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Antawn Jamison says Michael Jordan could average double digits in the NBA now, even at age 50

Feb 10, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

Michael Jordan

Could Michael Jordan still play in the NBA today, even at age 50?

No one knows for sure. But at least one veteran believes that Jordan could still be effective, despite the diminishing physical skills that all players deal with as the years continue to go by.

Antawn Jamison of the Lakers spoke on the matter before the Lakers defeated the Bobcats on Friday, and believes not only that Jordan could still compete in the league if he wanted to, but that he’d have no trouble averaging double digits in points while doing so.

From Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles:

“I wouldn’t doubt that in the right situation with a LeBron (James) on his team or with a Kobe (Bryant) on this team, he could get you about 10 or 11 points, come in and play 15-20 minutes,” said Antawn Jamison before the Lakers played the Bobcats on Friday. “I wouldn’t doubt that at all, especially if he was in shape and injuries were prevented and things of that nature.”

That’s saying a lot, considering Jamison has Bryant on his team, and only averages 8.1 points per game in 20.5 minutes per game and he’s “only” 36 years old.

“You hear stories still to this day, especially last year, him going to the practice facility and playing 1-on-1 with the guys and still they can’t stop him.”

It’s an interesting proposition, and Jamison likely isn’t alone in his thinking, here.

One-on-one games aren’t NBA contests, however, and despite Jordan’s unquestionable talent and feel for the game, the physical limitation of a body that will turn 50 on Feb. 17 isn’t something that can be overcome by bravado, will, or basketball IQ.

It’s fun to talk about and think about, the idea that the game’s largest living legend could come back right now and compete with the game’s most dynamic players. But it isn’t going to happen, so we’ll have to just take the opinions of current players like Jamison on the matter at face value, while dreaming up what-if scenarios to complement those thoughts.

  1. seanb20124 - Feb 10, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    His last year in the NBA he could barely move. Today he is overweight and slower I might add.

    • purnellmeagrejr - Feb 10, 2013 at 8:46 AM

      I seeem to remember tHere used to be an old timers game in the NBA but it was discontinued because old bodies were not meant to play Balll at a high level. Even on a very low level – I quit a few years ago playing with much younger folks as I knew I would hurt myself.

    • davidly - Feb 10, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      You mean the year he turned 40 and averaged 20 points a game?
      Yeah, but I get your point.

      • 00maltliquor - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:09 AM

        I know, right! These guys….

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      Yeah one on one against Bobcats is one thing but what about Kobe or Wade guarding him.
      I’m sure he could hit some jumpers and probably go to the hole against the Bobcats but against
      some twenty year old, I wouldn’t count him out.

  2. supremekingz - Feb 10, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    …Antawn Jamison forgot to mention that all of those 10 or 11 points would come at the foul line due to Jordan worshipping refs getting blue in the face from blowing their whistles so much when Jordan has the ball.

    • cantonbound13 - Feb 10, 2013 at 9:00 AM

      He wasn’t exactly surrounded with talent when he was on the Wizards & was double teamed.

      • fanofevilempire - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:20 PM

        leave Kwame Brown out of this.

    • davidly - Feb 11, 2013 at 12:47 AM

      Or maybe he didn’t forget to mention it because it’s a given. Name one perennial all-star who hasn’t benefited from the same?

  3. aschitown - Feb 10, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    If Jordan was doing was Sylvester Stallone was doing and using HGH, Jordan could still hang with these guys… hell, he could probably go on an HGH / Testosterone regiment for 8 months to a year and go back to being 35 again.

    If we ever see a Jordan comeback, you know he read this comment and went and got himself an HGH doctor. lol

    • badintent - Feb 10, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      Just like the current Celtics team , beating much younger players in OT games. Get WADA to investigate for EPOs !!!

  4. cantonbound13 - Feb 10, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Smart move by Jamison, he’s guaranteed a final contract with the Bobcats if no one else is interested.

  5. asublimeday - Feb 10, 2013 at 9:51 AM


  6. asublimeday - Feb 10, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    …Antawn Jamison forgot to mention that all of those 10 or 11 points would come at the foul line due to Jordan worshipping refs getting blue in the face from blowing their whistles so much when Jordan has the ball.

    Same thing happens with stars in the game today

  7. acdc363 - Feb 10, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    LOL cantonbound I waw thinking the same thing!

  8. money2long - Feb 10, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    do the bulls still want a SG

  9. secularhaze - Feb 10, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    the suns should sign him, we’d finally have a reliable scorer

  10. gasan2013pananaw - Feb 10, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    How did ypou know these Antawn? You wanna play at 50.

  11. sportsnut101 - Feb 10, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    Jordan would start for the bulls at 60. Their sg situation is the worse. Coach doesn’t wanna play butler to many minutes. This guy gonna get better for another team see asik for the rockets. I like the coach but he’s so stubborn.

  12. iknowzeroaboutsports - Feb 10, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Chuck Norris almost beat Jordan 1-on-1 the other day. Almost.

  13. jordanismyidol - Feb 11, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    Of course he can hes the g.o.a.t

  14. louhudson23 - Feb 11, 2013 at 5:48 AM

    Jordan had to work his ass off to produce for the Wizards and he still was a fine player,if not but a shadow of his former self. No doubt a quality point guard with multiple options could make Jordan’s life wonderful.His turnaround remains virtually unstoppable,however(extremely) limited his move to the basket. Open jumpers and ,turn around post ups and still a very smart team defender….. With so many yim yaps collecting checks (as ever)the idea that a smart and effective scorer like MJ could not give 10 quality minutes a night as an effective alternative to many,many NBA players is silly…..

  15. binarymath - Feb 11, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    The question of whether Jordan at age 50 could be a competent player seems to take the focus off a more interesting question: Will Jordan become a competent front-office exec before (or after) he turns 60?

    I’ll take the over…

  16. henryd3rd - Feb 11, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    John Thompson Sr. had it right. He’d be “Floor Jordan” not Air Jordan

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