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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. T-Willi - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:33 PM

    Magic is lying thru the gap in his teeth !
    1. The way him and Isiah used to French Kiss each other before each game…there is no doubt if the current free agency agreement was in place, they would have played together!
    2. Plus magic walked onto a team that had a Hall of Fame center, and numerous other top 10 players in the league, at their given positions! They were a championship team before Magic.
    3. Rick Barry said it best, those guys are full of S…. Magic and Jordan hating on LBJ because he can possibly break all their individual records and team records !
    4. I admire them elevating themselves to being more than just jocks. They are businessmen, controlling their business.
    5. The league/ Stern/ and owners ( Jordan & Magic ) are mad because this may become a trend, where players determine a teams future.
    5. My advice to all the washed-up players…STFU & try to grow old gracefully……..and stop with all the woulda-coulda-shoulda !!!

  2. westcoastballer - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:33 PM

    Point #1 – I think “the Decision” was done in poor taste despite the fact that it was meant for a good cause. Quite frankly, you do not put a 1-hr special that is nationally televised unless you plan to stay with your hometown team. That’s like announcing your divorce on TV before telling your wife you aren’t going to be with her anymore. Classless.
    Point #2 – Despite his circus act, I see nothing wrong with Lebron exercising his right as a free agent. Cavs management and roster was in disarray, so I’m sure that didn’t exactly sell James on staying. If it were me and winning “soon” was at the top of my priorities, I too would have left the Cavs. Of course, the side-effect of leaving “your team” as the league MVP in order to join another superstar and an all-star means that he took the easy way out and will probably not be mentioned in the same breath as Magic, Jordan and Bird. Of course in the real world, when you know your company isn’t doing well, you have to consider taking your talents elsewhere.
    Point #3 – I think those of you who are willing to bet your house on the fact that Jordan, Bird or Magic could win with LeBron’s Cavs might want to reconsider. The Cavs roster wasn’t the problem, the coach was. Coaches are invaluable when it comes to making a talented team perform up to their expectations. We saw this with the Shaq/Kobe teams that couldn’t win games until Phil came to town. And we saw this with Riley
    Point #4 – As for those who thought that last year’s Cavs players (outside of James) were scrubs, lets analyze this…
    Shaq and Z – Old, but still better than most younger big men.
    Varejao and Hickson – younger, not extremely experienced, but talented.
    Jamison – Older, but talented still. A solid 2nd banana. Just needed more time to learn the system.
    MoWill – better than your average guard.
    AParker – serviceable role player
    DWest – talented swingman, but off-court issues were a distraction.
    That’s 8 players right there. Most teams regular rotations involved about 9 players, so adding a Jordan, Magic or Bird would more than likely yield a lot of wins and a shot a the title. I say “shot” because the Lakers had a superstar and excellent complementary players plus a world-class coach in Phil.
    Last point…game 7 of the NBA finals, game tied, 3 seconds left, who do you want taking the last shot? MJ? Bird? Magic? Kobe? Wade? Lebron? Reggie Miller? (I just threw Reggie in there to make a point)

  3. Making more money than YOU - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:35 PM

    Haters everywhere we go Haters everywhere we go!! Get a life losers

  4. Dave K - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    For anyone to say that Lebron is the best in the NBA is extremely shortsighted. As much as I can’t stand him, Kobe Bryant steps up his game and carries a team at crunch time. All I saw out of Lebron was excuses and turtling…
    Love him or hate him, Kobe is the best player in the NBA today, and this is from a die-hard Celtics fan.

  5. Rob - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    ‘The Decision’ may have gone overboard, and I repeat MAY HAVE, but it is really a great idea for a TV show. Imagine taking sports free agents, movie stars, etc., and having them decide whether or not they will take an offer on LIVE TV!
    Sidney Crosby “Resign or not resign with the Penguins”
    Peyton Manning “To join or not to join the cast of Dancing with the Stars”
    Angelina Jolie “Should I divorce Brad Pitt?”
    Anyway, you get the idea…they’ll probably have to contact LeBron James for permission though, since he probably owns copyrights to a show like that.

