Latest News, NBA / Jul 21, 2010 / 11:00 am

Magic: I wouldn’t have teamed up with Jordan and Bird

After Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley weighed in with their thoughts on Miami’s “Super-Friends” collaboration, now Magic Johnson is having his say:

“We didn’t think about (superstars teaming up) ’cause that’s not what we were about,” Magic told reporters during a visit to New York. “From college, I was trying to figure out how to beat Larry Bird.”

That’s following Jordan’s comments over the weekend that he never would have teamed up with Magic and Bird because, “In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys.”

However, both Michael and Magic admitted that times are different now. “It was never a question in our mind because nobody had ever done that,” Magic said.

Players today are encouraged by the League to be friendly with each other, and you could even argue that the crackdowns on hard fouls and rough play have contributed to a more buddy-buddy NBA culture. Plus, with players sharing the same agents (like Wade and Bosh), pros now playing with Team USA (and other countries) together every summer, annual rookie symposiums, and the NBA sending non-teammates on goodwill tours around the world in the offeason, friendships are more likely to develop. Once upon a time, hard-fought games and playoff series seemed genuinely bitter; now it’s hugs all around before and after games.

There are more qualifiers. By all accounts, Jordan wasn’t good friends with Magic or Bird. Now had the opportunity come up for Jordan to play with close off-court buddies Barkley and Patrick Ewing? That might be a different story.

Also, consider that Magic never had a problem with carrying mediocre talent around him. He walked onto a team with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and a couple years into his career, L.A. landed James Worthy with the No. 1 pick in the Draft. The same could be said for Bird (who has yet to comment on the Miami trio), who had Hall of Famers Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and Dennis Johnson with him in Boston during his prime; and Jordan eventually got Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant and Dennis Rodman on his side in Chicago. Had Magic or Mike been playing with Reggie Theus‘ Sacramento supporting cast for seven years, they might have sought help elsewhere.

Lastly, in Jordan’s role as an owner, would he be opposed to signing three superstars to his team if he had the cap space? Would Magic, in his role as public ambassador for the Lakers, be opposed to three superstars joining forces in L.A. for the purple and gold? Just saying…

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  • karizmatic

    You ripped most of this article, but that’s ok I’ll comment anyway, my thing about the whole “would Michael be opposed as an owner” argument is irrelevant to me. Those are two different roles, as a player the way you compete is supposed to be giving your all every night with the team you have. As an owner, the way you compete is to go out and try to get the best talent possible. The roles, responsibilities, and expectations are different.

    That being said it really hits upon the main problem people have with the whole Miami situation, people don’t expect players to take matters into their own hands in this fashion, but it’s a new day, the players now have it in their power to decide where they play and who they play with, it’s really a new age and everyone is kind of having a hard time adapting to it…whether or not it is good for the competitive balance in the league remains to be seen. It threatens to marginalize the job of the gm or it might just shed some light that there are now two different approaches to assembling a team.

  • sh!tfaced

    Nice one, AB. Would Charlotte sign those three if they had the space…? Nice. Maybe that’s why Bird ain’t saying nothing so far. If Indiana had the chance and the cap, they would prolly jump at the opportunity.

  • BeEqual

    Face it… the competitiveness in the NBA just isn’t the same. They’ve acknowledged as much by mentioning how “times have changed.” Call me a hater but i wouldn’t mind going back to the golden era where there was a king on every teams throne and you had to fight through each one to win anything.

  • dru_sa

    Didn’t Lebron have the best regular season record the last two years? Dude still complains about having a chance to win?

  • http://facebook.com/Mr.Brogden Mr. Brogden

    The over/under on LARRY BIRD’S STATEMENT has gotta be 12.5 hours…

    I’m going with the UNDER

    Good Points by the way…GM JORDAN, if he could he would field 3 superstars, gladly.

    Magic said it the best, “It was never a question in our mind, because nobody had ever done that.”

    Nobody??? As is unprecedented? Hmmmm, pioneering…avant garde…cutting edge…these BRAND NEW things come to mind and BRAND NEW things are always subject to a substantial amount of scrutiny. Good, Bad, or Indifferent.

    I think Magic looked at tapes of his SHOWTIME squad.
    Saw the STUDS he was ballin’ with. Thought about himself, how he was a big ol’ guard in a small ol’ forwards body.

