The All Time Top 5 Who Could Take Down the GOAT
Michael Jeffery Jordan, the oft-proclaimed greatest basketball player to ever live, receives an infinite amount of praise these days. Often considered as a sort of “living god” amongst ballers, who only dare mention his hallowed name in hushed tones.
Was Jordan Really That Great Anyway?
The thing is, Jordan lost all the time. It’s the 6 for 6 in the finals that really deserves recognition, and that’s why the flaws in the GOAT’s game get glossed over when discussing hypothetical match-ups. Yes Mike was a beast, and would probably beat any player at 1 on 1 ball the majority of the time… but basketball is a team sport, and the 4 other guys have a big influence on the scoreboard.
People also forget that, although Jordan liked to fuel himself by “taking things personal” when he felt slighted, whomever would face Michael Jordan & Co. during this contest would also be uber-motivated to dethrone the champion of champions. So here’s my ultimate Jordan-killing squad, to take on the King in a seven game series to 21.
I like my chances with the 5 cats below…
Point Guard = Allen Iverson:
He’s on tape, breaking Jordan’s ankles with that unguardable cross-over of his… What more do you need to know? I know this pick will get a lot of flack, because his size isn’t great and there are so many other amazing ballers to choose from, but it doesn’t matter. Go check out how many times Iverson (the shortest guy on the court) regularly out-jumped his competition, only to come away from a forest of sweaty giants with an incredible rebound. Plus, if you wanted to hear how great Magic Johnson was, go to E!SPN or something, cuz he gets plenty of love everywhere. We’re here to think outside of the box. An final, bonus attribute that shouldn’t be overlooked when choosing Iverson, is that Allen had enough attitude to be able to play mind-games with Jordan… which was a huge part of the GOAT’s style.
Center = Prime Shaq:
The Big Diesel! This human wrecking-ball could not be stopped in any way, shape or form when he was in the pinnacle of his Laker days. No single human on earth could stop this man, which means the opposing team would have to double this monster all day, just to hope to contain him. While you could always foul the guy and watch him miss pathetically from the foul line, you only get 5 before you’re ejected… And don’t forget the blocks Shaq could throw. That’s a brick wall you’re running into, Mike.
Shooting Guard = Steph Curry:
It’s going to be raining from downtown, that’s all I’m gonna say. What do you do when the guy can literally go “bombs away” from half-court? Jordan can’t be everywhere at once, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Curry will be seizing each crack of daylight, to fire a few swishes that can kill the game before it even starts. 21 points means 7 three-pointers, so watch out. (BTW his Basketball I.Q. is off the charts)
Power Forward = Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:
Sky hook baby. All day, all night and twice on Sundays. What could Jordan even do? Ok you block one or two or even three of them… you know he’s going to go back to that well the whole game, and sink more than you can handle. With Shaq, we’re going with the “Twin Towers” team model, to fit Mike’s era. To combine his vision and talents as a passer with those of Iverson, truly elevates this team to a dominant status (let me reiterate that the games only go to 21 in this imagined scenario. This means this squad is designed to rush the scoreboard, not sustain a full 48 minute contest).
Small Forward = Tim Duncan:
The best defender that ever played, with ice in his veins when the clock’s running down. As a supremely gifted ball handler, Tim would serve as a “coach on the court”, directing his teammates with a flurry of fakes and subtle signals, aimed at eating clock and confusing the opponents. He’d be able to hit shots from the wings to give Curry a break, combine with Kareem and Shaq to creatively blitz the hoop with the tall boys, and wait for Iverson to feed him in the paint, when the defense got lazy
There were so many choices to go with. Bird or Russell or CP3… Hell, even Nash or KD would have added a nice touch of extra flair. But I have to go with the easiest selection of this entire list, because he can do everything, is a constant triple-double threat, and will serve as the ultimate swiss-army knife, for every situation that pops up.
That’s right, I’m talking about Lebron James!
Everybody always acts like Jordan would beast him on the court, but that’s just romanticizing the past. Lebron is bigger, faster and heavier than Mike, and would be used to exacerbate any mismatch that came across his path. They have weight classes in fighting sports for a reason, and this physical specimen is too impressive to pass on. Curry ain’t feeling it? James can hit’em deep. Kareem twists an ankle? Lebron will serve you the rock on a platter. Shaq gets bored? James can rebound with the best of them
Dan Bernardini wasn’t always the camouflage-clad shadow he is today. No, once upon a time he had it all. Six-figure hedgefund gig, designer suits, luxury car… And boy did he love his Sundays by the pool, splashing around with the wife and kids. It was a great life, until the illuminati took it all away. When the financial crisis hit, Dan was suddenly left holding the bag. “Could have happened to anyone” the lawyers lamented, as the feds seized it all…