  6. mikesporty - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    Moose has no clue…

  7. Dave G - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    I agree with Dave K, Kobe like him or hate him is the best the NBA has because he has the will to win and when it comes to crunch time he always has the ability to turn it up a notch which is what Magic, Bird, and Jordan had. Also, please don’t tell me Jordan could not have won with the roster that LeBron had in Cleveland this past year, please, look at some of the supporting cast that Jordan had in his prime, he could have won in his prime with the roster Cleveland had last year. I am a Celtics fan too but come on, I have lost all respect for LeBron, any championships he wins will be because of D-Wade, because D-Wade has nothing to prove, he already won a championship without any superstars other than a Shaq Daddy who was already starting to slip. I think LeBron will still not get his championship this year because of who he is and what he did. Even though I am a Celtics fan I still feel sorry for the Cavs, not a way to treat any city or organization for that matter.

  8. jordan - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    moose = retard

  9. LEBRON - Jul 21, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    thank you fans for all the kudos i will try and live up to your expectations. lbj

  10. John - Jul 21, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    Yeah the Cav’s won 60 because of Lebron. Such a flawed argument. Let’s see how many they win this year. Magic especially and Bird and Jordan did have much better teams. It’s debatable if they would have won a title let alone multiple titles with the Cav’s but I am highly doubtful.

  11. Brian Yoder - Jul 21, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    What’s funny about these articles is the fact that these hall of fame basketball players are saying what they would have done, and these sports writers are calling them liars! LOL, it’s funny how people seem to know more about others than the actual people stating their own feelings do!!

  12. Jimy C - Jul 21, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    Am I mistaken or did not the Cavaliers have the best record going into the playoffs? If they did, it means they were an extremely strong team. Therefore, could they not have traded or used the draft to become even stronger? I object to the way Lebron has behaved in trying to stock a team.

  13. hs321 - Jul 21, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    The Pistons routinely kept Jordan and the Bulls out of the playoffs until everyone on the Bulls started contributing on offense, forcing the Pistons to play one-on-one defense instead of double and triple teaming Jordan, routinely holding him to fewer points than any other team.
    There is and never has been a one-man, championship basketball team. James is the most physically dominating player to emerge since Wilt Chamberlain, who never one a championship. He scored over 100 points in game. The NBA changed the rules to slow him down, as opposed to opening up the game to allow Jordan to score more points.

  14. Mobtown - Jul 21, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    Just remember not to spoil us with your play, and for the love of the game, please shake the other team’s hand after you lose in the ECF. Nobody likes to see you cry, but it’s become part of the game; that is, You losing the biggest games or riding the coattails of Kobe in the Olympics.

  15. rykeno - Jul 21, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    I disagree. If you look @ the history books, you need that bonafide 1-2 punch to win a ring. In other words, Batman needs his Robin, and maybe Batgirl too. If you put M.J. in his prime on last yrs. Cavs team with “past his prime Shaq”, maybe they could reach the finals. But to say they could win it all is too far fetched. No one on that team comes close to Pipen and my friend, Jordan needed Pipen to get those 6 rings!

  16. Gene - Jul 21, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    Jordan, Magic, and Barkley were all great players at one time. Past tense!!! Now, they’re just like the rest of us, armchair quarterbacks second-guessing someone else’s decisions. If Wade, James, and Bosh are all willing to take a pay cut just for the sake of having a winning team, I think that’s a good thing. People are always talking about greed amongst today’s atheletes, and here you have three guys that put winning before money. I say they should all be commended, and I wish them good luck.

  17. true fan of the game - Jul 21, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    LeBron’s biggest mistake is not going to the Heat but taking the number 6. That was Bill Russell’s number and should be retired by the NBA. None of the names being thrown around here will ever achieve the stature of a winner that Bill Russell has, least of all LeBron James.

  18. Doug - Jul 21, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    Did you see the look in Kobe’s eyes before he missed the winning shot in one game of the 2010 Finals and Artest tipped it in? Did you look into Kobe’s eyes when he went 6-24 on 2’s and 0-6 in 3’s in the FINAL GAME OF THE NBA FINALS. I don’t care how many games Cleveland won in the regular season, compare the rosters the greats played on. For even the most mentally and emotionally challenged in this string, I’m sure you can find the rosters of Lebron, Kobe, Michael, Magic and Larry. Oh, and did you see the look in Lebron’s eyes when he scored 21 points in game 3 vs the Celtics (got them off to a great start and they won)? And, oh, did you see the look Lebron’s eyes when he scored 27 points, got 19 rebounds and 10 assists IN THE LAST GAME OF THE SERIES AGAINST BOSTON? Lebron distracted, uninterested? Please look up Kobe’s many no-shows in the playoffs. Uneducated rhetoric is very easy kids. Objectivity in sports, not so easy.

