What if: Michael Jordan’s comeback
Would Michael Jordan be able to keep up with the pace of the NBA and compete in a game at the age of 50?
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Jordan might still be able to score a bit, but his defense will be highly suspect.
During his Hall of Fame Induction speech, the greatest player of all time hinted at making a return to the league at age 50.
He's reportedly practiced with the Charlotte Bobcats on occasion over the past few years and has even beaten one of their best players in a game of one-on-one.
He's even claimed to have scouted LeBron James, saying he knows how to stop him, or at least slow him down.
It's unrealistic to believe that he could possibly play an entire season with a team in the NBA at age 50.
But here's the question: How would Michael Jordan fare in a single game in the league today?
Clearly, it is most likely that Jordan would come back for one game with the Bobcats, the team he owns. In this scenario, let's say he wants to go up against the best player of this generation in James.
Imagine the crowd this matchup would draw. Tickets would sell for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Jordan would likely get the start, just for the spectacle of it all. Because his body probably wouldn't allow him to play starter minutes, he would play approximately 25 minutes. Here's how the game would play out.
12:00- Al Jefferson takes the tip for the Bobcats to Kemba Walker. He walks the ball up the court and immediately finds Jordan on the wing. Jordan faces up Wade, then backs him down before hitting a midrange turnaround jumper to start the game off. 2-0 Bobcats.
11;15- Jordan misses a pullup midrange jumper. 2-2 Tie.
9:43- Jordan misses his second shot in a row, Bosh pulls down the rebound and the Heat run the floor for a Wade to James flush. 5-4 Heat.
7:06- Jordan sits for the first time. 11-6 Heat.
1:52- Jordan returns to the game. 24-15 Heat.
1:45- Jordan pulls down a rebound, pushes the ball up the court and puts in an acrobatic layup. 24-17 Heat.
1:26- Jordan misses short jumper. 26-17 Heat.
0:32- Jordan hits a 3 from the wing over Battier. 28-22 Heat.
0;00- End of first quater. 28-22 Heat.
Jordan's stats: 7 points, 1 rebound, 0 assists, 3-6 FG, 1-1 3FG.
12:00- Jordan sits for the start of the quarter.
5:45- Jordan enters the game. 40-31 Heat.
5:29- Jordan finds a wide open Bismack Biyombo for the flush. 40-33 Heat.
4:05- Jordan grabs a defensive rebound. 44-35 Heat.
3:23- Jordan misses a three-point attempt from the corner. 44-37 Heat.
2:01- Kemba Walker finds Jordan wide open under the hoop for a layup. 48-42 Heat.
0:27- Jordan misses long two-points jumper. 52- 45 Heat.
0:00- End of the quarter. 52-45 Heat. Halftime.
Halftime Stats: 9 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 4-9 FG, 1-2 3FG.
11;15- Jordan hits a midrange jumper. 52-47 Heat.
9:45- Jordan picks Mario Chalmers pocket and runs the floor for the layup. 54-51 Heat.
8:32- Jordan hits Ben Gordon for a corner three. 58-58 Tie.
7:14- Jordan is replaced by Gerald Henderson. 62-58 Heat.
2:12- Jordan enters the game. 72-64 Heat.
1:31- Jordan is blocked on a layup by LeBron James. 74-64 Heat.
0:45- Jordan misses layup. 76-67 Heat.
0:15- Jordan backs down Battier before laying an up-and-under shot in. 76-69 Heat.
0:00- End of the quarter. 79-69 Heat.
Jordan's stats through three quarters: 13 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 6-13 FG, 1-2 3FG.
12:00- Jordan sits to start the quarter.
8:01- Jordan enters the game. 86-77 Heat.
7:47- Jordan misses three-point field goal. 86-77 Heat.
5:59- Jordan finds Ben Gordon for another corner three. 88-82 Heat.
4:45- Jordan drills a midrange fadeaway over Wade. 90-84 Heat.
3:30- Jordan strips James and finds Gerald Henderson for the dunk. 90-88 Heat.
2:45- Jordan hits a three over Battier. 92-91 Heat.
2:00- Jordan gets fouled by James on a jumper. Goes 1 for 2 from the free-throw line. 94-92 Heat.
1:04- Jordan banks in a short jumper. 96-94 Heat.
0:41- Jordan hits three-point shot. 97-96 Bobcats.
0:23- James slams a dunk down over Jordan. 98-97 Heat.
0;00- Jordan sinks a game-winning midrange jumper over Battier near the free-throw line. 99-98 Bobcats.
Final Stats: 26 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 11-19 FG, 2-4 3FG
Although he struggled at times to keep up with the young bucks, Jordan more than held his own offensively. He wasn't able to defend James or Wade much at all,wasn't able to pull down many rebounds, or run the floor very effectively but his competitive drive would not allow the Bobcats to fall out of the game and ultimately, there is no better way for the G.O.A.T. to return to the game than to drill a game winner.
Photo Credit: WENN