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Magic agrees with Jordan: 'That's not what we were about'

Jul 20, 2010, 11:20 PM EDT

magic-johnson.jpgTimes are different.

LeBron is teaming up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Michael Jordan said the other day he wouldn’t have done that, he wanted to beat Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, not partner with them. Not everyone — including our own Ira Winderman — buys that.

But Magic Johnson said he agrees with Jordan.

“We didn’t think about it ’cause that’s not what we were about,” Johnson said at Baruch College in New York, according to Bloomberg News. “From college, I was trying to figure out how to beat Larry Bird.”

Let’s also be fair here — Magic didn’t have to.

He was drafted onto a team with Kareem Abdul Jabbar near the peak of his powers, one of the greatest centers and offensive weapons ever to play the game. That team also had sharp-shooter Jamaal Wilkes, Norm Nixon and Michael Cooper among others. Pretty soon the Lakers added guys like Bob McAdoo and a few years later drafted James Worthy (thanks to a steal of a trade).

Magic didn’t need to join forces, he was drafted into a powerhouse lineup. Bird had McHale and Parrish. Jordan was not alone — Scotty Pippen and a host of perfectly complimentary role players.

Nobody wins a title alone. You can debate if you want whether LeBron should have waited in Cleveland for them to build a roster around him, but nobody — not Magic or Bird or Jordan — would have won a title with the rosters LeBron has had.

231 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. maxyk734 - Jul 21, 2010 at 7:52 AM

    JORDAN AND MAGIC JUST SHOT UP AND DONT JUDGE LEBRON FOR WHATEVER HE CHOOSE TO DO YOUR DAYS ARE OVER ANF GONE THIS IS NEW GENERATION AND ALL ABOUT BUSINESS.THE OWNER IS ONLY AFTER THE SELL OUT TICKET AND NOT ABOUT LEBRON WINNING CHAMPIONSHIP.TO HELL WITH YOU ALL.

  2. prophet - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:17 AM

    just one question: what have any of you accomplished athletically ,that you have the right to comment concerning any of the names that are mentioned(magic, bird, mj,mamba, lbj)how can a bunch of”legends in their own minds” make such negative comments, its funny how we can sit a computers and think that any of these guys care about your comments

  3. GoSox - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:30 AM

    Seth Meyers on ESPY awards:
    “Cleveland, don’t worry about winning a championship without Lebron. Every single team that has won a championship has done it without Lebron.” LOL!
    Still, all this yapping about “the Decision”. Let’s move on and stop getting crazy and stressed about it (yes, maxyk734, I’m talkin’ to you.) A lot of people won’t think about this again until the playoffs in 2011. Even if the Heat get the best regular season record (been there, done that, right Lebron?), they’ll have to kill in the playoffs and win the championship before they can even start talking about dominance.

  4. Tom Selleck - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:31 AM

    No one is saying LeBron needs to win a title by himself. They’re saying in order to be the true global icons James portrays himself to be, he needs to win a title as the undisputed #1 take the last shot player on his team. No one is saying he had to stay in Cleveland. The players there stunk. What he needed to do was find a team that already had the McHale, Parrish, and Ainge level players so he could step in and be the Bird player. No one would have complained if he went to Chicago because he would have still been the #1 player.

  5. bones - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:37 AM

    The difference is the WILL to win. Jordan, Magic, Bird, and even Kobe pulled their teams in the direction they wanted to go and everyone had to want it just as badly or they got an ear full. Watch the sidelines and you don’t see that with LBJ, just pranks, jokes, and goofing off.

  6. BWHAHAHA!!! - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:41 AM

    Um would you rather be the League MVP or the Finals MVP? Lest ask Queenie James. Oh that’s right, he has no idea what it’s like to be a finals MVP. My bad.