  19. true fan of the game - Jul 21, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    Get a basketball history lesson, dude. Wilt one two championships and scored exactly 100 in a game, not over.

  20. Female Bball Fanatic - Jul 21, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Ok guys, here are the facts. For one, yes Jordan and Magic do have a right to speak out on the situation because they were asked. Two, we all know who the G.O.A.T is… (hint) Sometimes I dream, that he is me… Like Mike, get it, ok good. Third, Lebron James is a beast of a player. No one can take that away from him. Unfortunantely, he has hurt himself by jumping ship to another team to win rings. Yes, it was a smart move because he will definitely get a ring. King James himself stated that he knew he would not be in the discussion as one of the greats without winning a ring. What he failed to realize is him jumping ship took himself completely out of the discussion. His character and competitive drive are now in question. He lacks what a legend has… heart, killer instinct, and loyalty. MJ, Bird and Magic have that. Yes they had help winning their rings. MJ was drafted in 1984 to a 27-55 Chicago bulls team. He went to the playoffs every year. He got Pippen in the 87-88 season. They didnt win a championship until 90-91. Jordan waited. He didnt jump ship. Bird was drafted in 1978 to a 29-53 Celtics team. His first year they won over 60 games. There was no Parrish, Mchale, or Dennis Johnson when he did that. In the 80-81 season the Celtics surrounded him with the players and the rest is history. Magic was drafted in 1979 to a 47-35 laker team. His rookie year he won a championship with a 33yr old kareem, no worthy, and a michael cooper that averaged 9ppg. Same situation in 81-82 season. Worthy got there in the 82-83 season. A ring wasnt won with Worthy until the 84-85 season. All three of these legends stayed with the team they were drafted by. It’s called loyalty. Jordan went just as long as Lebron without a ring but did he jump ship? I think not. Lebron will always be looked at as the player that couldnt do it by being “the man.” End Of Discussion.

  21. Doug - Jul 21, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Sorry, forgot to mention Lebron scored those 21 points in game 3 vs the Celtics IN THE FIRST QUARTER.

  22. bballfan - Jul 21, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    matt im sorry but to say kobe owes his titles to shaq is just wrong just as its wrong to say magic owed his titles to karreem or jordan to pippen, in all of the cases every player contributed to the championship shaq wouldnt win without kobe being the player he is mj couldnt win if it wasnt for scottie etc etcin todays game its a team sport and no 1 person will win anything if they try to do it themselves, lebron had the people and he had the tools but he lacks the drive and team fortitude to get his cavs over the top. plain and simple

  23. Marty - Jul 21, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    When Jordan came to the Bulls, who were his teammates? Dave Corzine, Quinten Dailey, Orlando Woolridge, Sid Green? Then they added guys like Gene Banks, Kyle Macy and George Gervin. Jordan didn’t have much to start with……unlike Bird and Magic.

  24. OSchool - Jul 21, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    I disagree with most that think Magic and Jordan are wrong.. It is a different mentality with these “kids” who are after nothing but money and attention. They don’t earn their championships they take the easy way out. Most of you punk kids that watch the game today have no idea what a team looks like and hence you are spitting all your young ideologies and wear these moron’s expensive shoes and shirts. It was a great time to watch the Celtics, Bulls, Lakers in their day. There was true rivalries and players like Pippen, Worthy, H. Grant were made great by great leaders, that is what won championships! Again, most of today’s Lebron’s and Kobe’s are not leaders they are not even college graduates therefore nothing more than diminishing role models for kids. A different game, a different focus that is not a team but what is in it for me… #nbasucks

  25. dudeman - Jul 21, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    HS321 — Chamberlein did win a championship with the lakers (1972 with Lakers)…It took him a while, but he finally got one…
    Don’t disagree with King Jame’s physical greatness, but Miami is Wade’s team…If he was a leader, Bosh/Wade would have gone to Cleveland to join him….Plus, agree with above comments that Cleveland had enough to win…Someone made a good point yesterday that you can’t win without a top-notch coach…Just look at the list over the past two decades…Not sure how good the young coach is in Miami, but he’ll be gone quickly if they don’t produce…they won’t win anything until that happens…Everyone credits Shaq helping Kobe during his laker years — but really the missing ingredient was the zen-master jackson…love him or hate him, he put the pieces together…You have to wonder if Wade/James will let that happen…

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