There is not anyone Ja Morant does not think he could take on the basketball court, even prime Michael Jordan.
In an interview with Taylor Rooks on Bleacher Report Live Sunday, the Memphis Grizzlies star said he wishes he could have played in Jordan’s generation.
“Just how he went about the game, just that mindset he had,” Morant said. “I would have liked to have played against him.”
Rooks replied, “this time you’re not saying ‘I would have cooked him.’”
“I would have cooked him, too,” Morant said. “Nobody got more confidence than 12 [Morant’s number]. …I’m definitely gonna go and say nobody is gonna beat me 1-on-1 in anything. I don’t care what sport it is, soccer. Who the best player in soccer? C’mon. We can play.”
While Morant has unwavering confidence in his ability to “cook” Jordan had he played in his era, he also has plenty of respect for the Hall of Famer. The topic of Jordan came up when Morant was asked what he would have said to him had he gotten the chance to talk to him.
“Thank you — for the reason a lot of people want to play the game of basketball,” Morant said. “To even be there with him, I didn’t see myself doing as a kid, but [possibly] having the opportunity to talk to him, to introduce myself…I don’t know what I would have said.”
The 22-year-old has plenty reason to feel confident in himself. He is coming off a breakout season in which he averaged 27.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game and was named to his first All-Star team.
He played a big role in securing the Memphis Grizzlies the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference before they ultimately fell to eventual champion Golden State Warriors in six games for a second-round exit.
Morant was injured and did not play in the final three games, though. Had he been healthy, it is worth wondering how differently the series may have played out as Morant had scored 34, 47 and 34 points in the three games he did play.