Michael Jordan was asked who he’d run with in pick-up basketball. He said in addition to himself, his team would feature Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen, James Worthy, and Hakeem Olajuwon.
I respect Michael for going with guys in his generation that he played with and against. He knows those guys best. To make it interesting, I’ll take guys that are playing in this generation.
MJ obviously wants an athletic, defensive team that can run the floor and finish around the basket. Another thing I’d assume here is we aren’t shooting free throws playing pickup basketball.
I’d counter with Grant Hill, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Dwight Howard.
Here’s what I’m thinking. MJ’s squad is tall, but not big. I don’t want mismatches against a group where Michael’s 6’6″ is the smallest guy on the floor. So I will not employ a typical point guard. Instead I will have a group of guys that can switch on just about anything and still match-up.
LeBron and Hill can share point guard duties, and obviously Kobe can handle the ball as well. Howard would be my rim protector. My defense is almost as good as his, and I include Durant for not just his all-around talent, but he’d be the best shooter in the game and provide those 2-point baskets (assuming we play 1’s and 2’s).
Prime against prime, I think it would be a fascinating game. Jordan says his team wouldn’t lose. I disagree. Even if it took ten tries, my team would win at least one.
Just for fun, if I go head-2-head against his generation I would go with Penny Hardaway, Dominique Wilkins, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, and David Robinson.
Who would you put together as a team to take on Jordan’s squad?Tuck: My Team To Challenge Michael Jordan's Pickup Team by Mike Tuck