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

Jul 20, 2010, 11:20 PM EST

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. Dee - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    Times have changed; why can’t everyone move on and let LeBron’s decision (which he has already made and it is not going to change)speak for itself when the new season to starts. Enough already.

  2. talkingsense - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    Michael Jordan nor Magic Johnson is not responsible for the decision LBJ made. It is not their place to try and influence another’s decision to do something; besides, owners cannot contact free agents or players during a certain period of time. LBJ decision needed to be his own and he is the one who has to stand up to that decision no matter how it turns out. I also agree with Magice & Jordan on LBJ’s decision. LeBron had enough talent already in Cleveland to with an NBA title…he just didn’t get it done and he was not willing to stay until he won one for Cleveland. Stop defending him if you really know what it takes to be a real competitor and play with heart and desire and a killer instinct. It takes those qualities and factors to win a championship too as well as surrounding yourself with other exceptional players; but in the end the leader has to step up.

  3. John - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    Lebron and the Cavs had the best record in basketball the last two years. You don’t get that without help. He just is not a leader. He choked the last two years. Everyone was picking the Cavs to come out of the East and eventually win the title. Now everyone is saying that he didn’t have any help.

  4. Rick - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    BS

  5. J Ram - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    I can’t speak about magic or bird, but jordan stuck it alone, and you guys like to bring up Pippen, truth is jordan made pippen better, you think pippen can run a team on his own???? Please. Also im tired of people saying James didn’t have help, Cavs had best record in the NBA two years in a row, and reached the finals not that long ago….

  6. Q - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    I feel you. Not calling Pippen a scrub, just pointing out that Jordan made alot of those guys. Paxson, BJ Armstrong, Luc Longly, Wennington…I could go on. Pip did do his thing. Acted like a lil biatch sittin on that play though.

  7. GeorgeB - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Jordan and Magic need to put a sock in it, they both had a great supporting cast. There is a lot more parity these days in the NBA, LeBron made a good business / career decision. Sad when has beens have a need to get press.

  8. J Ram - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    grow up, you probably started watching basketball in “04

  9. Jimee Johnnson - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    LeBron didn’t have close to enough talent to win a championship with Cleveland. Comments that imply he did are just opinion, and far from fact. Nice try, though. You can fool some of the people some of the time. When LeBron and the Heat KILL your team we will see what you say. Killer instinct: that’s a good one!

  10. J bernal - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    The eastern sports establishment has made Lebron James into an icon above criticism. James is good; but not as good as he and sports writers in the east think. He had a good team in Cleveland, surely as good as the team in Chicago that Jordan led to championships. James has conceded that he cannot lead a team to the NBA championship. Now he will team up with two others, one a legitimate star who has won the top prize (Wade) and the other a somewhat over-rated forward. James will just be one among three. I’ll bet they don’t win much in the first two-three years. They have yet to show they can beat either Boston or Orlando. But the eastern wing of the self-proclaimed experts on the NBA won’t recognize this until after the fact.

  11. Wes - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    This is as simple as it gets. Lebron can’t win a championship on his own so he had to team up with other good NBA players. Jordan had role players and Micheal Jordan made Scottie Pippen what he is. If it wasn’t for Jordan then Scottie Pippen would have been a nobody. I hate the Lakers but Lebron can’t even hold Kobe’s jock strap. Kobe is by far the best player in the NBA.

  12. Qman - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    You got it right J Ram. Can’t wait to see the meltdown when the so called dream team blows up. It takes more than 3. These guys need to rest during a game. Who comes in?
    LeBron took the easy road and thats his perrogative. Didn’t like the way he did it but as he said he did what was right for him but that is also why he’ll never be on the same level as MJ, Bird, Majic or Kobe no matter how many rings he wins. He’ll be remembered like Pippen, Worthy, and McHale. Great players who had real superstars to help them win but could never carry a team to the promised land on there own. Nice Legacy LBJ

  13. Q - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    Gotta disagree with you on Kobe not having that will to win. We didn’t go off in the final game but ask Portland, Phoenix, and countless other teams that he has hit game winning shots against IN THE PLAYOFFS if he has the will to win. Folks can hate on Kobe but the truth is other than MJ, Kobe is THE BEST 2 GUARD THE LEAGUE WAS EVER SEEN. Numbers and film don’t lie. Give that man his props.

  14. GW - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    Since I saw the ‘entire’ comment from Magic, his point was very valid. In his day, he went to a team that already had Kareem, Jamaal Wilkes, Norm Nixon, and later added James Worthy, Byron Scott, and Michael Cooper, so the front office for the Lakers did what they needed to do to bring championships to Los Angeles. The same with Boston, although it took Bird a little longer to win a NBA championship, the front office still surrounded him with players to make it to the top: Dennis Johnson, Kevin McHale, Cedric Maxwell, Robert Parrish, etc. The problem in Cleveland is that in 7 years, they didn’t do any of that. Getting an OLD Shaq last year was not going to be the answer in the playoffs, were more minutes would be required as opposed to the regular season. Plus Cleveland’s guard play was horrendous!! And this year was even worse because they fired their coach without even having a plan for his replacement. Then they did not even try to bring Dwayne Wade, nor Chris Bosch, nor any other free agent to Cleveland. If Cleveland want to be upset with anyone, be upset with management because they did not even have a back up plan IF in the event LeBron left. Even in Chicago during Jordan’s first seven years they made moves to get players AND coaches to win Championships(i.e. Horace Grant, Scottie Pippen, John Paxson, Steve Kerr, BJ Armstrong, Phil Jackson). What LeBron has seen is what Boston has done recently to win a championship (KG, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce) and what LA has done (Kobe, The Spaniard, Fish) and took the opportunity to try and make it happen in Miami. He didn’t owe Cleveland any explanation, any apology, or any ‘heads up’ as to his decision. He’s not a villian, nor should he be hated as one. If anything David Stern should be the happiest man on earth, because the NBA is getting all of this publicity and he hasn’t had to do anything. I’m a long-time Laker fan, but I’m hoping that Miami does well, because it will be great for the league, however I want the Lakers to win the title next season.

  15. TERRY - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    SCREW YOU DEE GO BACK TO THE KITCHEN WHERE YOU BELONG!!

  16. LOSERINDAPAINT - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    wow moose are you really that naive, first off im not an la fan or any other type of city fan, i am a pure basketball fan simply put lebrick will never be the greatest he will always have that asterisk next to his name, i do agree he will win probably 1 maybe 2 rings although im not 100% convinced, as for the kobe being selfish and not assisting, uhm what playoffs were you watching, the last 2 years he has had the best assists for a playoff of his career, he is on par with jordan because he know how to get his teammates involved, hence the 3 by fish, or the 3 by artest so go back and learn a few things about a player, now onto the statement of lebrick being unselfish omfg, u have to be smoking crack, lebron by far is the MOST selfish me me me player ever to touch the ball, he did have a very good team around him and several of them would be allstars mo shaq z jamison verijao, hell if kobe wade mj magic or bird had those teammates they would still have wone championships, lebrick just doesnt have the xfactor and needed to go to miami to leech off of wades mojo. so before you post anything else moose verify what your talking about then stfu

  17. tp - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    When Jordan left those guys were clearly also-runs. When he came back they were champions again.

  18. Qman - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    Dude that all sounds nice but you’re leaving out some facts
    - Cleveland fired there coach because King James said he could no longer play for him. Then he left
    - Cleveland acquired the players King James wanted and suggested. then he left and blamed them.
    - Cleveland spent money to get players there only mistake was listeneing to LeBron and what he wanted
    - They realy weren’t that bad of a team. They tore up the regular season and there previous playoff opponents until they went up against a team ( Celtics) who wanted it more.
    - A real Superstar leads by example. He didn’t inspire or make any of teammates better. That’s the quality that every superstar who wins in the NBA has. The ability to make those around you better. Magic had it, Bird had it, Kobe has it, MJ got it later in his career. So far LeBron has not. He hasn’t figured it out yet. Now he’s hoping that DWade and Bosch willl take the heat off of him.

  19. susan - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    When compared to Jordan, Magic and Bird, the one thing that tends to be overlooked, is that they were not friends. LeBron, Wade, and Bosh were not only drafted together, they were then… and still are friends. Wade and LeBron played in summer leagues together before they were drafted.(I’m not certain about Bosh.) I can’t see any wrong in this dynamic trio. Hopefully Shaq is on his way too.
    Best of luck to LeBron and “Z”. Cleveland blew it. Go Miami!!!
    Akron fan

  20. Anonymous - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    Every team in the Eastern Conference will take sides to every opposing argument against the LeBron’s decision joining the Heat. Well tough luck. There is one thing that we tend to forget here and this is choice, which tells that in this giant industry call the NBA there is still one thing that does not exist and the is monopoly. It might appear that it does for a moment, but free agency defeats the process. Thanks for this process. I will say it again, “LeBron James will be fine.”

  21. Qman - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    Magic and Bird were the best of friends so you got that wrong. MJ I am not sure about

  22. sb - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:10 PM

    what are you smoking?!?!?

  23. Pen man - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    I would take Jerry Lucas, Jerry West, Bill Russel, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird Wilt Chamberlain, Scotty Pippen & dozens of others before picking LBJ to be on my team. He still plays like he did in high school which was good, but when you reach the pros you need to step up your playing & be a team player, not just playing to make a name for yourself. When you make a name for the rest of your team mates, then you are a true pro.I hope all three fall over each other & the Heat finishes last & Cleveland wins the championship with what they have now.

  24. Mervin Sanchez - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    Sports is all about competition, and like Jordan said, it defeats the purpose of the challenge to get to, AND to win the Finals.
    I’d love to climb Mt. Everest, but if there was an easier way of getting to the top, I’d probably take it… but in retrospect I’d miss out on the journey, and the hard work of getting to the top. Which is the most important part of reaching the summit…

  25. ROCKY - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    THANX PEN MAN ….. WELL SAID !!!!!! JJ HICKCON IS A BEAST AND I THINK WITH BYRON SCOTT THE CAVS WILL SUPRISE A LOT OF PEOPLE .. WOULDNT BE GREAT IF THE CAVS KICK THE MIAMI HEAT RIGHT OUT OF THE PLAYOFF !!!!!!!!!!!!

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