Michael Jordan says he could beat Charlotte Hornets players one-on-one


It’s been more than 12 years since Michael Jordan played basketball professionally, but time doesn’t appear to have worn away any of the competitive nature which helped made him a six-time NBA champion.

In an interview with France’s L’Equipe, the 52-year-old NBA owner was asked whether he thought he could beat his Charlotte Hornets players one-on-one.

“I’m pretty sure I can, so I don’t want to do that and demolish their confidence,” Jordan said smiling. “So I stay away from them, I let them think they’re good, but I’m too old to do that anyway.”


Jordan’s competitive nature has been well documented and led to his incredible success on and off the court over the years, but since 2006 when he became a minority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, which reclaimed the Hornets name last season, and later the majority owner in 2010, his team has been barely competitive.

They’ve reached the Eastern Conference playoffs twice in that time period (2009-10, 2013-14) but were swept in the first round in both appearances.

That Jordan thinks he could beat his own players isn’t surprising given the fact that small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist admitted that he’d been taken on the court by the aging Hall of Famer.

“It was hard for me,” said Kidd-Gilchrist in 2013 when he was just 20 years old and in his rookie season. “I lost. He’s the greatest man that ever played the game.”

Perhaps that’s why Jordan said he doesn’t get on the court with his players.

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme