NBA Rookie Claims He Could Beat Michael Jordan 1-On-1

On MJ's birthday no less


Feb 17, 2023

It only makes sense that NBA players are confident in their abilities. Some, however, may argue that they can be a little too confident.

Take Houston Rockets rookie Jabari Smith for instance. Despite playing for the worst team in the NBA, Smith gave a confident answer when asked if he could defeat Michael Jordan in a game of 1-on-1.

“Me,” Smith exclaimed, per team-provided video. “He’s not beating me right now, no. I’m beating him. Happy birthday MJ, I’m beating you one on one right now.”

To be clear, we aren’t disagreeing with Smith at all. Jordan celebrated his 60th birthday Friday, while the 19-year-old forward was the No. 3 pick in the most recent NBA draft. The age gap was his reasoning after all.

“If a 60-year-old beats me I need to hang it up,” Smith said.

Calling out a man who is closer to becoming a senior citizen than he is to his playing career is normally something that would go off without an issue. We’re talking about MJ here, though, the most tenacious competitor in the history of the sport. This is the same man that busted OJ Mayo at the age of 43, bet hundreds of thousands of dollars on golf matches and reportedly kept Isiah Thomas off the 1992 “Dream Team.”

Don’t be surprised if we hear of Smith’s early retirement after Jordan comes back to wash him in a pickup game.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images
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