The 25-year-old defensive end of the Carolina Panthers, Greg Hardy, recently revealed a brash confidence in his basketball skills while talking with the Charlotte Observer‘s Jonathan Jones. In the brief Q & A, the 6-4 Hardy claims he could beat 4-time NBA MVP and 2-time NBA Finals MVP LeBron James in a game of one-on-one.
The entire exchange between Hardy and Jones is a study in bluster (emphasis ours):
Q: If you went 1-on-1 with LeBron who would win?
A: How should I answer this question? …I would dominate that dude. Hands down, guaranteed win. And that’s my favorite player.
Q: I’m not saying you can’t. I’m asking, why do you feel so confident that you’d beast LeBron James in a game of 1-on-1?
A: I’m not saying I would beast him, but I would definitely win. I got a good shot, I got good handles, I got good size (6-foot-4, 275 pounds). I feel that we match up pretty well. I was a defensive player in college.
Q: Doesn’t he have about four inches on you? (LeBron is 6-foot-8, 250 pounds)
A: Maybe. I got like a 39-inch vertical. I’m a little bulkier too. But nobody knows I got hops.
Q: Didn’t you dunk on an 11-foot goal this summer? (Editor’s note: It was a 10-foot-3 goal.)
A: I got drastic hops. I feel I have a lot of the same tools he has and it would come down to who was the better basketball player.
Q: If y’all played to 11 by ones, who would win and what would be the score?
A: I would still win. Probably 11-9.
Q: Oh, so it’d be a tight game?
A: Yeah, it would be a tight game. I’m not saying I would dominate him. That was a joke. I feel like I’d definitely win. I think there’s a game there. I don’t think that I’m trash and I don’t think that he’s trash. I think it’d be two dominant athletes playing and I’d come out on top.
Here’s Hardy supposedly dunking on a 10-3 rim (in what appear to be PJ’s):
While it’s true LeBron might be a beast in the NFL, there is absolutely no way Hardy would even keep it close against LeBron in a spirited game to 11.
James is the best player in the world right now, in his peak NBA years with his confidence higher than it’s ever been, which is saying something. But even if LeBron were a rookie, or still just a high school player that couldn’t really shoot and wasn’t nearly as serious about the game, he would destroy Greg Hardy regardless of Hardy’s time at Ole Miss and his self-proclaimed “drastic hops.”
But it makes good copy, and nobody knows that better than Hardy.
Is there any chance Hardy is right? [This is a rhetorical question]
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