  7. loungefly - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:41 AM

    Wow…okay guys, it’s obvious Moose is an immature kid who thinks he knows something. Moose, you are getting shredded on this topic. Everyone is rightfully ripping you for your…well, to put it how it is…retarded comments/opinion. I don’t think 1 person here agreed with you. “Enjoy the ride”? As a Lakers fan, I am enjoying the ride my friend…5 rings the past 11 years? yeah, I’m cool with that. I’m riding while you are still at the bus stop. I understand you may be excited for the Heat, and rightfully so, heck I am too, but let’s not count our chickens before they hatch. With your quotes about LBJ being the greatest ever? Well, he certaintly has the tools BUT not the hardware/rings that come with that status…Do you see the correlation of the players mentioned as the greatest on this board? MJ, Kobe, Magic, Bird, Shaq?…multiple rings! Until LBJ (whom I enjoy watching) wins a few, he is still a rung below. Oh…and don’t think the Lakers are not licking their chops at a 3-peat. Kobe is a gamer…a killer…he is already working on getting his 6th ring. He has a great supporting cast, everybody knows their roles. Alright Moose, you make it too easy. I’ll stop now.

  8. ToKingSellOut - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    It’s not about the teammates LeBron had, it was the coaching! Mike Brown was horrible! He was the worst substituting coach of all time! He did what LeBron told him to do. He was not a coach he was an ambassador for LeBron. King “I’m No Longer A Legacy” James is finished! He will never be categorized with Jordan, Magic, Bird, Bryant, and even Wade. He took the easy way out! “King Sellout” should be his new name.

  9. Q - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:54 AM

    Bird and Magic were great but their teams weren’t winning jack before they got there. Rob Parrish was a SCRUB in Golden State and McHale was wack. Also had Cornbread Maxwell and KC Jones. Terrible team. They did trade for Dennis Johnson, other than that the C’s mirrored the Cav’s. Lakers had Kareem. Rest of the team was role players (Cooper & Wilkes not exactly Hall of Fame players) They DRAFTED Magic and traded for Worthy during THE DRAFT. Smart business moves. Again, Lakers didn’t win jack before his arrival. And lets not put Pippen on such high ground. The Bulls drafted a cat from NE Oklahoma that nobody ever heard of. Even Jordan on draft day was like WTF?! Who is that? They had an older Ron Harper, Dennis Rodman gave you those game changing 11 boards every night and those critical 2 points! He was Ben Wallace for crying out loud! Kukoc was nice, but how many allstar teams did he make? 0.

  10. loungefly - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:57 AM

    Oh man…get off the soap-box. THIS IS A “COMMENTS SECTION” FOR THE ARTICLE, NIMROD! Jezuz…know your audience…apparentely, we do but I don’t think you do. Your reasoning makes no sense…for example, because I’m not a senator, I can’t comment on politics? Because I’m not an actor, I can’t comment on a movie? Think before you post.Every single sport section in every newpaper makes comments. I’m sure everyone here puts sports in a rational perspective in their lives…they know the players are probably not reading this BUT fans in the similar vein are…that is who they are targeting my wise sage friend. Prophet, go back up the hilltop and consult with the oracle before you make any other crass comments…

  11. Q - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    Most importantly to me, I hate the way he dissed Cleveland. I believe he burned a lot of bridges and goodwill by leaving. They will hate him there. What if he goes to Miami and doesn’t win? Whats he going to say then? Wade and Bosh were scrubs? His legacy is forever changed. He could win 5 titles in MIA and still be one behind D-Wade. What if they win next year and he’s not the main reason why they do? People will say that MIA could have won without him.

  12. sdspt28 - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:04 AM

    Magic’s point is that he wouldn’t have let manipulated a trade to MAKE a team. He (and Jordan) were part of teams that grew organically. Sports are great becuase they show the true character and competiveness of athletes. I think Lebron was scared to be a leader.

  13. loungefly - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:07 AM

    Good point…Mike Brown was a lackey…he had no spine. I’m sure looking back, the Cavs probably wished they got a new coach a few years ago. I think he should stay where he is best at…being an assistant coach.

  14. Reality Check - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    Lets get to this fact. This is the first time that a player that was the 2 time defending MVP left a team that had the best record over the last 2 seasons. That doesnt happen. This would not be such a big deal if Wade and Bosh went to Cleveland.

