Michael Jordan had a rather strong basketball career. He won six NBA championships and five MVP awards. His average of 30.1 points is the highest of all time.
Then again, Roger Federer could have an even better résumé for tennis. His 17 Grand Slam titles are the most in the Open Era and his 302 weeks ranked No. 1 in the world are most all time. From 2004-2008, Federer stood atop the rankings for a ridiculous 237 consecutive weeks and from 2005 Wimbledon to the 2010 Australian Open, he played in 18 of 19 Grand Slam finals.
And of course because both mega-athletes have relations with Nike -- Jordan Brand is a subsidy of Nike and Federer has his own apparel line, RF, within the company -- they can do absurd stuff together. Before Federer's opening match at the U.S. Open on Tuesday night, the duo announced a hybrid RF/Air Jordan tennis sneaker featuring both lines' logos.
"I don't want you to play in a shoe that doesn't feel well," Jordan said, according to ESPN.
— Complex Sneakers (@ComplexSneakers) August 27, 2014
Jordan also attended Federer's Tuesday match to see the new kicks in action after the two legends linked up Monday.
"He was one of the smoothest movers out there," Federer said. "Meeting him yesterday for the first time was a big deal for me. It was a sort of special last 24 hours plus."
Federer won his match over Australian Marinko Matosevic 6-3, 6-4, 7-6. Jordan, sitting in the same row as Vogue editor Anna Wintour, cheered for Federer and the newest addition to his sneaker closet.
"I know nothing about tennis," Jordan said. "He's a good athlete. I know he played basketball a bit."
Tennis History agrees. The Twitter account dug into the Federer Files to find a picture of a young Federer with Jordan pasted to his wall. Federer, who was born in Switzerland and grew up near the France and Germany borders, donned His Airness right next to Shaquille O'Neal.
— Tennis History (@HistoryOfTennis) August 26, 2014
"When I was younger, [basketball] was really big on the German TV stations," said Federer, who does not remember having a Jordan jersey. "I think every Sunday they had unbelievable big NBA highlights. That's where I saw his doing all his moves. I wasn't necessarily a Chicago Bulls fan or anything like that.
"He was my hero of all sports. That's what he was for me growing up. Besides [Stefan] Edberg and [Boris] Becker being my tennis idols, I had Jordan as my all sports idol."
Switzerland is not exactly a hotbed for basketball, but there are clear similarities between tennis and basketball, two sports that require lateral movement and stamina.
It is thus not surprising a tennis prodigy like Federer could have taken an interested in Jordan.
"The longevity, the way he made it look easy, his will to win, wanting to the best, delivering under pressure, being a superstar in a team sport, carrying his team for so many years -- there's so many things he did well and represented the game nicely," Federer said. "That's why he became my idol."
It is easy to forget despite Federer's elegant demeanor and family devotion, he is only 33. Jordan is 51. Federer was born in August 1981 just a few months before Jordan's freshmen season started at North Carolina.
In the present, Jordan is now the individual out of playing condition (although he can still shoot), while Federer still may have a few years left at the top level. It is Federer's time to offer some advice to MJ.
"I guess he wanted to know some things about tennis," Federer said about their Monday meeting. "How I prepare, how much I play, where I go next. You exchange each other's ideas about your respective sports and that's kind of what you talk about."
Federer's encounter with Jordan was enough of a deal to open an Instagram account: @rogerfederer. His only upload, a snap with Jordan, has already garnered over 32.4 thousand likes.
Coming off a runner-up performance at Wimbledon, Federer has a legitimate chance to contend for a title at this year's U.S. Open. The former World No. 1 has not won a U.S. Open since 2008 or a Grand Slam since 2012. Federer's next challenge will be Sam Groth, ranked No. 104, from Australia.
In terms of basketball, Federer embraces his umbrella of the non-contact atmosphere of tennis.
"They're all bigger and stronger than us," he said of basketball players. "I guess we need more endurance overall."
As for those interested in Federer's basketball skills, he lacks confidence. On the topic of his jump shot, Federer said:
"Not great. It's OK. Looks good, but results are not the best."
Don't worry, Roger. No one will judge you without watching Jordan hit a few serves.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.