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Winderman: Jordan would have called Magic and Bird — he wanted to win

Jul 19, 2010, 1:28 PM EDT


When did Michael Jordan become like our dads?

When did he start with the, “Well, back in my day…”

Because if he truly is going to thrive as a franchise owner with the Charlotte Bobcats, then perhaps there is a need to recognize he is not back in his day, and that the world has changed since there was a one-star-per-team limit.

The latest, and best-chronicled, is the comment Jordan offered during his latest whirl at celebrity golf over the weekend.

“There’s no way, with hindsight, I would’ve ever called up Larry, called up Magic and said, ‘Hey, look, let’s get together and play on one team,'” Jordan said. “But that’s . . .  things are different. I can’t say that’s a bad thing. It’s an opportunity these kids have today. In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys.”

In other words, he wouldn’t have gone LeBron, wouldn’t have sought refuge in the land of Wade (and Bosh).


Understand, Jordan wanted to win, had to win.

So let’s say Jerry Krause pulled his ultimate power play during Jordan’s career, during one of those seasons when Michael was on the year-to-year plan. Say Krause won the power struggle with Phil Jackson, excised the coach, and got into a stare down with Jordan.

Can you honestly say Jordan then would have moved on to the Clippers or Warriors or Raptors, or stayed with a rebuilding Bulls team just so he could have competed against Shaq and Malone and Reggie?

Or, like LeBron, would he have said that he wanted to play deeper into the playoffs, play alongside someone who could keep him there.

For Jordan, there always was the luxury of playing alongside Scottie Pippen. He didn’t have to find a running mate; he always had one.

And it’s not as if LeBron still won’t have his moments this coming season against the likes of Carmelo and Durant and Pierce. The challenges still will be there. Plenty of them. With many motivated opponents.

Put it another way, do you honestly believe Jordan would have hung up if Larry or Magic or Charles had actually called, if there was such an opportunity, during a period of much more restrictive free agency?

But this is good to know, and good for those in Charlotte to know.

Because if Michael does have the opportunity to land someone like a Chris Paul, bring the point guard back to North Carolina, at least Bobcats fans would know that Jordan then wouldn’t try to add a Carmelo, as well.

In M.J.’s view, that clearly would be unseemly.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

212 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. TDog - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    You whiners are beyond stupid. Get a life.

  2. Mike - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    The difference between Jordan and James is Jordan made everyone around him better. The fact that Scottie Pippen was named one of the 50 greatest NBA players during the leagues 50th anniversary season is proof. The second that guy left Chicago he was exposed as a decent player but certainly not an all time great. James might win a title with Bosh and Wade but Jordan did it with Bill Wennington.
    James is a great talent but when it’s all said done he’ll be a notch below Jordan, Kobe, Bird, Magic, etc.

  3. Anonymous - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    This article is garbage

  4. TL - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:14 PM

    Jordan DIDN’T call Magic/Bird… who the bell his Winderman to say any different. MJ didn’t. That’s a fact. How can you write a nonsense opinion contradicting FACTS.
    MJ didn’t need them to be great. He made others around him great (e.g. Pippen).
    I’m just glad MJ is black – otherwise he’d he a KKK member or it would somehow tie back to slavery.

  5. don - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    A young Jordan saw the Lakers, already with West and Baylor, go after Chamberlain. He could have easily told Reinsdorf he needed a Wilt back when the Pistons were kicking their butts. I go with MJ at his word on this.

  6. Nadeem - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:22 PM

    I wasnt ever a fan of MJ. But, Ira is a pathetic reporter if he reads the “In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys.”, but not the “But that’s . . . things are different. I can’t say that’s a bad thing. It’s an opportunity these kids have today”
    He said that thinks are different now and therefore whts “these kids” are doing is fine. he was replying to the question if the stars playing for the same team was bad thing!!
    Ira is just another Heat fan boy.

  7. jonnymac - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:23 PM

    dumb article…..Jordan (of who I was not a fan) is Old School…..and the Old School was much different than today’s self-absorbed millennial idiots.
    Can you imagine Jordan, Magic, or Bird calling a one hour marketing fiasco press conference about a ‘decision’?. Child Please!
    Oh and by the way all you Kobe Haters…..the MAN himself JORDAN has now said that KOBE is the better player over Lebron!….(youtube it if you don’t believe me)… closed….oh that is unless you think you know better than his royal airness!…..LOL

  8. blarson - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    He didn’t say he wouldn’t play with Bird or Johnson, he said he wouldn’t go out and plot the starting roster. Miami’s introduction of the “three” was an embarrassment. Wonder how the other “teammates,” using the term loosely, feel.

  9. Matt - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    How does Ira keep his job?

  10. TL - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    Jordan DIDN’T call Magic/Bird… who the bell his Winderman to say any different. MJ didn’t. That’s a fact. How can you write a nonsense opinion contradicting FACTS.
    MJ didn’t need them to be great. He made others around him great (e.g. Pippen).
    I’m just glad MJ is black – otherwise he’d he a KKK member or it would somehow tie back to slavery.
    Winderman is a heat homer.

