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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. doug goble - Jul 21, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    Would the Cav’s have won game 6 vs the Celtics if Kobe, Magic, Michael, or Larry had scored 27 points, gotten 19 rebounds and 10 assists? Would Lebron have won one of the Lakers games if he had missed the winning shot of the game and Artest had put it in? Would the Lakers have won game 6 (the last of the NBA finals) if Lebron went 6-24 on 2’s and 0-6 on 3’s?

  2. arik421 - Jul 21, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    Why is everybody acting like Lebron had a team of scrubs??? Are we forgetting they had the best record in the NBA?? What happened?? What happened is exactly what Lebron said after they beat the Lakers for the second time during the regular season. He said “you can’t get excited over a couple wins because what counts is beating them in the playoffs”. He chokes every year in one form or another his own previous owner called him out on it. Even if he was emotional because Lebron was leaving it had to be based on some true feelings he had.

  3. Gasti Ratbu - Jul 21, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    Hey Moose, you need to get out of Legone James’ jock! LBJ, greatest ever?!? bwahahaha!!!! Greater than Jordan or Kobe? lol!!! hilarious!

  4. hurrup - Jul 21, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    what people seem to forget is that Lebron’s Cavs had the best record in the NBA for two season in a row. To say that he didn’t have enough “HELP” is such a cop out.
    The reason he left is because he can’t lead his team to a championship. He doesn’t have the leadership skills. He’s a chump

  5. avjoe - Jul 21, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    southsidewaze, you couldn’t be more right. I think it is crazy for people to start comparing Lebron to Pippen until Lebron has 6 rings. Pippen went to the conference finals with two different Jordanless teams (portland and the bulls) neither had as good of talent as the Cavs have had. This alone makes Pippen Lebron’s equal. Then add the 6 titles and what are we even talking about. People want to talk about Pippen’s heart, what about Lebron in the celtics series. Pippen was upset about not getting the last shot, Lebron wanted to dribble out a 2 minute clock. Anyone that watched the Portland Lakers series knows that the only one that didn’t crumble on that Portland team was PIppen. I am tired of the media hype, how about a little fact.

  6. Michael - Jul 21, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    Well lets see. Illgouskas or Cartwright. Jordan or Mo williams, Varajo or Horace Grant, West or Paxson, James or Pippen.
    I count the Cavs as better at one position there. 61 wins or not that wasnt the Bulls team.

  7. averagejones - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    Let’s face the cold hard truth, Lebron left because he hates Cleveland, not because they couldn’t get him talent to win. Detroit was able to get talent to win three championships the past three decades (two during the bird/magic/jordan era and one during the Kobe/shaq/duncan era) so don’t give me the sun and no takes routine. He could have done it but he just didn’t want to. He has been a pampered punk his whole life that was crowned a king by the hype machine. He is an outstanding talent with no heart. If you are from Cleveland this punk just spit in your face.

  8. Anonymous - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    I thought is was queer james.

  9. MAV - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    Uhhh…Wade and Bosh are the same quality as the help Jordan got?I’m sorry but Pippen was no Wade..There is a difference between a solid all-star and a superstar, not the same…How are superteams created from the draft? Are rookies leading teams to Championships?

  10. formerballer - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    I think averagejones meant “no taxes” routine, but I agree. I am tired of the talking heads giving KIng coward a pass because of the sun and no taxes. How about a player showing a little love for the hometown or the fans that have paid his salary for the past seven. I played a few years in europe and believe me when I say that the fans pay all these jokers. I’d have and now do play ball for free, it was a blessing to get paid to do it and I owed it all to the people who loved the game enough to drop a day or more wages to watch me play. It should always be about the fans, without them there is no “pro” ball.

  11. davidsux - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    you’re a lemon david…no go suck it

  12. jonesm - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    The fact remains , that Lebron James , let his entourage give him some bad advice , it doesnt matter where he went , he had that right , but its the cowardly way he went ,that hurt our city , on national TV? Yes he has talent and the right to market his talent anywhere , but its always better to never burn your bridges. HE MADE IT SEEM THAT HE WAS EVERYTHING TO CLEVELAND BUT WITHOUT THE FANS TO BUY THOSE TICKETS HE WOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN ANYTHING ,MONEY TALKS AND KNOW WHAT B.S. DOES , SO WE ARE MOVING ON WITHOUT HIM.

  13. Beijing - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    If James had joined Chicago or even NY, there wouldn’t be such a fuss because rose, boozer,amare are similar to the sidekicks that Jordan and Magic and Bird had. But the fact that he went to an almost equal who had already won a ring without him struck people the wrong way. Yes, Kobe wanted out before Gasol arrived, but do you think Kobe would have wanted to join Wade or Lebron’s teams?

  14. Mav - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    Uhhhh..that Lakers team lost to Detroit in the Championship, not the Spurs. They were going for their 4th title in a row. and adding two former allstars at the end of their career isn’t boosting your team. It was more like a favor to help those guys get rings.

