MJ vs. MJ: Past and Present

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

One of the more prominently promoted features of the new NBA 2K12 is the ability to play with great teams from NBA history. Ostensibly, this would allow one to discover who the greatest squad ever was, albeit in a virtual and fictional setting. Is it Jordan and the 72-win Bulls? Bird and the ’86 Celtics? The KobeShaq Lakers? The DuncanRobinson Spurs? Make it a head-to-head contest, and you can find your answer.

This aspect also allows you to put current teams (from a virtual and fictional setting in which the NBA isn’t locked out) up against those all-time greats, in an attempt to see how the squads of the past would fare today. A recent commercial spot for the game has Drake arguing with Michael Jordan that the new Big Three of the Miami Heat could beat those 72-win Bulls from ’95-’96. No doubt this would be an interesting battle, but the more intriguing matchup is how those 72-win Bulls, led on the floor by Jordan, would do against the present-day Charlotte Bobcats, led in the front office by Jordan. What would Michael Jordan – former NBA great and current NBA owner – do to have his current team beat his former self?

It would clearly be a tough feat for Charlotte. The Bobcats finished the year last season with a 34-48 record, good enough for only 10th out of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference. But after an offseason that featured a major trade and the drafting of both Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo, things could be looking up for the Bobcats – if the NBA actually plays any games this season. That clearly won’t put them in the same stratosphere as a team that features the greatest player ever and an NBA all-time single season record of 72 wins, but if anyone is going to take down Jordan in his prime, wouldn’t an older, wiser Jordan have the best shot?

For the purposes of this game, we are going to assume that the Bobcats have re-signed current free agents Joel Przybilla and Kwame Brown, because both of these players would be integral to Charlotte winning. Pryzbilla would provide height and a steadying veteran presence, while Kwame would be used to psyche out Jordan by having him approach past-MJ before the game and say: “My name is Kwame Brown. I’m often pointed to as the biggest bust in league history, and in about six years, you will make me the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft.” That alone will freak out past-Jordan, and put Charlotte at an immediate advantage.

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