Hang Time Podcast (Episode 132) Camp Chatter!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Could the greatest of our time best the greatest of all-time in a game of one-on-one?

We’ll never really know. But it’s fun to debate it as training camps around the league kick off. It’s fun to speculate about the individual matchup Michael Jordan would have with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and, of course, Kobe Bryant.

Jordan said he “wouldn’t lose,” except to maybe Bryant, who Jordan said “stole all of his moves.”

Did anyone really think MJ would believe that anyone could top him in a on-on-one game (or at anything else for that matter)? Didn’t think so.

The responses from both LeBron and Kobe were about what you’d expect as well.

“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 “It’s good for people to talk about.”

Are there more important things to talk about right now? That depends on where you are and whether or not you are willing to even entertain the thought of someone beating MJ.

Russell Westbrook is out for another month or more after a second procedure on that torn right meniscus that cut short his and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s playoff run last season. And we’re definitely on Derrick Rose watch here at the hideout. All-Stars Dwight Howard and James Harden are sharing the marquee in Houston (we’ll see how well they share everything else, including responsibility for things going well early on this season). And if you haven’t seen the parade of hilarious media day photos from around the league, you are missing out. So there is no shortage of worthy storylines for us to pursue right now. But some debates are simply too good to pass up. So we talked about all that and more on Episode 132 of the Hang Time Podcast … Camp Chatter!


As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Sekou Smith of NBA.com,  Lang Whitaker of NBA.com’s All-Ball Blog and renaissance man Rick Fox of NBA TV, as well as our new super producer Gregg (just like Popovich) Waigand and the best engineer in the business,  Jarell “I Heart Peyton Manning” Wall.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.


  1. jimmy says:

    Jordan is not the greatest of all time. He was the greatest of his era. Some things to consider. Who did Jordan ever meet in the finals other than magic (when he was declining) that won a championship. NOBODY. Clyde, his team and coach weren’t as good. Barkley, he looked defeated before he even played a game. Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp, Gary had inconsistency problems mentally his whole career and Shawn kemp had so many personal issues. Stockton and Malone, stockton was to little to be a challenge to Jordan and Malone couldn’t shoot free throws. The other stars he defeated Reggie, didn’t have the physical nature to compete against Jordans. Patrick Ewing had some kinda mental block which made him miss two lay ups which would have amounted to 2 championships.

    Jordan never had a rival. Put him against Larry bird and magic Johnson in his prime. Even put him against kareem abdul jabar what would he have done against that. As bad as it is put jordan against kobe and shaq in their prime, I don’t think anyone would have beaten them.

    Now the lebron thing. Jordan said the game was a lot tougher and more contact back then. AM I the only one who has noticed that Lebron James is 6’8 250-260 i’m not the smartest man but i think he’s pretty strong. People challenge his toughness, but truth be told its the way the NBA is played today. Now imagine if the NBA was like it was back then, you would have a 6’8 260 monster dropping elbows and throwing people to the floor cause please believe if he adapted to the way people treated him after the decision he would have adapted to the style of play. To be honest I think that style of play would have suited him better.

    Let Jordan say what he wants Lebron isn’t even finished developing yet. Wait til year five year six of this heat experiment and then lets have this conversation again.

    And to sign off if I was the greatest player in the history of a game and everyone knew it and told me so I wouldnt have to come on tv and challenge people I knew I would never play. That right there is Jordan realizing that Lebron is coming for his crown, he has been hearing the rumors for along time now and with the way the heat won that championship last year hes starting to feel alittle uncomfortable with Lebrons ever growing popularity.

  2. Cole says:

    James will be the greatest player of this era. His all around team play/take over in Game 7/guard whoever/push tempo run the floor. Hes phenomenal!

  3. okc2014 says:

    I just want to see Westbrook back so he and the Thunder can smash and squash all teams and go straight to the finals. Go Thunder!!

  4. Kwame Brown says:

    *Jordan didn’t make it to the finals in his first 4 years in the league

    • LebronFansAreSoIgnorant says:

      Put jordan in this era without the hall of famers he was playing against and look at his numbers.. With no great big men protecting the rim.. Also in a league were chris bosh can get away with playing center..