  15. arik421 - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    Michael- I disagree with you because to have the best record in the NBA means that in that season they were the most dominant team in the league and their is no reason that momentum shouldn’t have carried into post season. Again, this is a team that beat the lakers twice during the regular season yet when it came time to hold the line thru the postseason they just buckle and fold.

  16. Mike - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    How many rings did kobe win without SHAQ and GASOL?

  17. Bill - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    Bob McAdoo?? Is this idiot writer serious? That worthless stiff blew every game he was ever put into back in those days! Magic and the 1980s Lakers had to win DESPITE having that clown on their team…

  18. Pippen33 - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    The bottom line is, if you want to compare any of these athletes, you have to compare them on one thing, and one thing along. WILL.
    Who can WILL their teams to an NBA championship. MJ, Magic, Bird, they all had the WILL to do whatever it took, even though they had surrounding talent, when it came time to take over a game, they took it upon themselves to win when it counted. That’s why D-Wade has a ring. He has that similar WILL to win, and consistently will take over a game when needed. LeBron hasn’t shown it yet, and because he now is on a team with someone like a D-Wade that has that WILL, I don’t know if it is something he’ll be able to grasp, or want to grasp. It’s one thing to have the talent, and THINK you can WILL your team to a championship, and KNOWING and DEMANDING that you can impose your WILL upon not only your team mates, but the opposing players as well.
    History will show every time, it is the rare athlete that has not only the skills, talent, and surrounding cast, but the WILL to win that takes them over the top time and again.

  19. arik421 - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    I agree with Pippen33. It’s about the team that surrounds you of course but it’s the determination from guys like Kobe, Pau, D-Fish, Ron Artest guys who were clawing through it who wanted it so bad. Look at the determination in Kobe’s face during the game where Chris Rock was chatting him up. Look into his eyes and say he is not living and breathing the game in that critical moment. It’s that tunnel vision focus that drives a team to championship. To say he didn’t have the team is absurd when you follow that with the fact that they had the best record in the league. Its a blatant contradiciton.

  20. charles - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    Kobe, MJ, Bird and Magic had a team, James didn’t.
    Magic don’t want James to be on a good team because he is with the Lakers and MJ don’t want James to be on a good team either because his Bobcat won’t have a chance. When Malone and them went to the Lakers he(Malone didn’t have any gas left in his tank), so Kobe was nothing(remember). James did the right thing by joining with Wade & Bosh. Start counting the rings from here unward!!!

  21. Pippen33 - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    …. and I apologize, I should have included Kobe with MJ, Magic, and Bird. A good example is Shaq. He may have won multiple championships, but it wasn’t his WILL to win, but Kobe and D-Wade who had the WILL to win. Same thing with Pippen. He won because of MJ, and when it came time for him to step up, it’s apparent that he did not have the WILL to win.
    It’s very clear and easy, looking back in time, to simply point to a guy who’s got that extra WILL to win, coupled with surrounding talent, that takes them to the top. LeBron may end up winning a championship, but it would be because of D-Wades WILL to win that brings him a ring. ‘Nuff said….

  22. David W - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    Matt- I agree with many points you make. You are correct that you would have had to “kill” MJ to defeat the Bulls in the playoffs. I disliked MJ and the Bulls deeply during their heyday but you had to respect his intensity. Kobe has the same “never give up” instinct that Michael had. LeBron lacks the will and discipline of those two and the patience to let Cleveland build around him. The Lakers didn’t win just because they got Gasol. They lost to the Celtics in 2008 with him. They won because they got Bynum back from injuries albeit only three quarters healthy. Drafted him, not free agented.

  23. David W - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    Matt- I agree with many points you make. You are correct that you would have had to “kill” MJ to defeat the Bulls in the playoffs. I disliked MJ and the Bulls deeply during their heyday but you had to respect his intensity. Kobe has the same “never give up” instinct that Michael had. LeBron lacks the will and discipline of those two and the patience to let Cleveland build around him. The Lakers didn’t win just because they got Gasol. They lost to the Celtics in 2008 with him. They won because they got Bynum back from injuries albeit only three quarters healthy. Drafted him, not free agented.

  24. Jim Bodin - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    Loyalty to any sports team is gone its all money or ego.

  25. Nick - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:15 PM

    This whole argument is silly anyway. Michael Jordan was on a completely different level from anyone who has ever played the game. LeBron NEEDS to have other amazing players to win championships, MJ (see his final playoff game before leaving the bulls) just took over games and exerted his will to win them. Kobe can’t do that (see 2010 final game) and LeBron could not carry his team in the playoffs. I understand the kids growing up today that are fans of LeBron, Shaq and Kobe won’t understand because they didn’t see it, but Michael truly was so much better than anyone who has ever played. I liken him to the way Tiger Woods is (at least until this year – lol).

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