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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. basically - Jul 22, 2010 at 11:25 AM

    Hakeem had Clyde Drexler, and David Robinson on that championship team and both of them were all-stars as well when they beat the Knicks.

  2. luffy - Jul 22, 2010 at 9:17 PM

    WTF?! Duh?! David Robinson? Dumbass…

  3. propeller517 - Jul 23, 2010 at 1:14 AM

    Pippen can’t lead a team?!?!?! BULLS (w/ Jordan) finals ’92- He lead the 2nd unit to a come from behind win against Portland. Even Jordan was cheering them in the sideline. BULLS (w/out Jordan)-He would have reach the finals in the ’94 season if it wasn’t for a phantom foul called against him, and on the same series, he demanded the ball on the last possession, because he wanted to prove to everyone he had the BALLS to take the last shot. (FYI- He lead the team (94-95) in some stat(sss)). Anybody would go berserk if they were in Pippen’s shoes. (Having to play in Jordan’s shadow for so long) TRIALBLAZERS – Mike Dunleavy & Maurice Cheek was so relieve to have Pippen on the court,cause they knew Pippen was keeping everyone in place, its just that mostly everybody (Portland) on that court never experience Big Playoff games. Same thing can be said about LBJ’s teammate (except for AGING SHAQ) Who should have retired 2 seasons ago. Pippen may not go down as the best player ever, but atleast (7 All Defensive Team) he was able to prove to everybody that he wasn’t backing down from nobody, and in conclusion – Both Mj and Pippen benefited playing with each other.

  4. derek - Jul 24, 2010 at 10:39 PM

    outstanding point……AND therein lies the difference between Lebron and Jordan……not wanting to be BUT being a “global icon”

  5. Kirk - Jul 25, 2010 at 1:29 AM

    First some bimbo impersonating a reporter says Jordan doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Now I’m reading this clown named David says Magic, because he agreed with Jordan, doesn’t know either! You have to give bimbo & dumbo credit, to say legends discussing how they would act in their own sport don’t know what they’re talking about takes a lot of balls.

  6. Maxroom - Jul 26, 2010 at 12:05 AM

    Yep, if he tears an ACL or gets a stress fracture? He may never even be in the discuss of “greatest ever.” He may end up as the greatest bust – the guy that never got over the top. You got to WIN to be in those discussions… Stockton & Malone used to get a lot of ‘pub’ but not so much any more.

  7. mal - Jul 26, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    okay okay, regardless how I feel about lebron (which isn’t very highly) you moron critics of HOF players is just obsurd. They made basketball what it is today. The NBA was a failing league until magic and bird came along. Then, lets talk MJ. Get your facts straight, that bulls dynasty grew up TOGETHER. Nobody knew pippen would develop to be a HOF player. but lets face it, MJ had something to do with his development. Pippen says so himself. They fed off MJ. They were afraid to let him and the organization down. that team was not handed to Jordan. He cultivated his teammates by example. the bulls wanted to catch up to him. so you clowns talking like MJ and Pippen just got together one season after seeing each others strengths and weaknesses, don’t know jack about basketball. Learn your history and quit letting espn and mtv think for you. What a nation or sheep we have become.

  8. mal - Jul 26, 2010 at 4:14 PM

    oops. thats, what a nation of sheep we have become. I just don’t understand how people can wear MJ shoes and clothes, cologne, etc., try to play like hime in the worst way (KOBE) and now folk cant even listen to what the true greatest of all time has to say. its not like he condemned lebron, but he did make his point as being the greatest competitor. Respect people.

  9. luffy - Jul 26, 2010 at 11:45 PM

    Agreed to all the MJ comments. And I respect MJ as well, he is the greatest and the real deal but please leave Kobe’s name out of this. He’s a good player and not trying to immitate MJ, are you a Celtics fan of some sort? Whatever…

  10. mal - Jul 27, 2010 at 12:09 AM

    I cant leave Kobe out, but only because he says he modeled his game after Jordan. those were his words. nothing really wrong with that. hell, others have tried (baby jordan anyone?) and failed. I actually like kobe so forget that celtic crap you refer to. I’m from the Chi. It always MJ G.O.A.T here.

