Hardy tells reporter he could beat LeBron

October, 15, 2013
10/15/13
8:00
AM ET
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It wasn't difficult to tell this was another one of Greg Hardy's bizarre conversations when I walked up on the end of this one on Monday between the Carolina Panthers defensive end and beat writer Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer.

Jones was snickering, and so were several around him.

Hardy was more animated than normal.

Before I go any further, let me preface that Hardy was wearing a pair of purplish-colored size 15 boots/shoes with a Toronto Maple Leafs logo on the side that looked more like something a mascot would wear. He also had on a floppy camouflage Miami Heat hat.

But this wasn't the bizarre part.

That came during the part of the conversation that I missed, when Hardy insisted he could beat four-time NBA MVP LeBron James in a game of one-on-one.

Again, let me preface that this is the same person who said during the preseason his goal was 50 sacks, more than twice the NFL record. He's only 47 short with 11 games remaining.

On to the conversation between Hardy and Jones that appeared in the Observer. Enjoy.
Q: If you went 1-on-1 with LeBron who would win?

A: How should I answer this question? . . . I would dominate that dude. Hands down, guaranteed win. And that’s my favorite player.

Q: Why?

A: I’m a beast

Q: He’s pretty good too, though.

A: What’s your point? Everyone says he can go to the NFL and play defensive end; who says I can't go to the NBA?

Q: I’m not saying you can’t. I’m asking, why do you feel so confident that you’d beast LeBron James in a game of 1-on-1?

A: I’m not saying I would beast him, but I would definitely win. I got a good shot, I got good handles, I got good size (6-foot-4, 275 pounds). I feel that we match up pretty well. I was a defensive player in college.

Q: Doesn’t he have about four inches on you? (LeBron is 6-foot-8, 250 pounds)

A: Maybe. I got like a 39-inch vertical. I’m a little bulkier too. But nobody knows I got hops.

Q: Didn’t you dunk on an 11-foot goal this summer? (Editor's note: It was a 10-foot-3 goal).

A: I got drastic hops. I feel I have a lot of the same tools he has and it would come down to who was the better basketball player.

Q: If y’all played to 11 by ones, who would win and what would be the score?

A: I would still win. Probably 11-9.

Q: Oh, so it’d be a tight game?

A: Yeah, it would be a tight game. I’m not saying I would dominate him. That was a joke. I feel like I’d definitely win. I think there’s a game there. I don’t think that I’m trash and I don’t think that he’s trash. I think it’d be two dominant athletes playing and I’d come out on top.

Told you it was bizarre.

But then, that is the world Hardy lives in.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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