“No Michael Jordan Is Not Beating Me”: Jabari Smith Jr. Scoffs at the Idea of 61 Y/o MJ Beating Him 1v1

Houston Rockets sophomore Jabari Smith Jr. is still finding his way in the NBA. But he has enough faith in himself to claim that he can humiliate the GOAT, Michael Jordan, on the basketball court. Smith Jr. took part in the Rising Stars tournament, which features rookies, sophomores, and G-League stars, recently for the second year running. During a press conference for the event, he reminded everyone again that the six-time NBA champion had no chance of beating him one-on-one. At least not at his present age.

Last year, a journalist from The Score had asked Smith Jr. if the then 60-year-old Michael Jordan could beat him in a one-on-one game. The then 19-year-old had said,

“He’s not beating me right now. No… I’m beating you one-on-one.”

 

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Almost a year from that day, the same journalist recently asked the now 20-year-old Rockets star if a 61-year-old Jordan had what it takes to beat him. Jabari Smith Jr. seemed adamant in his stance. He responded,

“No. Michael Jordan is not beating me one-on-one at 61 years old. No way. I’m a crowded space. I don’t think he getting around me…I think he’ll score a bucket, just out of respect for him [I’ll say]. You know I’ve seen him still play so I’m sure he can probably sneak one in. Me being generous.”

It’s a silly question no doubt, that Smith Jr. answered with utmost sincerity. It’s preposterous to wonder whether a 61-year-old Michael Jordan, who last played professional basketball 21 years ago, could beat an active NBA starter born after he retired. The physical gap between the two will be too massive for Jordan to bridge. While MJ loves taking on a challenge, this is a step too far. Smith will likely obliterate the six-time NBA champion if they dueled on the court. That’s not a diss on Jordan, but rather a reality of life.

Meanwhile, Jabari Smith Jr. is not the only player to face this question. Victor Wembanyama was also asked the same question on Draft day last year. And he had a similar answer.

Michael Jordan will forever be a hooper

"No Michael Jordan Is Not Beating Me": Jabari Smith Jr. Scoffs at the Idea of 61 Y/o MJ Beating Him 1v1

While it’s almost certain that Jabari Smith Jr. would beat Michael Jordan in a head-to-head battle, there’s a slight chance that the Bulls icon might pull off a miracle upset win. Retired NBA star Stephen Jackson can attest to that possibility. During his second season with the Charlotte Bobcats, now the Charlotte Hornets, the team struggled to find consistency on the court.

Jordan, who had recently purchased the franchise, was incensed after they were blown out in a game. He came into the locker room and tried to fire up the roster, but Jackson irked him by making a snide comment. On the Million Dollaz Worth of Game podcast, he said,

“I made some little comment or something like that. He [MJ] ain’t say nothing, so he came into practice the next day… He’s going off. He came out there, pushed whoever Gerald Wallace was guarding, the three-guard, kicked him out and got in that spot, played with the second team. He scored a couple points, and to the point where he talked so much s*** afterward, he grabbed the ball and went and dunked one on the way out. True story.”

Jordan was 47 at the time but had enough left in the tank to teach an NBA starting lineup a lesson. While Smith may feel confident about his chances of beating a 61-year-old Jordan, he needs to be careful to not poke the bear. The Bulls icon doesn’t take slander lightly, and if the Rockets sophomore doesn’t stay vigilant, he could find himself in a duel against a well-prepared Jordan.

 

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