    Then looked at Miami’s new signings and saw some nausea-inducing parallels. His statement = “OH NO!!!! THEY’VE COME TO REPLACE US.”

    But they’re not. They’re just following the 110 PERCENT AMERICAN CREED articulated most famously by Al Davis:


    PS – So Wade, Bron, and Bosh is on the level of MJ, Magic, and Bird now?? At least TWO mofos is getting SERIOUSLY DISRESPECTED or At least ONE mofo DOES NOT BELONG AT ALL.

  • Claw

    Before the “Decision” Larry Bird said Lebron James should stay in Cleveland. Your comparison is Jordan the player to Jordan the owner? Two different mind sets and doesn’t even make a correlation.

    There were fewer teams and better players on teams before expansion, and would Parish or DJ been HOFers without Bird? Bird made them better, raised their play something Lebron isn’t equipped to do.

    LeBron took the easy way out and will never be mentioned as one of the greats, he’s out of the equation. You try to beat the best and compete, not say lets get together and form a superteam. This will hurt the league in the long run if more star players take this road.

    Wonder if Lebron’s mom will get Delonte traded to the Heat?

  • LakeShow84

    BeEqual kind of touched on what i wanted to say..

    All these old school players saying this because they know it just AINT right.. but like i said given the mental make up of todays athletes i can see how it happened.. only few players truly old school nowadays in the league and honestly

    you could say the same about life.. few kids nowadays really APPRECIATE old school values..

    But its funny to watch some of us turn on some of the same people we put on such a pedestal just because they aint saying what we want to hear.. But thats another point of being old school i guess thats lost on the new times.. listening to your elders..

    @ AB

    I think you can GUESS what Larry Bird is thinking.. dude was just as much a competitor as the rest of em..

    Theres a difference between being a player and being in midst of carving out ur legacy than being a GM who is trying to put a winning product on the floor.. i hate to say but we WANT to see sutbborness from the greats..

    i mean how would we know MJ was the GOAT if he teamed up with Ewing and Barkeley before he won anything as the bonafide leader??

    Also being drafted to a franchise and leaving your hometown after 7 years of your career through FA is way different.. just sayin..

  • LakeShow84

    @ Claw

    “This will hurt the league in the long run if more star players take this road.”

    Hate to agree but YEP..

  • Sporty-j

    MJ is jealous that he did not have any cap space to at least even try to sign his favorite player in DWade because he has a bigger crush on him than Gabrielle Union and Lebron. Times are totally different now and did he ever think that these guys just dont care about chasing the status as the M.J. GOAT. Lebron has lived in Cleveland his whole life and has never went off to college or anything to have some fun and just wanted to enjoy life, party and hang out with his boys while he has the time of his life. These guys dont hate each other the way they did back than and nowadays you will see guys like Kobe, Lebron, and Wade hanging out at the club when back that those guys would be sword fighting with each other. Totally different age and time back than and the world changes just like technology upgrades every year and if Mark Cuban, Micheal Jordan, Magic Johnson or whoever would say that they would have only signed to superstars instead of the 3 best free agents available if they had the oppurtunity i would show you a bold face LIER and a guy that would be FIRED pretty soon. Magic is just upset because he wont be having any more parades in L.A. or any time soon or probably for the rest of his life and M.J. is just upset that his Franchise will be losing for the next decade and theres nothing he can do about it. You got 1 life to live and let these guys live there life and maybe they are chasing the DREAM OF BEING THE BEST TEAM TO EVER PLAY THE GAME…

  • QQ is an idiot

    austin, your bias toward lebron is so pathetic. every single article on this site has always taken lebrons side on this issue which is kinda stupid but whatever. I just love how you can’t really report the statement without giving some BS examples of how the culture has changed…. foul calling has brought players closer together? WHAT? what the hell are you talking about?

    There are still players in this league that love competition, so don’t start all this crap about how the league has changed. And even if it has changed, its kinda stupid for you to accept it, because after all, competition is what basketball is all about. Or sports in general.

  • QQ is an idiot

    and oh yeah… the usa team is bringin players closer together…??? did they just start having a usa basketball team. There was a dream team back in the day also if you somehow forgot. That didnt seem to bring Michael closer to Magic. So please, stop with the bias already.

