Five one-on-one match-ups the NBA needs

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CJ McCollum NBA
Jonathan Ferry/Getty Images

One of the ultimate challenges in the game of basketball is one-on-one.

How dope would it be to see that at the NBA level?

We got a glimpse of it a couple of years ago when a few NBA players on Team USA participated in head-to-head match-ups that had everyone talking.

In his recent podcast, CJ McCollum presented the idea with his NBA colleague, Spencer Dinwiddie. It would be an event during All-Star weekend, where guys could play a one-on-one tournament and even have the ability to bet on games. McCollum’s backcourt teammate Damian Lillard presented the idea of having the ability to challenge someone specifically which in Lillard’s eyes would expose half of the NBA.

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This is a dope idea that I would love to see come to fruition. Basketball junkies and even the casual viewer loves a good one-on-one game and having the ability to watch the world’s best go at it would be incredible.

Listening to McCollum and Dinwiddie talk about this proposal got me to thinking who I would love to see go at it in this tournament. So I decided to provide my top-five NBA one-on-one match-ups I would love to see.

Russell Westbrook vs. Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard vs Russell Westbrook NBA
Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no question that there is real tension between these two. Lillard claims it’s just competitiveness and has denied the presence of beef, but that wave during the 2019 NBA Playoffs said otherwise.

Kawhi Leonard vs. James Harden

Kawhi Leonard vs James Harden NBA
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Best offensive player vs. best defensive player; it doesn’t get much better than that. We’ve seen these two battle multiple times, but with Leonard being damn near unstoppable on the offensive end, this would undoubtedly be a fun match-up.

Joel Embiid vs. Nikola Jokic

Joel Embiid vs Nikola Jokic NBA
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

In a perimeter driven league, the battle of the best big man in the NBA is one that can’t be forgotten. These are two talented individuals who can literally do everything on the floor even playing with their back to the basket which is rare in the NBA today.

Brandon Ingram vs. Jayson Tatum

Brandon Ingram vs Jayson Tatum NBA
Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Number two and number three picks in their respective drafts, these Duke Alumni are on the rise. They’re currently making their stride in the NBA today and amongst a few others looking to take over as the face of professional basketball.

Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James

Michael Jordan vs LeBron James NBA
NBC Sports

This is the battle that I’m sure everyone would die to see. Two legends, who in their own right have carried (and still carries) the league for years on years. They have put together some of the best professional careers an athlete could ask for. One of the biggest ifs ever would end a generational debate that we will never get the answer to.

Kudos to CJ McCollum for bringing this proposal to light. I’m sure it may have been discussed before but this is the first time that I’ve heard it.

This is something that a declining NBA All-Star Weekend needs. With this league being as progressive as we’ve ever seen, I’m curious to see if this will actually happen and if so, who will participate.

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