Michael Jordan responds to Lavar Ball's one-on-one claim

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Lavar Ball, left, and Michael Jordan.
Lavar Ball, left, and Michael Jordan.

Months after bombastic basketball dad Lavar Ball made headlines by saying he "would kill" Michael Jordan "back in my heyday," the NBA Hall of Famer, UNC icon and Charlotte Hornets owner finally discussed Ball's comments.

Even "if I was one-legged," Jordan said of beating Ball one-on-one.

"You got to understand the source. I think he played college, maybe?" Jordan told campers at his Flight School basketball camp Monday. "He averaged 2.2 points a game. Really?

"It doesn't deserve a response," Jordan added, "but I'm (going to) give it to you because you asked the question. I don't think he could beat me if I was one-legged."

Ball, the father of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, fired the first shot in March.

"I would just back (Jordan) in and lift him off the ground and call a foul every time he fouls me when I do a jump hook to the right or the left," Ball told USA Today Sports as to how he'd beat Jordan. "He cannot stop me one-on-one. He better make every shot 'cause he can't go around me. He's not fast enough. And he can only make so many shots outside before I make every bucket under the rim."

Ball averaged 2.2 points and 2.3 rebounds a game in the 1987-88 season at Washington State, before he transferred to a smaller school seeking more playing time. That same season, Jordan averaged an NBA-leading 35.0 points for the Chicago Bulls.

Ball responded to Jordan's assertion Tuesday as mere "entertainment."

"Look at everybody, man. Everybody used to say, 'You know, I think Wilt Chamberlain is better than Shaq; I think Oscar Robertson is better than LeBron.' Now the story is LaVar is better than Michael Jordan," Ball told The Really Big Show on ESPN 850 WKNR in Cleveland.

Whether Ball would hang with His Airness is beside the point, as Ball himself noted. The publicity and headlines he has garnered with his relentless self-promotion and marketing of Lonzo Ball and his other basketball-playing sons, as well as his high-dollar Big Baller shoe line are what counts.

"C'mon, I didn't even play basketball in the pros and they're talking about me and Michael Jordan," Lavar Ball said. "That's what I'm talking about. He tells me he can beat me with one leg. Well, guess what: I can beat him with one hand. Now we both look like we out there like we can't play."

ESPN contributed to this report.