The NBA Players Throughout History That We Most Want To See Go 1-On-1

pete maravich, kobe bryant, allen iverson, michael jordan

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It’s the bar debate that will continue, inexorably, until the end of time: In a game of 1-on-1, who wins? When you open this question up to every era of NBA basketball, the results can get screwy — the game has changed a lot over the years. But that’s no fun. Comparing players from different epochs just means you have to think a little bit harder about who is matching up.

Rather than institute a bunch of rules and caveats about this question, we just asked UPROXX writers to give us their dream 1-on-1 matchups. It’s part of the #Dime1on1 debate we’ve been having, so tell us about your dream mano a mano battle in the comments or on Twitter, and let us know what you think about the paired competitions we’ve come up with below:

Kobe Bryant Vs. Michael Jordan

Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan

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Imagine you’re an aspiring rapper in, say, 2004. Jay Z is arguably the consensus best rapper alive, and you idolize him, You call yourself the next Jay Z, you learn his flows — hell, you even try to work with his same producers. And a lot of people hear you, and dig you, and some even call you the next Jay Z. Well, guess what: Jay Z heard about you, and that same quality you worship in him and emulate — his ruthlessness, his absolute, steely-eyed determination — that tends to mean he doesn’t take kindly to rivals.

So you find yourself in a rap battle with him, either on the corner or on Yo! MTV Raps, or across Soundcloud tracks, it doesn’t matter. It’s you going toe to toe against Jay Z. But the thing is, you already laid out how much you want to be him, how much you love him, and now it’s just ammunition for him to fire back at you. All he has to do is sneer some variation of, “I’m already me. You ain’t me. And you’re never gonna be me.”

It’s over. What could you possibly do, call him a punk? No one’s gonna buy that sh*t. And what’s worse, hearing you right alongside him just reminds everyone you’re not the genuine article. Your best moves are his best moves, and he does them better. You lost the second you stepped to the mic. Anyway, I don’t think Kobe could beat MJ one-on-one.

Matt Rothstein

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