  11. brian - Jul 27, 2010 at 2:43 PM

    talk about completely missing the boat. LBJ on par with Jordan? How old are you, 15? I figure you’re atleast old enough to follow Lebron from his rookie season but not quite old enough to even remember the color of Jordan’s shoes. Lebron is more Dr. J with a dash of Magic then MJ. As far as basketball skills and talent goes, Lebron isn’t even in the same zip code as Jordan. So please, let’s leave the G.O.A.T. argument for those that are actually deserving. I’m the biggest Kobe fan but not even he cracks my top 10 G.O.A.T. list and LBJ isn’t even in the same hemisphere as Kobe. For those of you with short term memories, go back to 2000-2004 game tapes. Kobe was LBJ before LBJ even strapped up for his first hs game. Difference is Kobe wasn’t and still isn’t the physical specimen Lebron is. I’ve been saying it for the last 5 years now, I’m curious to see Lebron’s game 4 years from now, about the age of 29/30, once his body starts to decline. Will he improve his post-up game? Will he improve on his outside shot? He hasn’t really made the strides yet but the future is yet to be written.

  12. ridicuuulous - Jul 30, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    that would have never happened. the cavs player choked every time LBJ did not score 30points or more,also you could not even touch MJ without a foul being called,plus those guys never came up with an ideal like that when they already had a well established team,plus they had help LBJ had help when the players thought they could show up,if he did not score 30 points or more or shall isay get a triple-double they would loose.This is a 25yr old man who wants a ring,for seven yrs he played for cavs and recieved 0.You cannot win a championship by youself.Idont care if you guys talk about other player,they had help and i am surprised at MJ,Magic,comments.

  13. BallerIQ - Aug 1, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    Cleveland is a good regular season team, bottom line, but come playoff time they suck. People can say all they want about Lebron, but remember, this isn’t streetball, (which is basically how the Cavs offense is), they had Lebron dribble from the inbound pass, and have him create for almost the entire duration of the offense. Mike Brown fails as a head coach, their offensive schemes fail, that it took them this long to fire Brown shows how much basketball they know in Cleveland.
    Then you get matched up with an outstanding defensive team like Boston, why, you’re basically begging to lose. No one man can, or will, ever beat a team, no matter how good Lebron is, and he is argueably the best individual player in the NBA.

  14. Anonymous - Aug 3, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    well i dont see no ring on james wow superior to what you

  15. James - Aug 4, 2010 at 12:10 AM

    It’s not the players that surrounds Lebron its the coaching that doomed Lebron from winning any championships in Cleveland. Let me walk you Laker Fans down memory lane, Shaq, Eddie Jones, Van Exel, Kobe,Fish, Elden Campbell, Jerome Kersey off the bench that team back from 1996-1998 Laker team was a team with a TON of great players, but did they win championship….NO!!! Del Harris and Mike Brown are both the same coaches they are good regular season coach but when the pressure builds up, they succumb to it. It took Phil Jackson with half the talent of the Laker squad before they won that elusive championship back in 1999-2000. So please spare me the criticism about Lebron having a better team because it’s been proven that talent alone doesn’t win championships, Coaches do. If you still don’t believe me look at the roster of the Portland Trailblazers 1999-2001 with Sheed on his prime!!!!!!

  16. david - Aug 4, 2010 at 7:28 PM

    Who cares if you agree or not you didn’t play in the NBA or on the team so you just have your opinion.
    Lebron, punked out and so did Wade, they knew they don’t have the stones to carry a team from year to year.

  17. Anonymous - Aug 5, 2010 at 4:33 AM

    I guess winning in high school makes u all knowing about the pro’s. That’s awesome that your life will forever be remembered by winning in high school.

  18. Russ - Aug 5, 2010 at 5:56 PM

    A lot of people thought they could hang with Jordan, including a young Kobe Bryant. If you could set up a meeting between Jordan in his prime and Le Bron, it would be ugly. Jordan would school Le Bron and make him sell his crown.