  • http://www.dimemag.com booga

    Bottom Line, what’s done is done, Heat now has 2 superstars and height in the paint. Lebron will always be remembered as “The guy who could get it done during the regular season BUT could never get it done when it mattered most.” That’s why he jumped ship, any player w/ no heart or desire always look to take the easy way out. Good job solidifying your status Lebron. Congrats DWade on finding probably one of the best sidekicks since Pippen.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @QQ — So if you’re a star player, you should be obligated to only play on teams that DON’T have other star players? And teaming up with another star player means you’re no longer competing? You’re buggin’. The idea that any NBA team wins a championship easily and without competition is stupid.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @QQ — By the time ’92 rolled around, Mike and Magic were solidified. Wade and LeBron were on the 04 Olympic team as rookies and played together every summer since then.

  • fallinup

    Every damn old school star is going to get asked this. And everyone will have the same response. “HELL NO”. Followed by, “But the game is different.”

    The first thing that popped in my mind when Bron announced his decision was. “The NBA as we know it is over.” For one reason and one reason alone. No one has ever done what they did in Miami.

    Jeebus… why are we even arguing the validity of this anymore? Oh yeah… it’s summertime.

  • http://www.twitter.com/covethug b hays

    You are trying to say that Lebron’s team is similiar to Reggie Theus’s Kings!?!?!!? No way. Shaq, Antawn Jamison! Clevland did everything they could to put talent around lebron and he realized he isn;t good enough to carry a team on his back.

  • SEIZ

    Claw is right. This is bad for the league. Imagine if from now on top players start playing together? What would be the point of having 30 NBA teams. Team stacking is understandable in Baseball because a couple of players can’t change the whole makeup of a team, whereas in bball one player can drastically change a team.

  • http://facebook.com/Mr.Brogden Mr. Brogden

    I don’t remember KG, Pierce, and Shuttlesworth gettin’ this much flak for teamin’ up and making life miserable for ‘weak’ squads.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Jamison for half-a-season and a playoff no-show, and 38-year-old Shaq for half-a-season. Yeah, juggernaut.

  • hadoken

    magic never thought about teaming up with bird or jordan bc why would he? he was in la on a dream team already. lebron was stuck in cleveland which certainly doesn’t equal la, chicago or boston. what happened to lew alcindor during his career? he said get me the fuck out of here and bolted milwaukee for la. lebron wade and bosh saw a once in a lifetime opportunity and took it. anyone who says that they would’ve rather stayed in their boring city and tried to win it themselves is a damn fool. the only reason jordan and magic can say what they say is because they were never presented with the opportunity.

    its like life before the internet. they say that they would never want to look at porn on their computers bc they never had internet and its not something they’re accustomed to but give them internet in their prime and they would’ve had all the porn sites on lock like they were charlie sheen.

  • SJ

    FYI, Bird has commented about LBJ going to MIA. He’s pretty much in the same boat as Magic but thinks LeBron should do what’s best for him. Staying in a run down small market city just isn’t the best thing for LBJ, even if it is pretty much his hometown. Going to MIA is the easy way out, but if it makes sense go for it.

    I read this a few days ago from Bird:
    As for the saga that led to the union of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, Bird had mixed feelings.

    “That’s why we have free agency,” he told Dakich. “When you get an opportunity to get an open market, anything can happen. I’m like a lot of people. I’d like to have seen LeBron stay in Cleveland but his desire was to go play with some great players and try to win championships. You’ve got to do what’s best for yourself. He’s a very, very talented young man, a great basketball player and he wanted to go play with Wade and Bosh. He had the ability to do that and he did it.

    They’ll be a great team but it’s no guarantee they’re going to win it next year.”


  • LakeShow84

    @ Brogden

    Because none of them were actually FREE AGENTS.. all trades bruh.. and plus none were in their mid 20’s..

    @ AB

    Were you one the people writing Lebron had no more excuses after last year?? dont diss the signings now.. Everyone knows damn well CLE fans had stiffys off that squad when they were rackin up the leagues best record.. then of course they BIFFED IT..

