Unfortunately, those dream matches never even had a chance to happen because the primes of both teams passed each other. Heck, by the time James got to the NBA, Bird was already president for basketball operations for the Indiana Pacers.
What we want to look at instead are dream matches that could have happened, but due to various circumstances, simply never did. And most likely never will. Here are just 8 picks of mine, and I’d love to hear yours in the comments.
The Catch: Remind me again when either of these teams made it to the Final Four, let alone the Finals? Sure, NU made it last year, and they look to be making it again this season, but prior to that, their last Final Four appearance was in 2001, and their last Finals appearance was in freaking 1954, the only time they ever had a men’s basketball championship. Meanwhile, UP has…an amazing cheerdance team.
Likelihood to Still Happen: 9/10. It’s only a matter of time before both teams coincidentally become competitive enough to hit the finals, right? We’re just playing the odds here.
The Catch: Fortunately (or unfortuantely), cooler heads prevailed when Seagal apologized to Van Damme and proceeded to dodge the fight he was initially goading JCVD into. The two are still frenemies (I hate that word, but it’s funny when attached to these guys) who banter with each other every now and then, but it doesn’t seem like a fight between the two of them would ever happen.
Likelihood to Still Happen: 5/10. Expendables 4 could figure something out especially since Seagal is open to the idea of appearing in the action franchise. I know Van Damme’s character is dead since the second film, but it’s not like we watch the Expendables flicks because the scripts make sense.
The Catch: Daniel Bryan is currently injured, and we have yet to know when he will come back and how well he would perform once he’s back. Kurt angle is making overtures to the WWE to return once his contract is up, but who knows when anything would come out of that?
Likelihood to Still Happen: 7/10. I honestly believe this depends on the health of both competitors. Kurt Angle may not make it past the battery of medical tests the WWE would want him to take before letting him wrestle again, and Daniel Bryan might never be the same again after all these surgeries. Once the health issue are cleared, though, the WWE would be stupid to not put these two together at some point before Angle retires.
The Catch: Well, we all know that never happened, since it was Orlando-Houston in ’95 and then Seattle was the Finals opponent for the Bulls in ’96. Hakeem will go down as one of the greatest ever, but unlike Bird vs. Johnson, Jordan never had a contemporary to be compared against during his era. It was never remotely close.
Likelihood to Still Happen: 0/10. Unless you mean a Chicago-Houston Finals in general, that window of opportunity to see a 7-game series between Jordan and Olajuwon has clearly passed us already,
The Catch: Apparently it has been too much, since Kobe hasn’t made a Slam Dunk Contest appearance since ’97, and James has yet to make even one.
Likelihood to Happen: 1/10. A blaze of glory moment for Kobe this coming season, maybe? If it doesn’t happen by then, the likelihood of a slam dunk competition between Kobe and LeBron approaches 0, since Kobe’s likely hanging it up after two years.
The Catch: The fight nearly happened in 2010, but as Mayweather approaches the 49-0 record held by Rocky Marciano, and Pacquiao continues to bog down his schedule with politics and now the PBA, it is clear that neither is prioritizing meeting each other in the ring at this point. Pacquiao, Arum, and even HBO and Showtime seem to all want it to happen, but Mayweather is noncomittal about it at best. Can’t risk having his streak being broken. Just look at the Undertaker.
Likelihood to Happen: 2/10. They have two years to pull it off, at the rate things are going. Keep your fingers crossed, but don’t hold your breath for it.
The Catch: The two can’t exactly stand each other. Had they both been younger and active, I’m sure Vince would have figured out a way to push all that aside, but now that both have cemented their respective legacies, neither has any motivation to pursue a match. Besides, Austin has been vocal about not really wanting to wrestle again.
Likelihood to Happen: 0/10. Even if they wrestled each other, would it even be considered a match or a downright disaster, considering both men’s physical limitations?
The Catch: But it didn’t. Negotiations got progressively more ludicrous by the minute, according to UFC head Dana White. It seemed that Fedor’s handlers were either overestimating how much they could bilk from Dana, or they simply didnt’ want to risk Fedor’s mystique at a time when Brock Lesnar seemed unstoppable. Then next thing you know, both men started losing.
Likelihood to Happen: 0/10. They’re both retired now, and the only chance for them to fight would probably be in a WWE ring, and that is a possibility nobody has even bothered considering by now, since Fedor is virtually irrelevant in 2014.