Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Charles Barkley All Aboard the 'Criticize LeBron' Train
Can we propose a moratorium on criticizing LeBron James' move to the Heat? What's done is done, and we won't even have a solid idea on how the new-look Heat will preform until at least a few months into the season.
"There's no way, with hindsight, I would've ever called up Larry (Bird), called up Magic (Johnson) and said, 'Hey, look, let's get together and play on one team,' " Jordan told NBC yesterday after playing in a celebrity golf tournament. "But ...things are different. I can't say that's a bad thing. It's an opportunity these kids have today. In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys."
"From college, I was trying to figure out how to beat Larry Bird," says Johnson.
"It was never a question in our mind because nobody has ever done that," he said of the possibility of teaming up on a single team with Jordan and Bird.
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Both of these guys seem to be implying that Wade and James should have remained on separate teams, trying to beat each other in the playoffs. But let's be honest, that wasn't happening. The Heat of the past few season certainly didn't have a roster that could make a serious run deep in to the playoffs, and it wasn't, obviously, all there for Cleveland either.
Both Johnson and Jordan were on supremely talented teams, and had major help from other players. These are the guys that redefined what an NBA superstar is. It wasn't someone who was merely a good player, it was someone who had a fistful of championship rings. So to criticize LeBron for making a move that gave him a good shot at taking home the championship, seems sort of shallow.
In fact, later Johnson admitted that it's pretty much a necessity to win big.
"I think he will be, one day, a great businessman," Johnson said. "The first order of business for LeBron is to win championships. If you build your brand on the court, then that will take care of the off the court brand."
Well, let's see what a NBA legend who didn't win a ring has to say. What say you Charles Barkley?
"He'll never be Jordan. This clearly takes him out of the conversation. He can win as much as he wants to. There would have been something honorable about staying in Cleveland and trying to win it as the man. ... LeBron, if he would've stayed in Cleveland, and if he could've got a championship there, it would have been over the top for his legacy, just one in Cleveland. No matter how many he wins in Miami, it clearly is Dwyane Wade's team."