  • http://facebook.com/Mr.Brogden Mr. Brogden

    @21 SHOW

    technically the new heat signings were sign n trades too.
    and, KG N RAY had to give thier personal green light to do it.

    so bostons big three gets a pass but miami’s big three dont because their young, smart and took advantage of a genuine opportunity to win, have tonz of fun and make some serious moola in the process?…

    i hated boston (strictly from a sports perspective) for the longest time but i was genuinely intrigued about the possibilities they’d be able to do. and even then…i don’t recall the cacophony surrounding thier additions. for whats its worth, this whole thing is about how bron went about this whole thing. if it was wade n bosh n amare…no one would have a problem. even if amare held a personal 1hr interview to divorce Tempe Arizona. Or wherever he played, it wouldn’t matter.

  • karizmatic

    I mean I can’t say the Cavs were sorry a lot of people had them winning the championship last year…are folks basically arguing that it is possible to win 60 plus games in the nba with a weak team? I’m not buying that.

  • Claw

    @ Austin – If you can’t see it for what it is then that’s too bad – dude took the easy route and I lost all respect for him. This isn’t Pippen this is the 2 time NBA MVP with the best record in the league. Get off his jock, Lebron isn’t meant to be one of the greatest and that’s his right, just a shame to see the lack of competiveness and weak mental makeup, I guess I expected better from a player at that level.

    @ Lakeshow – We’ve gone at each other about who was better Kobe or Lebron, and I’ve taken Lebron’s side before but I’m done with the guy and I still can’t side with Kobe – I think I’m on the Durant bandwagon now.

  • http://facebook.com/Mr.Brogden Mr. Brogden

    maybe lbj wasn’t good enough to carry that cleveland squad or those cleveland squads. that’s a reality. especially when you look at “what” he was carrying…

    people miss the big picture with cleveland.
    he had a good squad. real good.
    thier system mandated offense go thru him.

    no matter what you say, your primary scorer shouldn’t be your primary everything else neither. he made or assisted on 50% of clevelands goals. more like 48% but whatever.
    so some folk act like his departure is an indictment on those really good cavalier squads. or they act like its an indictment on bron because it was his team and he aint get it done. but c’mon mike brown was lambasted his entire 7 years, some criticism deserved, some not.

    its more of an indictment on the cavaliers coming up short. he was part of those cavaliers squads so he factors in major. but he aint the coach. he aint draw the xs n os.
    he didn’t implement strategy. he aint the gm, he didn’t bring in hughes, etc. he played his game.
    besides him, only delonte could create his own shot. and delonte was perfectin his SHOT doing other things. things, plural. he didn’t really get on the court.

    c’mon, your only other guy that can get it poppin was your unstable bench player with limited pt who possibly was a problem in the locker room and was most notably in trouble with offcourt issues. i’m a fan of mo williams and delonte…but cleveland wasn’t doing it.

    I like what sporty j said about miami and the new big 3:

    that’s what’s up!

  • johnsacrimoni

    On the one hand, I think it’s bad for the NBA because it hurts the small market teams. On the other hand, it’s free agency and they have every right to sign wherever they please. Cleveland didn’t really give him much incentive to stay. They couldn’t give him a competent coach or another all-star to run with. They drafted poorly. The guys they brought in to help were either overrated (Mo) WAY past their prime (Shaq) or soft players who couldn’t get it done in the playoffs (Jamison). The league is more watered down now. When Magic and Bird came into the league teams were more stacked and they both were drafted by the two most storied (and well-run) franchises in league history. Magic walked onto a title team with the best center in the league. A few years later they drafted James Worthy. Bird’s Celtics sucked the year before he got there but the organization drafted and traded well and brought in two hall-of-fame big men for him to play with. Jordan came into a similar situation as LeBron, but he didn’s start winning until Scottie Pippen blossomed into an All-NBA caliber player and the Bulls got Phil Jackson. Charles Barkley toiled away on crappy Sixers teams until he demanded a trade. After four years playing for a contender in Phoenix, he wanted out yet again to chase a ring in Houston with Olajuwon and Drexler. Kobe bitched and complained and demaned a trade after Shaq left and he was stuck with subpar teammates. Then the Lakers were gift-wrapped Pau Gasol.

