Earlier in the week Michael Jordan made headlines when he was asked who he would like to play one-on-one in his prime, and if he would beat them. Listing Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, and LeBron James, MJ said none of them could beat him, and then took a light jab at Kobe for "stealing" his moves.
This sparked a response from both LeBron and Bryant, but in a recent interview with Michael Wilbon, Jordan says he was not calling anyone out, and meant no disrespect. He was just saying what all great players would say: no one can beat them. Which is a mentality you must possess in order to truly be great in basketball or any sport.
"You know I meant no offense to any of the guys I mentioned, right?" [...]
"Each person I mentioned feels he would win those battles, and of course those are the guys you think of. Some of them I dreamed of playing when I got older, but they were past their primes by then," [...]
"I love what Kobe does, love him. And I love what LeBron does," Jordan said. "It's their stage now, it's their time. I wasn't saying that to go after any one of them. I wasn't. But it's being taken that way."
It's semi-surprising to see Michael Jordan, who is renowned for his cut throat competitive nature, go out of his way to clear the air. Not to say it's not a good thing, as holding onto petty rivalries, well past your playing days isn't constructive.