  5. Kwame Brown says:

    You cannot fully compare Lebron to Jordan because he still has a long way to go before the end of his career. In that time who knows if he’ll have 7 MVPs and 5 or 6 championships. At that point you won’t be able to just brush his accomplishments under the rug. Yes, he went to the finals twice and failed before winning his first championship, but isn’t it better to make it to the finals in you 4th year and fail(Lebron) than to not make it into the finals at all(Jordan)? I’m not saying Lebron is better than Jordan, but give him some dang credit; with what he’s accomplished with his career so far, he could very well end it with more jewelry and more awards than Jordan.

  6. hjcax says:

    GOAT = Wilt Chamberlain

  7. hjcax says:

    GOAT – Wilt Chamberlain, hands down the single most dominant player of all time

  8. Tony Moua says:

    Lebron to big to strong with all his post and three point shots he is also to fast with a court vision no greats had. Dont give me no bs about defense either because jordan never played against zone defense the best defense system. Jordan era played man to man defense and guess whose beast at that lebron james. I can almost remember the day mj could not defend magic johnson and pippen had to switch or when charlie sheen and his dad beat mj in a game to 7. Give me a break you think mj can beat lebron if he think he cant win kobe when you see lebron spank kobe in the court all season…. real recognize real.

    • LebronFansAreSoIgnorant says:

      Look who Lebron is playing against.. of course a pitbull looks dominant in a cage of chihuahuas.. Watered down league and other than durant and mello who is his competition.. Plus there is no real big men in the league anymore 2 stop Lebron from getting to the rim.. And we know what happens if he’s forced 2 take jumpers.. Briiiiiiiiick..

  9. Tony Moua says:

    Real recognized real and lebron is as real as it gets. Even the best of his era jordan wants to have a go against lbj.

  10. LeBronJames##6 says:

    LeBron James in my opinion, would dominate Jordan in a one-on-one matchup. LeBron is 260 pounds and Jordan in his prime was 210 pounds, so it is obvious that LeBron could destroy Jordan in the Paint. He also has a few inches on Jordan which helps a lot.
    Some people think that the league today isn’t near what it used to be, Well let me tell you something; The game today much harder than it used to be, there are much more talented and athletic athletes in the NBA today.
    Did you know that when LeBron won his first championship he was younger than Michael was when he won his first one. Jordan also played until he was 41, LeBron is 28 and he already is the youngest player to score over 20,000 points if you add that up if he played until he was 41 and kept up the pace he would end up with over 45,000 points way over Kareems career totals of 38,000.
    Jordan, would still be a very good player in todays game. But LeBron dominates everyone in todays game, and he would dominate Michael Jordan in his prime as well!

    • LebronFansAreSoIgnorant says:

      Noooo young fellow.. Lebron is playing in a watered down league where dwight howard is considered a superstar.. Jordan played with hall of famers.. Other than durant and mello who is lebron competing against at his position..

    • JordanReeves says:

      Hey just want you to know lebron didn’t go to college and the defense is nothing today because if it’s good defense they call a foul and if you don’t believe that go watch some flopping videos of lebron. Yeah he’s the most athletic in my opinion to ever play in recent years, but he’s not jordan, better yet he’s not even kobe.

  11. Dan-E says:

    1. MJ 2. KOBE 3. JABBAR 4. RUSSELL 5. MAGIC..
    In my opinion..

    James is a beast and he influences the game very much today but the competition is not as intense as back in the day..
    He is a big fish in a small pond..

    Just my opinion. he will be an all time great eventually but as of now, he is top 10 of all time at best. Oscar Robertson and James are very much alike, walking double doubles and he wasnt known as well as others because of how competitve it was in his time.