  • K Dizzle

    @ Brogden, u tryin really hard but comparin Miami’s mid 20s free agent big 3 to Boston’s 30s traded big 3 is off point. Miami’s “sign n trades” were only so Cleveland and Toronto got something at all cuz as we know, the only “players” left on Miami’s roster were Beasley and Chalmers..Seattle got value for Ray and Minny sure as hell got something for KG. Not a good comparison.

  • http://facebook.com/Mr.Brogden Mr. Brogden

    @ 27 Diz

    y’all really disrespectin KG, RAY RAY, and The Truth.

    they went from perennial losers to CHAMPS just like that.
    one season swing.


    I mean, i know y’all aint tryin to do it…but y’all really actin’ like they didn’t get together and bust y’all azz their 1st year together.

    c’mon, i aint talkin’ about collusion and free agency/trade exigencies, i’m talkin strictly on-the-court basketball…
    truly what is the difference?

  • Stunnaboy09

    Okay I enough with these legend comments. Magic played with 2 NBA 50 for 50 guys (Worthy and Kareem) and so did Bird (McHale and Parish). Its not like they were playing on bad teams or something. As much as people say Cleveland was stacked, what stacked team has 1 player lead them in all categories? LeBron basically CARRIED the scrubs to back-2-back 60 win years. Sure he had some help, but so did Kobe when he had Smush and Kwame.

    Did LeBron take the easy way out? Yes. Did he show he isn’t Jordan? Yes. No ONE, NO ONE will ever be Jordan. Should he have stayed in Cleveland. Yes. Did he make the biggest douchiest decision in the world? Yes. Hate on him for being a douche, not for teaming up because I think most of us would have done it.

    Also why does no one hate Wade for this? He’s the one who lobbied for them to sign those guys, yet somehow only LeBron catches hate.

  • K Dizzle

    The difference is that those 3 had tried it on their own and had no success and were running outta time. If Lebron and Bosh had tried to win on their own and couldn’t get it done near their 30s, this would be comparable.
    I don’t think people mad that Lebron bounced, it’s that he took the easy way out. That team won 120+ games over 2 seasons. Dude is the 2-time defending mvp. You don’t give Byron Scott a chance to outcoach Mike Brown or even a full season with Jamison or give Mo a chance to redeem himself. What woulda happened if Mike left the Bulls in ’90 cuz Detroit kept killin em? Lotta dudes forget, Scottie Pippen didn’t become “Scottie Pippen” til ’91. Before then he was gettin migraines and not showin up like Mo. Varejoa, Hickson and Jamison are easily as good as Horace, Paxson and Cartwright. Lebron quit on em and now we’ll never know.
    Even with Bosh, does he leave the Raptors if he stays healthy and the raps easily coast into the postseason?; they missed by a game and he missed 10+ games with injury.
    Nuthin wrong with wantin to play with your friends, but unless you a hardcore Heat fan or hardcore lebron fan, you kinda wanted to see where his ceiling was gonna be.
    We know how good KG, Ray and PP were in their prime. With Bron, we’ll never know.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    I don’t see how it’s bad for the NBA. Were the dominant SF 49ers teams bad for the NFL? Were Jordan’s Bulls bad for the NBA? Is having one dominant heavyweight champ bad for boxing? Is Usain Bolt bad for track? Are UConn and Tennessee bad for women’s college basketball? Was UCLA bad for men’s college basketball?

    Here’s another thought: If all the stars are teaming up, doesn’t that open up opportunities for other players to become stars? If Chris Paul joins Carmelo and Amar’e in New York, doesn’t that just open a window for Darren Collison or Marcus Thornton to become a star in New Orleans? The only reason we deemed CP3 a “star” in the first place is because he got an opportunity to shine in New Orleans and he capitalized. Same for Amare in Phoenix, Melo in Denver. All it does it open doors for new stars.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @K Dizzle — So you think it’s going to be easy for Miami to win championships? When was the last time an NBA team had an easy time going all the way?

  • Talented

    This probably won’t even get read but damn, why not air it out and get my thoughts out there.

    Im a Heat fan, have been since 03′ when Dwyane Wade was drafted. I watched games while Timmy and Zo were playing in the 90’s, and I liked the Heat then, but I was to young then to really appreciate it. I watch the game differently now than how I did then.

