LeBron James and Michael Jordan, two of the greatest players in NBA History. LeBron James is a 4-time MVP and 3-time Finals MVP, currently playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Michael Jordan was a 5-time MVP and a 6-time Finals MVP, and he played for the Chicago Bulls and the Washington Wizards in his legendary career.
Many wonders what would have happened if these two had ever faced off against once another but, that is just something that we will never know the answer to. We almost got to see them potentially face off head-to-head but unfortunately, Michael Jordan retired the same year that LeBron James was drafted. But the question still remains, what would the outcome be if these two players had ever faced off against each other?
For the best possible 1 vs. 1 game, we will look at both of these players’ best season in the NBA. For LeBron, his best year was in 2013. This season, LeBron James averaged 26.8 points, 8 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game while shooting 56.5% from the field and 40.6% from the three. LeBron led the Miami Heat to a 66-16 record this season, finished 1 vote shy of being the first player to win the MVP award unanimously, finished 2nd in DPOY award voting and won his 2nd championship this season.
Picking Michael Jordan’s best season is harder than LeBron’s, but if I had to choose one, it would be the 1992-93 season. This year, MJ averaged 32.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 2.8 steals per game all while shooting 49.5% from the field and 35.2% from three. MJ led the Bulls to their 3rd straight championship this year and won the MVP award and scoring title. Lastly, he won the Finals MVP award and averaged an insane 41 points per game in the finals.
The Rules for this game are simple. A single 1 vs. 1 game to 21 points, make it-take it, shots count as either 1 point or 2, and a halftime break after someone scores 11 points. This game will be held at the Fadeaway World Court in sunny California.
The game plan for LeBron is to use his otherworldly athleticism to outmuscle Jordan while Jordan will use his finesse abilities and godly mid-range game. With this, the stage is now set.
LeBron James will start with the ball as California is where he resides.
1-0: He immediately shows off his great post skills and outmuscles Jordan as he scores a quick basket in the paint.
2-0: LeBron muscles his way into the paint once again and scores a tough layup over MJ.
With the score now 2-0, Jordan reestablishes himself and plays more physical with LeBron.
2-1: This new strategy by Michael throws LeBron off his game and MJ is able to strip LeBron and score a layup.
On the very next possession, Michael gets a step ahead of LeBron using his patented pump-fake but, LeBron is able to recover and swats Michael’s shot from behind.
2-3: On the ensuing possession, LeBron sags off a bit because Michael is not a knock-down shooter but, this proves to be a costly mistake as MJ drills the three-pointer.
2-5: MJ drains another three-pointer right in LeBron’s face on the following possession. LeBron James improves his play and does his patented chase-down block on an MJ layup attempt. LeBron gets the ball back and starts to go on a rampage.
4-5: First possession with the ball back, LeBron James hits a deep three-point shot.
5-5: With this new confidence, LeBron throws down a mean Tomahawk dunk over Michael Jordan!
7-5: LeBron shows off his post moves against MJ but is unable to get by him. After a few shimmies, MJ forces LeBron to pick up his dribble. LeBron fades away and hits a tough three-point shot over MJ.
9-5: LeBron hits another three after a few jab steps.
11-5: LeBron gets the ball, runs to the corner, and hits a crazy fadeaway three once again, and we are now at halftime. After a short break, they get back to the game.
12-5: The halftime break doesn’t slow down LeBron as he continues to show off his dominance, outmuscling MJ once again for another layup.
With the score, MJ has to once again change his game plan to throw LeBron off. As LeBron is posting up, MJ “pulls the chair” on him which leads to a turnover. With MJ now with the ball once again, he goes on a tear of his own.
12-7: With LeBron having a comfortable lead, he reduces his intensity which allows MJ to strike. MJ hits a three-pointer.
12-9: MJ hits yet another three-pointer.
12-10: MJ hits his patented fadeaway shot over LeBron.
12-12: MJ gets LeBron to fall for his pump fake once again and it leads to yet another three-pointer.
Just like that, the score is now all tied up and LeBron is distraught at the fact that he blew a comfortable lead.
13-12: Michael tries to show off his dribbling skills but gets stripped by LeBron, who then goes and throws down a crazy windmill dunk.
15-12: LeBron fakes the drive, steps back, and hits a deep three-pointer. LeBron shoots another deep-three on the following possession but this time, he misses it.
15-14: Michael gets the rebound, runs to the corner and hits a three.
15-15: Michael SLAMS throws down a ferocious slam over LeBron and this hypes Jordan up even more as he is looking to put the nail in the coffin on this game.
16-15: MJ block LeBron James and hits a heavily contested, fadeaway jumper over LeBron.
17-15: MJ gets stripped again and as LeBron is diving for the ball, MJ uses his large hands to palm it off the ground and throws down a crazy dunk over LeBron James!
19-15: MJ sees LeBron sagging off once again and hits an easy three-point shot over him.
21-15: MJ has the ball with the chance to end this game once and for all. He starts his dribble, drives to the rim, pushes off of LeBron, and hits the game-winning three-point shot, similar to how he hit the game-winning jumper against the Utah Jazz in the 1998 NBA finals.
The final score of this historic game is 21-15. LeBron James and Michael Jordan dap each other up and take a picture together to capture this historic moment.
Of course, this article is all for fun and there are many different outcomes for this 1 v 1 match. But, if one thing is for certain, it is that this game would have viewers from all over the world and would be highly entertaining.