  12. dave says:

    I am sure there was a dunk that mj copied from someone let me think oh ya the Air jordon symbol dunk research guys. And I am damn sure that some one before jordan had taken a few fadeaway shot, he cant tell me he didnt learn from someone. Kobe earlier on was a flashy scorer now he had to learn to play smarter and did from the greatest players and if that is wrong then you are stupid. Lebron is a best but he is not even top 3 in nba. Kobe, Melo, durant, rose etc. Tell me this what was lebron doing in game 6 where they basically won the championship

  13. Mr.Speedy says:

    Jordan and Kobe top 2 greatest all time. As for Lebron….. He has a far way to go to even be in the discussion with these guys

  14. jose says:

    We all know that MJ always hates and talk trash on the players he knows or think might be better than him?…. Did everyone forgot about Isiah Thomas?

  15. Mo says:

    it take s a great player to even consider trying to mock the greatest of all time moves… Which make kobe neck to neck with jordan, any other player wouldnt even know where to start to put those moves in their game, it takes a 5 time NBA champion to achieve that

  16. Kobe should be thankful he was filled with talent throughout his whole career. A year after shaq left Kobe couldn’t carry his team out of the first round. Lebron with varejao his second best player always got past the first round in his 7 yrs in Cleveland. Kobe played 2nd fittle to shaq in the 3 titles they won, he couldn’t even get 1 finals mvps in those 3 chips.

  17. Na lebron already past Kobe. 4 mvps 2 finals mvps and he’s just entering his prime. Kobe is soon to retire and still only has 2 finals mvps, just 1 nba MVP.

    • LebronFansAreSoIgnorant says:

      Lebron pasted kobe? I think u need 2 check kobe’s resume sir.. Lebron’s good but uh.. Look at kobe’s competition at his position and the greats he played against during his career vs lebron’s only other competition at his position is mello and durant..

  18. Rome Aguirre says:

    MJ greatest ever KB 2nd greatest ever and MAGIC JOHNSON 3rd Lebron no where near any of these guys and he didn’t win those titles by himself if that’s the case he would’ve won in Cleveland I hate fans that try and give him all the damn credit

    • angel.m says:

      You guys are dumb Michael Jordan not win all the championships by himself either Kobe Bryant not win all his championship by him self, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant they got big ego.. LeBron James he so humble he knows that he cannot win championships by him self. But now he is the best player in the nba..is lebron era now..so stop the bs.

  19. Romeo Aguirre says:

    I think MJ is the greatest player ever of course and KB is the 2nd best player ever I love Magic as the 3rd I like Lebron as a player but he’s nowhere near any of these players personally I think Kobe is still the best player in the league at his age he still plays the game at a extremely high level

  20. Honestly I’m not just saying this because I’m a lebron fan, even if I were a hater of his I would still believe that he would be unstoppable to go against. The man has it all, he’s as quick and athletic as anybody in the world, and he’s 6’9 260 lbs I mean who would stop that. Lebron knows the game so well that I think he would be unstoppable to even beat. He can knock down the three and can attack the basket better than anybody. If he played Jordan it would be hard to determine who would win, but I definitely think it would be a 2 pt game.

  21. Romeo Aguirre says:

    I think MJ is the greatest player ever of course and KB is the 2nd best player ever I love Magic as the 3rd I like Lebron as a player but he’s nowhere near any of these players personally I think Kobe is still the best player in the league at his age he still plays the game at a extremely high level yea bosh was hurt in the first chamionship but he averaged a double double yes wade was hurt in the second championship but he showed up big in the finals 20 plus points a game don’t give lebron all the credit please watch and do your research

  22. CG3 says:

    I cant wait for Russel Westbrooke to come back so the Thunder can get the ring the deserve

  23. Marcus day says:

    I care less what mjj thinks you want to talk about greatness talk about magic Johnson who won in Highschool then college turn around and win the nba championship and now is success in business and also a quote on Kobe he might not be better than Michael but he is the closet by far

  24. Lebronjamesthebest says:

    Lebron is still young, just wait till end of his career. He’s getting better and better as we speak

    • Mp says:

      O c’mon. Stop putting lebron in the level of MJ and kobe. Lebron proved that he has no confidence in winning a championships in himself trusting on
      Management to build around him. He has to take a short cut by joining other superstars at their peak wade and bosh. If MJ did that during his career, he might have more than 10 rings. Lebron will never be greatest as he already failed. He can be the greatest hated!