    That being said, LeBron wanted to put himself in the best possible winning situation. And he did. Honestly I only wanted Bosh in Miami, not Lebron. But my attitude is hell, we’ll take him lol. I think if we would have went any where else (besides LA) it would have kept things more competitive and interesting.

    It’s more enjoyable to watch a team like OKC whose well rounded rather than watching a superstar struggling to keep his team in a losing battle. OKC has a superstar carrying most of the weight, but also a supporting cast who can alleviate the pressure, especially on an off night. Aside from KD, the whole squad is relatively close talent wise. Teams like that have the ability to play together and look good doing it because they are actually relying on each other. One person picks up where their teammate lacks. And that is the beauty of team mwork at its finest.

  • K Dizzle

    @ Stunna – Wade was never seen as quittin on his team or on his franchise. And he’s already won. Big difference. If Lebron had won in Cleveland, then left, anybody hatin on him would be looked at like a fool.

    @ Austin – I’m here to wrap it up for you:

    Summer of 2000 – Orlando Magic have enough cap space to make offers to free agents Tracy McGrady, Grant Hill and Tim Duncan. Grant bounces as things were fallin apart in Detroit, TMac leaves the Raptors hangin to “go home”, but Duncan doesn’t take the money. Maybe the best powerforward of all time, not yet tho, turns down a chance to play with 2 studs in Florida. No income tax. Guys to help carry the load. Spurs were on the downs back in 2000.Free agents did NOT come to San Antonio back then (witness the wooin of Jason Kidd a few years later.) David Robinson was a shell of his former greatness, Sean Elliott’s health issues has killed his career and Manu and Parker weren’t even in the league yet, Tony wasn’t even drafted yet. Duncan stayed in San An and built his legacy.
    You need to use your Dime credentials and talk to Tim to find out how he feels about this and why he didn’t take the Magic money.
    So Magic and Mike missed a lil. This summer had been done before, just that Tim chose to tough it out….

    Damn, I’m good lol

  • King

    The most idiotic statement being made about this is that he should wait to he’s at the end of his career to go play with better players. WTF is that. It makes no sense.

    And his situation was more like Grant Hills And Shaqs. Both left there Orig teams to go chafe rings and none got this much scrutiny.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @K Dizzle — For starters, Duncan isn’t/wasn’t exactly tight with T-Mac and Grant like LeBron/Wade/Bosh are tight. You can’t underestimate the “friends” factor. It’s not like LeBron did some mercenary shit and signed on to play with two guys on a strictly-business deal.

    Second, Duncan had already won a championship in San Antonio (1999) and his squad was set up to contend long-term. They still had David Robinson (his mentor) and the situation was the perfect set up for him in a small-town kind of place.

    There’s nothing more noble about Kobe teaming up with Gasol via a trade, or Shaq via free agency. Nothing more noble about Pierce getting KG and Ray in trades. Nothing more noble about Jordan getting Pippen via trade and Rodman via trade. Basketball teams are built through the draft, trades and free agency. All three are legal and perfectly normal and part of how you build a champion.

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    All this talk about the Cavs having a bad team is crazy!!!!!!!!
    Put Kobe on that team and they win the championship. If not, at least he takes them to the Finals.

  • Claw

    @AB – Problem with your argument is nobody you list was at the level of Lebron James, none of those guys were considered one of the top two players in the league or had won MVP awards. Wasn’t David Robinson retired by the time TD came to free agency, think so, so why even mention David Robinson.

    Lebron can do what he wants, if the Heat don’t even win the Eastern Conference they will be considered a failure and open to more criticism. Lebron hurt his “brand” which is what he was trying to build, bad business decision but at least he can play with his friends in South Beach (taking his talents to South Beach, what the hell was that statement) and not have the pressure as being the man so he can have as much fun as he wants and no longer be considered a great. He’s clueless and has terrible management if he thought this was going to be looked at like a great move.

  • K Dizzle

    @ Austin

    that’s your reply?

