing, the Hall of Famer remembers how Mayo was mumbling words like, “But you can’t guard me.”

Jordan remembers running rings around him and finally said:


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“Listen dude, you may be the best high school player, but I’m the best player in the world.”

It was a truly fitting lesson for a high school kid with a big mouth to go up against a six-time NBA champion. Mayo has also admitted to the incident happening and revealed how Jordan taught him a lesson that day.



Arjun Athreya

2181 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.