  15. TD - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:14 AM

    The only thing Kurt got correct is that you don’t win a title alone. I notice he neglected to mention the Piston’s of the same era or the Piston’s of 2004. LeBron took the easy way out and crapped on the city of Cleveland, not for leaving, but for how he left.

  16. H25 - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    good point

  17. Q - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:22 AM

    I totally agree. Lebron winning 1 in Cleveland would have been like winning 4 in Miami. If he brought that city a championship(their first in any sport in about 50 years) he could have run for freaking Mayor and won in a landslide. He took the easy way out. If they do mess around and win at least one title, and I don’t see it happening anytime soon, he better be the Finals MVP.

  18. Aron - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    If they hate then let ‘em hate and watch the money pile up.

  19. MC - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    I have no problem with LeBron leaving. It’s the way he handled it that bothers me.
    As for what Magic and MJ have said, I agree. While it may be smart for LeBron to head to a team with other top line players, it’s kinda a cop out. It’s just a big disappointment for fans to see that. I’d much rather see Wade and James go at it in the playoffs. If this happened without all the egotistical fanfare, I’d have gotten over it, fast. But these three babies jerked around the rest of the league for the past two years. Shameful and cowardly.

  20. Geoff - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:40 AM

    Not sure if you’ve ever seen the Heat play but NO PLAYER plays any harder than D. Wade. He didn’t have the supporting cast in most games. It was almost as if he HAD to take control of the game. We’ve seen Kobe have to do that more than once and usually with the same result …. a loss. Championships just are not one by the efforts of one man … no matter how good he is.
    Michael J. was AMAZING but without Scottie Pippen, he too would have been frustrated about the lack of offense his team provided without him.

  21. tigerhater - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:42 AM

    Let’s compare LBJ to Magic, Michael and Larry.
    Magic, Michael and Larry are successful business men who used to be great basketball players.
    LBJ is a very good basketball player who looks and acts like a pimp.
    He’s low class or no class, take you pick.
    He had the tools in Cleveland. As someone mentioned earlier, his team won 60 regular season games. He chokes in the big games when it really counts. He can’t lay that off on anyone but himself.
    I guess with his money, new and old, he could afford quite a few pimped out cars / trucks / SUVs.
    He’ll always be a pimp.

  22. HP - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    I doubt McHale and Parrish would have won any championships without Bird. Likewise, Pippen and Rodman wouldn’t have without Jordan. What made these guys different was that they made these other players around them better players. Most of the players mentioned who accompanied the greats would have been nice NBA players for their careers. Labron has yet to make any other player great. Maybe Wade can do that for Labron…….

  23. loungefly - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    I agree with most of what you said but the part about the Bulls was waaaayyy off. Pippen is an HoF, nuff said. Lets not detract the fact he was a vital cog to the 6 rings. Harper did his role and Rodman was an defensive beast. Kukoc? Kukoc could have been arguerably the best european player in the NBA AT THE TIME!. Wait? I’m checking on that…Yeah! He was! The guy was 6’11” with outside range! Just because he had zero all-star games, does not mean he was a very valuable player. Don’t let the “glamour” hardware (all-star appearances, scoring titels, etc) fool ya…that philosophy would mean guys like McGrady and Starbury are all time greats…nah..not even close.

  24. CJS - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    Are you telling me that Bird, Magic or Jordon could not have won with Shaq, Z, Mo, Jamison? BS – you have two solid centers (granted old but can still take up space in the middle, rebound, block shots, and score), a solid point guard that can score, a solid forward that can score, and a host of other role players. LeBron should have won with that team and D-wade, Kobe, Bird, Magic, and Jordan all would have won with that team.

  25. Al - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:56 AM

    Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson had the talent and the opportunity to play for any team in the league, just like Lebron has now. The difference is, Lebron lacks everything Jordan, Bird, and Magic excelled in… class, sportsmanship, and drive.
    I think it will be funny to watch the Heat fall apart in the playoffs with this amazing cast of misfits.

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