    After I post that this situation has happened before, your reply is that “well, they were tight” and the spurs were “setup to contend long term”?
    Here’s that “stacked championship roster”

    Chucky Brown, Antonio Daniels, Derrick Dial, Tim Duncan, Mario Elie, Sean Elliott, Jaren Jackson, Avery Johnson, Steve Kerr, Jerome Kersey, Terry Porter, David Robinson, Malik Rose, Felton Spencer, Samaki Walker. Only Duncan, Dial, Rose and Walker were under 30. Sean Elliott was done and Robinson was puttin up the same numbers as Shaq. Where’s the setup for a dynasty? Duncan takes that Orlando money, it’s almost the same situation as Lebron.
    He stays and the Spurs grab Manu and Tony LATE in the draft and the rest is history. Lebron left, and I’m callin Shaq, Mo, Jamison, Hickson n Varejao as better than anyone Tim had back then.

    Terrible reply to my post. You need to step back, as a journalist, and do better than “they were tight” and “he was happy in a smalltown with his past his prime mentor”
    Last I heard, Lebron was from Akron. Not like he was born in Brooklyn then got stuck in OKC.

    I’m out

  • Stunnaboy09

    @ K Dizzle

    Fair enough, but if people were hating on him for that then yeah, hate on. People are hating on him for leaving Cleveland. He earned the right by playing to the end of his contract.

    And for people saying Cleveland was a good team, lets watch them this year. Remember during LeBon era (7 years) he’s only had 2 All-Star teammates – Big Z and Mo. Which other 60 win team do you remember that had only one All-Star? None?

  • karizmatic


    If the NFL thought the 49ers dynasty was so great for business why did they make a concerted push for parity in order to break up such dynasties?

  • Stunnaboy09

    In fact for the heck of it lets go since LeBron got drafted every 60 win team;

    2003-4 Indiana Pacers – Artest and Jermaine O’Neal

    2004-5 Phoenix Suns – Nash, Stoudemire and Marion

    2005-6 Detroit Pistons – Hamilton, Billups, Wallace x2
    Dallas Mavericks – Dirk
    San Antonio Spurs – Parker, Duncan

    2006-7 Dallas Mavericks – Dirk, Josh Howard
    Phoenix Suns – Nash, Marion, Stoudemire

    2007-8 Boston Celtics – Pierce, Ray Allen, KG

    2008-9 Los Angeles Lakers – Kobe, Gasol
    Boston Celtics – KG, Pierce, Allen
    Cleveland Cavaliers – LeBron, Mo

    2009-10 Cleveland Cavaliers – LeBron

    So in the 7 years since LeBron was drafted only ONE other team won 60 games with one All-Star (2006 Dallas) and somehow he had a good supporting cast?

  • one and done

    Magic and MJ speaking up about Lebron makes them sound like bitter old men. They say in hindsight, they’d never team up, with hindsight being the key word. They never needed to team up because they all had stacked teams in their time.

    They couldn’t have teamed up anyway because Magic and Bird were winning titles in the 80’s and when it was Michael’s turn, Bird had a messed up back and Magic contracted HIV.

    @ Lakeshow

    Ask Dallas what happens when you have the best record in the league. The 2007 team Lebron took to the finals wasn’t as good (on paper) compared to his 60+ win teams. Go figure.

    @ K Dizzle

    Yeah. Duncan just came off a championship the previous year so i’m fairly sure he wanted to see how much further he could go with SA. Not to mention He’s not the same type of personality as Lebron. And if the Magic did sign Duncan, Grant Hill would still have a bad ankle.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @K Dizzle — The Spurs were set up to contend because they had a very good, proven front office and a good coach. So while that particular roster was old, Duncan could trust they’d put good pieces around him. Which, as it turns out, is exactly what happened. Your claim that Duncan decided to “tough it out” in a situation where he was already winning championships doesn’t make any sense.

    You can underestimate the friendship factor if you want, but it’s real. When you were in college, if you had to have a roommate, wouldn’t you have preferred it was a friend? If you’re going out for a job and you have a chance to work with your friends, isn’t that appealing at all? And, to most closely reflect LeBron’s situation, when you’re playing ball and you’re choosing teams, you don’t prefer to play with your friends?

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @karizmatic — The NFL also makes a concerted effort to crack down on celebrations. Doesn’t mean they’re making the right choice that’s good for the game.

  • Claw

    @ One and Done – Bitter? The best player in basketball and one of the 5 greatest players of all time bitter? Do you even know who they are?

