Jordan favors Lebron James over injured Kobe Bryant

jordan-lawsuitNBA legend Michael Jordan said last Friday that LeBron James is the best player in the NBA, marking a change in tune, as he’s generally favored Lakers guard Kobe Bryant over the Heat forward.

”It’s hard to pick. It’s hard to say the best player,” Jordan told the Associated Press in an interview.

”You would have to say LeBron because of what he’s capable of doing. Kobe is coming off an injury and you don’t know where he is going to be at his age. I would have to say LeBron.”

Back in February, Jordan told NBA TV that he would take Bryant over James because the former had five championship rings, while the latter only had one (at the time).

“If you had to pick between the two, that would be a tough choice, but five beats one every time I look at it,” Jordan said. “And not that he [James] won’t get five, he may get more than that, but five is bigger than one.”

Bryant, 35, recovers from a season-ending Achilles injury. He averaged 27.3 points, 6 assists and 5.6 rebounds for the Lakers last season.

The 28-year-old James has won four MVP awards in the last five years and back-to-back Finals MVP awards, leading the Heat to the 2012 and 2013 titles. He averaged 26.8 points, 8 rebounds and 7.3 assists last season.

Jordan also said he would be happy to sit down and share his basketball knowledge with LeBron James.

The Miami Heat star had said in an ESPN interview that he’d like to connect with Jordan and pick up some advice.

“Sure, I would be willing to talk to a bunch of the kids,” Jordan told AP on Friday in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“And actually I do. I don’t advertise it because I don’t want it to be misconstrued or to be viewed as tampering with other stars. I’m in a more difficult position than other owners because it can be viewed in a different way.

“But I’ve always welcomed an opportunity to talk to anybody, LeBron included.”

Jordan said he’s mentored other players but has kept it on the “down low” because he doesn’t like to publicize his efforts.

Back in February, the legendary Bulls guard and current owner of the Bobcats told ESPN that he would defend James by encouraging him to go left.

“So if I have to guard him,” Jordan said, “I’m gonna push him left so nine times out of 10, he’s gonna shoot a jump shot. If he goes right, he’s going to the hole and I can’t stop him. So I ain’t letting him go right.”

Then, in an October promotional interview for “NBA 2K14″, Jordan said that he felt he could beat James in a hypothetical game of one-on-one between the two players during their respective primes, but that Bryant might be able to beat him.

“I don’t think I’d lose, other than Kobe Bryant, because he steals all my moves,” Jordan said.


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