What is it with Michael Jordan and playing current NBA stars in 1-on-1?
His Airness has recently spouted off about fictional 1-on-1 contests vs. LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, leading even the soft-spoken Derrick Rose to speculate on a game between the pair of Bulls All Stars.
But now, at least, Jordan is talking about something that actually happened. In a promotional video for the video game NBA 2K14, Jordan recalls a game between him and O.J. Mayo back in 2005 that predictably ended in favor of the all-time great. The comments on the matchup start around the 1:55 mark.
Per Jordan's recollection, Jordan and Mayo were playing during Jordan's summer camp for young hoopsters when Mayo, a 17-year-old high-schooler, started dishing some tough talk out to MJ. Jordan sent all the other campers away and started dishing back to Mayo as the two kept on playing.
Jordan admits he told Mayo: "Look dude, you might be the best high school player, but I'm the best player in the world. So from this point on, it's a lesson."
Mayo explained his version of the story, which mostly matched up, in an interview with the Bucks' official website. And, he expanded on some of the colorful comments Jordan made during the game.
"He said, 'Better scream for mama,'" Mayo recalled, describing how Jordan beat him in the 1-on-1 matchups using the famous fadeaway and post-up moves.
"People ask me, 'Why would you talk smack to GOAT (greatest of all-time)? Why would you talk smack to Mike?' At the end of the day, it's still basketball," Mayo said. "You definitely respect everything Mike's done for the game, but when you're a young buck and you've got a chance to go at the top, I kind of had a mentality that I had everything to gain and nothing to lose. And Mike did what he had to do."
The Bulls will get a chance to see Mayo a lot more this season, as Mayo joins the Central Division rival Bucks. Maybe Jordan can provide a few tips on how to slow him down.