NBA, Video Games / Oct 20, 2011 / 11:30 am

MJ vs. MJ: Past and Present

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

One of the more prominently promoted features of the new NBA 2K12 is the ability to play with great teams from NBA history. Ostensibly, this would allow one to discover who the greatest squad ever was, albeit in a virtual and fictional setting. Is it Jordan and the 72-win Bulls? Bird and the ’86 Celtics? The Kobe-Shaq Lakers? The Duncan-Robinson Spurs? Make it a head-to-head contest, and you can find your answer.

This aspect also allows you to put current teams (from a virtual and fictional setting in which the NBA isn’t locked out) up against those all-time greats, in an attempt to see how the squads of the past would fare today. A recent commercial spot for the game has Drake arguing with Michael Jordan that the new Big Three of the Miami Heat could beat those 72-win Bulls from ’95-’96. No doubt this would be an interesting battle, but the more intriguing matchup is how those 72-win Bulls, led on the floor by Jordan, would do against the present-day Charlotte Bobcats, led in the front office by Jordan. What would Michael Jordan – former NBA great and current NBA owner – do to have his current team beat his former self?

It would clearly be a tough feat for Charlotte. The Bobcats finished the year last season with a 34-48 record, good enough for only 10th out of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference. But after an offseason that featured a major trade and the drafting of both Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo, things could be looking up for the Bobcats – if the NBA actually plays any games this season. That clearly won’t put them in the same stratosphere as a team that features the greatest player ever and an NBA all-time single season record of 72 wins, but if anyone is going to take down Jordan in his prime, wouldn’t an older, wiser Jordan have the best shot?

For the purposes of this game, we are going to assume that the Bobcats have re-signed current free agents Joel Przybilla and Kwame Brown, because both of these players would be integral to Charlotte winning. Pryzbilla would provide height and a steadying veteran presence, while Kwame would be used to psyche out Jordan by having him approach past-MJ before the game and say: “My name is Kwame Brown. I’m often pointed to as the biggest bust in league history, and in about six years, you will make me the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft.” That alone will freak out past-Jordan, and put Charlotte at an immediate advantage.

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  • Tyler Davoren

    Please tell me this article isn’t serious. Kudos for originality and trying to think outside of the box, and the article was well-written – don’t get me wrong. But you’re comparing one of the worst teams in today’s NBA with one of the best teams in the history of the league. To only comment on a few points, you talk about how Corey Maggette and Boris Diaw will have to do their best to contain Pippen.. I needn’t even expand all that far on this claim. Diaw is overweight and even in his prime (circa 05-06 with Phoenix) he was never anything over an average defender. Maggette is a well above-average athlete and he’s very physical, but he really only applies these skills on the offensive side of things. He’s never been a motivated defender. Dante Cunningham is an up-and coming player who I think has the potential to be a 6th man/binge starter on a good team, but no way that he pairs with Tyrus Thomas to hold Rodman below 20 rebounds. Thomas is a freak athlete with little to no motivation to use all of his skills for the better of the team. A guy like Rodman would even get Thomas in foul trouble. You comment on the build of Henderson, yet he hasn’t amounted to much in his career. I’d see the game as ending in a 20-30 point blowout win for the Bulls.

  • j.tobias

    For the mere fact that Kwame Brown would speak to him, would enrage MJ to give him 50. Past MJ probably couldnt envision his first ownership to be with the Wizards so he would think Kwame was crazy. Playing in NC with Dean Smith also would backfire because he gets moms cooking and another shot at tearing down any non-believers. We all know he holds grudges and as much as he loved Dean Smith his support of the Bobcats would be unforgivable.

  • north

    And there’s a huge flaw that if you can’t get stops, you can’t fast break… there would be no tired legs on the GOAT’s team.

  • Susej

    ROFL – God–please end the NBA lockout, cuz my brothers done gone CRAZY!!

  • SWAT

    pointless…enitre article…pointless…

  • Donny

    Y’all are tripping. It’s obviously not a serious article. It’s based around the 2K game. Lighten up. Over your heads

  • Thanatos

    Good article..i’m at the office and after reading it i just laughed and laughed;) now i’m trying to explain to my boss what this is all about.
    just the mental image of Oakley taking a poker chip out his pocket and dangling it in front of Jordan… :))