      • Willem says:

        uh..they didnt do much different with getting players like pippen’ and grant….
        and what about wade being injured and bosh always get in the mix if its a lebron hater as being a superstar,
        not being the rest of the way….look at the playoffs again…all lebron this and last year…

      • TeeTeeWeezy says:

        Why do you people always act like MJ won championships with 4 recreational league players,,,, He didn’t win for several years into the league and the Chicago organization built around him, the even went after Dennis Rodman to win and he was a pain in Chicago’s but when he played for the Pistons. There has never been a championship team without atleast 2 stars & a 3rd significant role player……

      • AntBanks says:

        MJ didn’t have to. He had the same thing Durant had, luck in the draft. Westbrook and Harden…..Pippen and Grant? They didn’t have to go out and get other superstars because they got them in the draft! Did you forget that Kobe played with Shaq, Glen Rice, Eddie Jones, Ron Harper, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odoom, Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest? Who was Lebron playing with when Kobe was “winning”?
        Not only did no free agents go to Cleveland (except Mo Williams), they had no high draft picks because the team improved so much in Lebron’s first year!

      • Lp says:

        Mj is and always will be greatest. Kobe is a great player but didn’t do it alone and only has 2 finals mvp compared to jordan. Lebron has a stacked team full of role players that joined him in miami and will continue to do so, since miami is almost like a guaranteed championship. Why don’t players line up to join kobe (selfish player) also remember dwight, y didn’t he stay? Lebron literally does it all as a nba
        mvp should!

      • LebronFansAreSoIgnorant says:

        @TeeTeeWeezy to show how much you know.. 04 pistons didn’t have 1 superstar

      • Cole says:

        Yah he didnt get the luxury of being w/Shaq(3 times Finals MVP) Tex Winters triangle system as well as Phil Jackson early in his career. His pairing was Ricky Davis, Darius Miles, Carlos Boozer. Bryant has never done what James did in a Game 7 in the NBA Finals before in his career. His game 7 was 7 of 24. Funny James is already in this category and hes just starting. Bryant is a copy cat of MJ.(not a bad thing)James is Magic, Malone and Jordan rolled into one.

  25. DR BBAL says:

    Why not copy the greatest ever? what is the problem? if i could do it i would do it !

  26. Paul says:

    Jabbar… Greatest basketball player… He was the greatest high school player forever until Lebron, now maybe he’s either #1 or # 2 at worst. Still greatest college player.. Compare his Pro stats to anyone including Jordan… Like I said, greatest basketball player ever. And I’m from Chicago.

  27. Yeah, maybe Kobe stole “some”. LOL He copied so much from Jordan that even Mr. Sekou Smith discovered the miraculous similarity in their games. (http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2013/08/08/mj-kobe-can-be-quite-similar-video/)


    • Pakyaw says:

      I don’t know what Kobe means., but how somebody steal yours, if it’s not yours? Kobe doesn’t have his own signature move .,all his move is copy from Jordan.

  28. Yeah, maybe Kobe stole “some”. LOL He copied so much from Jordan that even Mr. Sekou Smith discovered the miraculous similarity in their games. (http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2013/08/08/mj-kobe-can-be-quite-similar-video/)


    • A.G Coleman says:

      Can’t deny Kobes Greatness but that’s why I never liked him He doesn’t have his own style everything is a regurgitated water down version of Jordan Moves but hey what can u say he got 5 rings

  29. lol kobe says:

    lol yea right kobe

  30. you are all ... says:

    here is my opinion

    Michael Jordan is the greatest INDIVIDUAL player ever

    Lebron James at the end of his career may be the greatest TEAM player ever

    • WatchTower says:

      Your opinion is BS mate.

      Both are great but Jordan beats Lebron on the mental side and toughness by far.

      This is a sissy watered down league, while at MJ’s eraq he was playing vs the Birds, Magics, Pistons. Legends like Dominique, Malone, Drexler never won anything cause the Bulls were there. Hakeem got Lucky that he went our for 2 seasons and he could snatch one.