  11. Matt - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    How does Ira keep his job?

  12. kwame - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    are you gonna be ok?

  13. ur an idiot - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    “Jordan would have called Magic and Bird”….seriously, I think history proves otherwise. This is about as stupid as it gets.

  14. Nick - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    LrBron is a limp dick
    Has always been a limp dick; will always be a limp dick
    And now he has DWAde to suck on

  15. Geoff - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    Wow do people even read what they write – or at least think about what they are saying first? Jordan, Bird and Magic didn’t have to worry about calling each other because they were placed with the top talent in the league. Bird, Parrish, McHale, Worthy, Magic, Kareem, Michael and Scotty had a common thread. They all were in the Top 50 players of the game. Let’s not forget the “role” players they were with like Rodman (arguably) the best rebounder ever. It was a different day, a different system of free agency and a different day. And for all it is worth, Kobe had to have Shaq, ODom/Gashole and others around him to win too.
    However, when they NEEDED to win and had options they all came together and played on the Dream Team. If they were the great competitors they claim, why did they join forces there on the world stage?
    As far as Jordan not doing an hour special, how do you think we got here? From Jordan! I think I still have VHS tapes declaring “Come Fly With Me,” “Airtime” and “His Airness” “Michael Jordan to the Max” and “Ultimate Jordan” that showed almost 90 minutes of self-serving highlights, tail-kissing and marketing rhetoric and I actually paid for some of those stupid videos. How about “Space Jam”
    It is easy for him to say what he would do now, because he doesn’t have to do it. But, let’s face it, Michael never did pass up a chance to have his face on TV. He didn’t then, doesn’t now and won’t in the future. It is too bad though because Michael Jordan the GM and owner couldn’t lick the ball sweat of Pat Riley’s jock – I guess that is why he has to talk as a has-been player…

  16. Dave - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    The point of the story everybody is missing is that, Lebron was not trying to beat D. Wade or Chris Bosh. There teams were pathetic playoff teams who they could easily dismiss. Lebron was trying to beat the Celtics, Magic and Lakers. So to compare what Jordan said is reaching. If Lebron tried to team up with Kobe now that would be the equivalent. D Wade is good and Bosh is ok. Magic and Bird are HOF. No comparision. D Wade can change a game. Bosh can’t. Magic and Bird could.

  17. Francesco - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    Comparing Pippen to either Dwayne Wade or Lebron James is stupid. Clearly, either one of them was a better player than Pippen. Wade and Lebron are considered 2 of the 3 best players in the NBA. With the Bulls, Jordan was #1 and Pippen was more comparable to Gasol.

  18. Chris - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    Winderman, you are such an idiot.Just be thankful you got Bosh/Lebron otherwise you’d probably be out of a job. Hands down the worst writer in sports.

  19. ed wall - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    i agree with GQ ..SHUT THE #%^%&&(*) UP!!
    any comparison with mj to lebron james or wade or bosh
    is a joke…
    bunch of pompous ..big mouth primadonna’s…
    queen james cannot win it on his own..he has to be with his
    friends..what a loser!

  20. K T. - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    Your comments are,just like you,DUMB AS HELL.

  21. Gilbert A. - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    The only thing worse than Michael Jordan the baseball player was Michael Jordan the GM. Did you all see the crap he saddled our Wizards with? And for that they let him own a team. HaHa! At least he is guaranteed not to be the worst owner in the NBA – Donald Sterling has that sewed up forever! Go Clips!!!

  22. DK Anderson - Jul 19, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    The difference between LeBron and MJ boils down to this: MJ wouldn’t have wanted to join DWade, he’d have wanted to crush him.

  23. wpb1212 - Jul 19, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    You’re right, from ’84 to ’87, Jordan did not have Pippen. How many championships did the Bulls win those years? How ’bout none! Guess Jordan sucked those years and magically got better when Pippen arrived. He too would have gotten tired of scoring 40-50 each night only to come in 7th or 8th in the conference!

  24. WBC - Jul 19, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    You justify this article with an obvious bias to Miami because it benefits you. Michael Jordan played with the team that was presented before him and allowed people to rise to their best ability under his leadership. He didn’t leave Chicago when he knew Krause and Jackson were constantly fighting because it was in the team’s best interest he stay.
    Trying to build a team of your buddies to me shows your motive and the biggest problem that most of us is that James had no intention of considering the Cavs, Bulls or anyone else except for Miami. So he played and wasted everyone’s time by acting like other teams were an option.
    That speaks volumes to his character and Michael Jordan never asked for money for the sake of the game.

  25. Nick - Jul 19, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    bang bank time in Cleveland when the Heat visit this fall.
    Can’t wait.

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