Saturday morning quick hits:
### LeBron James could have simply ignored Michael Jordan’s suggestion that he would favor Kobe Bryant over LeBron because “five [rings] beats one every time I look at it.”
Instead, LeBron offered a reasonable response when asked about that Friday, and give him credit for answering the question honestly.
“Jordan said he would take Kobe over me because five rings are better than one. At the end of the day, rings don’t always define someone’s career,” James said at an NBA All-Star Game news conference in Houston. “If that’s the case, then I would sit up here and say I would take Bill Russell over Jordan. But I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t take Russell over Jordan. Russell has 11 rings, Jordan has six.
“Jud Buechler had multiple rings; Charles Barkley doesn’t have one ring. He’s not better than Barkley. Patrick Ewing is one of the greatest of all time. Reggie Miller is one of the greatest of all time.” Neither Ewing nor Miller won NBA titles, of course.
### Magic Johnson also weighed in Friday, saying on Twitter: “If MJ and LeBron played one-on-one 10 times, MJ would win all 10. MJ is the ultimate 1 on 1 player.”
### An associate of Mario Cristobal pointed to a significant salary increase as one reason for his interest in the Alabama offensive line coaching job. Cristobal interviewed Friday.
### UM’s Julian Gamble, on the Hurricanes basketball team appearing in the first news block of SportsCenter, something that would have been unfathomable a year ago: “It’s cool, but we don’t want to let it go to our head. We don’t want to be arrogant.”
Said Reggie Johnson: “We continue to get better. That’s the scary part.”
### Gamble on Shane Larkin: “It’s incredible to see how much he’s grown. He never ceases to amaze. I don’t think anyone can guard him one-on-one.”
UM (11-0 in the ACC) plays at Clemson at 6 p.m. Sunday on ESPNU.
### A few points made by Todd McShay on ESPN’s draft conference call Friday: He said even if Matt Barkley had turned pro after his junior year, “I believe Ryan Tannehill was better. I just don’t see the exceptional skill set with Barkley. What does he do that’s special?”….
Though Mel Kiper has Miami taking Tennessee receiver Cordarrelle Patterson with the 12th pick, McShay said his Volunteers teammate, Justin Hunter, “is the much better receiver. But Patterson will get drafted earlier because he’s such a freak.”… McShay has Miami taking Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro at No. 12….
McShay said he believes Alabama guard Chance Warmack “is the best player in the draft. At 8, he’s worth the pick.”… Two potential second-round options at offensive tackle for Miami should Jake Long depart: FSU’s Menelik Watson and North Carolina’s Brennan Williams. The Dolphins pick 42nd and 54th in round two.
### Toronto shortstop Jose Reyes told ESPN this week that days before trading him, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria encouraged him to go ahead and buy a home in Miami.