Michael Jordan vs Allen Iverson 1 on 1

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Allen Iverson and Michael Jordan are 2 of the best scorers in NBA history, but what happens when they face off one on one? Can either guy truly guard the other player, or does this become a stalemate among cultural and generational icons? Our panel discusses, but you decide:

Michael Jordan stands about 5 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier (50! Pounds if he’s at his 1991- weight) than Allen Iverson. Some might think A.I could use this size difference to his advantage…not. We’re talking about one of the greatest defenders of all time and maybe the greatest perimeter defender ever. Let’s not let one crossover fool us folks, the highlight of Iverson’s career is crossing M.J., that should say it all. The only area I could see Iverson besting Jordan is shooting the 3 besides that M.J. is better at everything else. 4 scoring titles is impressive…M.J. has 10, Iverson’s MVP season was impressive…but so were Jordan’s 5. In this game Iverson would be able too boogie (Stephen A voice) on Jordan once or twice but M.J. is too big and too agile, I don’t know how Iverson would hope to guard Air Jordan.

Jeez. I don’t like this one. Iverson could give MJ a real problem one on one. MJ had a bit of trouble defending those little speedy guards (rightly so at 6’6), and Iverson was probably the best of the offensive minded small guards. MJ was a much better shooter and would kill Iverson in the post. They were both nasty competitors. I think MJ would win most of those. He would calculate some weakness and exploit it. No cakewalk for MJ though. Iverson destroyed everyone off the dribble in his prime.

The Iverson vs MJ debate honestly is a no brainier. Almost every physical advantage there is goes to MJ. Thing is against just about every other player that wouldn’t matter because one on one AI was that good. His speed and ball handling would allow him to get to any spot on the floor he chose to. If AI was 6’6 he would be arguably the greatest ever but he isn’t and this match up is against the greatest player ever MJ. The fade away jump shot from the post over either shoulder is frankly unstoppable and unguardable for a undersized AI. Not to mention hang time and the highest vertical leap ever recorded in league history ( don’t believe me google it for fun) MJ is the unanimous pick here.

It pains me to say this, but I can’t see any honest way that Iverson wins this. Yes, we all know about the crossover that Iverson unleashed on the basketball world (Jordan included), but let’s keep things in perspective for a second; when you look at that play, despite MJ being 34 years old, he still recovered and forced Iverson into a hell of a shot. In fact, to me, the shot was more impressive than the actual move. Now, if you give me an in-his-prime Jordan defending Iverson, and that’s the kind of shot that Iverson has to take and make to beat Jordan, then it’s just not going to happen because on the other end, Jordan is going to get easy looks galore in the post. Iverson was tough, and wasn’t intimidated by anyone (including Michael Jordan), but Jordan wasn’t intimidated by anyone either. Growing up as an Iverson fan, it breaks my heart to say this, but A.I. has no chance here.