  19. will - Aug 12, 2010 at 8:16 PM

    all due respect to MJ. but if we do some history Jordan was primed to win titles because Philly, LA, Boston, and Detroit had spent the previous 11 years beating the stew out of each other! What mighty caliber teams did Jordan ever beat? And truth be told Jordan pushed off that on famous shot against the Jazz! Magic beat Doc, twice. Doc beat Bird in conference finals and the year before Bird beat Doc, ’81. Malone and Doc beat the Lakers in ’83. and the next seven years it was either L.A, Boston, or Detroit. And then finally Jordan got his. After everyone esle had gotten theirs. We are in a new day so rumble young men, rumble…..Go Lebron, D-Wade, and C-Bosh and later for all those old farts including “aint got one Barkley.”

  20. will - Aug 12, 2010 at 8:28 PM

    it only took bird one year to win his title. the same year magic got paul westhead fired. Magic was ridiculed in the press back in the early eighties because of that. People forget that Magic had his problems early in his career. All they see is his championships. Bird one his first title in ’81 and “CornBread” Maxwell was the finals mvp and not Bird. Celtics were down 3-1 in e. conference finals to sixers and came back to win and then won title. All of these guys had issues. It was said Bird and other Celtics got tired of Bill Fitch and that was why he was fired and they brought in laid back K.C. Jones. But all the Lebron haters don’t know the history of guys like Magic and Bird so they jump on Lebron. These guys had their problems and have not been the angels with wings we would like to make them to be just because they won championships. We all know magics problems. Bird shacked up too. So get all the facts.

  21. The Anti-Crust - Aug 13, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    In the last few years, basically since the Lakers acquired Pau, and Bynum started to mature, Kobe has not had to come out “blasting” (taking every shot) from the start, yes some games he does, some games he may only take 3 shots in the first quarter. His scoring average has been dropping as a result. Surrounded by such a talented big man such as Pau Gasol, Kobe has bought into the Triangle Offense more than before. His shooting percentage has suffered because of his broken finger, and because he continues to be the guy who takes the last shot in the quarter in an isolation play, and it tends to be a jumper from 20 plus feet out, so throw in that, plus his recognition of shooting quickly at the end of quarters to get two possessions instead of one, as the clock winds down adds to his poor shooting percentage. For his career he is a 45.5% shooter, and there is no pattern actually relating to drop off due to age or that injury. However there is one fact that his best shooting years were the years the Laker won their first triple

  22. BBall I.Q. - Aug 15, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    I agree! LeBron has won nothing yet! He can not be refferred to the greatest player of all time! I am an ex-Laker fan. I stopped being a fan when the last player of the most exciting team ever formed (Showtime) left, and that was James Worthy. Magic Johnson is the greates player of all time, to me! Everyone’s talking about how MJ didn’t get a ring for his first 7 years and Lebron hasn’t gotten one yet and is in his 8th season! But Majic was on his 5th ring in his 9th year. Yeah he had help but He was the Ultimate Floor General! There is no one that has or can direct the game as Magic did! Furthermore, how many rings did LA when before The Magic Man Showed Up. And what were the T.V. ratings before Magic an Bird Stepped into the League?

  23. Anonymous - Aug 15, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    One problem that LeBron has and other “out of High School players” run into is that they have no clue of wha pressure feels like nor do they know how to when under such pressure. You see how long it took Kobe to begin to understand Basketball pressure. Besides he grew up watching his Father under game pressure!

  24. BBALL I.Q. - Aug 15, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    The fact is that Magic beat Bird in college in “79” and then came to the NBA to win the Championship in his first year! Magic beat Bird Twice for championships before bird ever got close to beating Magic! Bird may have won the Rookie if the year award but that’s not what reason that most players enter the league! They had to give him something because Magic wasn’t giving him “NADA”

  25. tesh - Aug 16, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    Whoa clearly you dont remember the 90’s Will,
    refresher who Jordan subdued in his prime, Clyde the Glide Drex,Hakeem O, Karl Malone (and his two all-stars), Patrick and Knickers, Barkley and suns, Reggie Miller. so many superstars were denied their rings because of Jordan’s reign. Jordan a ballhog? only when it required winning, which is why we play.

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