Michael Jordan thinks that in today’s NBA, he would score 100 points in a game. In an interview with USA Today, Jordan stated his belief that the NBA’s rules have gone soft, and that he would take full advantage of them:
“It’s less physical and the rules have changed, obviously. Based on these rules, if I had to play with my style of play, I’m pretty sure I would have fouled out or I would have been at the free throw line pretty often and I could have scored 100 points.”
There’s no denying that the NBA has gotten much softer since Jordan parted and that he would put up even more ridiculous numbers if he played now. Also, the enforcer types in the NBA like Charles Oakley and Dennis Rodman who made the paint a war-zone in Jordan’s day aren’t really around anymore. And if they were, they’d get thrown out of a game faster than David Stern can eat a mini-hot dog.
In their stead, the beanpole, floor-running big man (the intimidating Lopez Brothers) has become the model du jour, and the paint isn’t really a danger zone anymore. And the hand-checking rules have obviously completely changed the way guards can defend since Jordan’s era.
And does Jordan think Kobe Bryant is on his level? The implication in his answer: not so fast.
“I think he is always going to be within the conversations of some of the greatest players who’ve played by the time he is finished. Where does he rank among those, if you are talking about positions? If you are talking about guards, I would say he has got to be in the Top 10.”
It’s not exactly a slight in the mold of Jordan’s LeBron remarks, but MJ could loosen up a bit. He comes off as a bit jealous and callow by not admitting Kobe has become the truth. Kobe’s only one ring behind him, and there’s no denying the resemblance between the two is almost uncanny at this point. As for their images? Well, Kobe might have the edge there at this point.