    They are disappointed because he took the easy way out, that he didn’t want to be the man like they did on their teams and they wanted to compete with each other not play on the same team. I don’t think it would enter their mind to try and join up instead of competing against each other.

    Duncan came off a championship so why not leave when everybody else was retiring? The Spurs needed to re-load and he stayed. Not the same personality, you mean taking the lead role and carrying his team, yes Lebron doesn’t have that mentality.

  • one and done

    @ Claw

    Let me expound on saying they sound like “bitter old men”.
    You know how your grandpa or dad tells you “you kids got it easy, in my day I had to walk 10 miles to school, barefoot and in the snow”, even if you’re from Hawaii? Bird, Magic, and MJ did things their way back in the day. Lebron is doing things his way. They need to get off their high horse saying they wanted to beat the best. Every one of those guys had HOF teammates. Who has Lebron played with that will be a Hall of Famer? And no, Shaq’s corpse doesn’t count.

    I don’t understand the second part. Are you agreeing with me or not? Duncan needed only 2 seasons to win his first championship. Why would he leave the year after? And if you surrounded Lebron with the best penetrating point guard in Tony Parker and an all-world SG in Ginobili, he’d look like a pretty good leader too.

  • karizmatic

    You don’t think the Nfl is making decisions based on what is most profitable for the league as a whole when it opts to break up dynasties in favor of parity? What other reason would they have to do it?

  • LakeShow84

    @ JAY

    Whoaaa whoa whoa..

    i think we all know Lebron aint no Kobe at this point of his career..

    Bottom line.. Kobe wouldnt have bitched out and joined his “friends”.. Kobe Bryants like to butcher his friends.. and im proud to call him a Laker lol

  • LakeShow84

    Bottom line people we can spin it with “friendship”, “history” (oooooo first ever!), teams (im sure Cleveland never did ENOUGH) or whatever the hell else..


    All this spin is exactly what made Lebron feel so entitled to shit on HIS city on national TV..




    Cracks me up to see people on here (AB SHAME ON YOU) dragging down TOP 5 PLAYERS OF ALL TIMES accomplishments by saying they werent THAT great, hell even they had help!! NAH sorry Kareem wasnt on the floor when Magic played C and dropped 40 clinchin a chip..

    I didnt see damn near any kind of play when MJ destroyed the Jazz and shat on Russell..

    Some shitty players have gotten rings BECAUSE they played with someone who led them through the fire.. No roster in the NBA is perfect.. you mold ur team to beat the best team and a weaker team matches up perfectly with you and beats you.. Yes it happened to Dallas.. but was Dallas’ roster really that weak or did DIRK just wilt under the pressure?? ill take the latter..

    But this all comes back to Lebron not being able to do cut it as the clear cut ALPHA.. and thats the BOTTOM LINE.. even if he said some of you wouldnt believe and that is WACK..

    YES this does diminish his standings in the stars and YES he is wack for jumping ship so earlier and YES all of you career long Lebron supporters basically have PIE ON YOUR FACES because while you PREMATURELY touted dude as possibly the best ever he basically ADMITTED he couldnt handle the PRESSURE of becoming a DIAMOND and went somewhere to become a pearl..

    Which is cute dont get me wrong but from straight competitors and players who played the loyalty card and were rewarded for it Lebron looks like what he has always looked like..

    A spoiled ass punk teenager who wont grow up and has a legion of minions who’ll make excuses for the diva until the finally drown in the very hype they created for dude..

  • Claw

    @Lakeshow – Damn, I have to agree with you now? What a change in events.

    @ 1 & Done – I don’t agree that TD had won a championship and was set, Robinson and Elliot retiring, TP and Manu weren’t even drafted. He didn’t know his future and how it would turn out but he stayed even though he could have left to team up with TMac and GHill and had a higher probability of winning.

    I just don’t think ANYBODY that is a high level competitor or top of their game would jump ship to team up with somebody else. Because their friends?? Barkley and MJ are friends, doesn’t mean they had to be on the same team. I don’t get it, dude is weak. I hate to say this but Kobe talked about getting help but he was never leaving and Durant just signed an extension to play in OK.

    Its just disappointing, and probably a byproduct of the Me Generation. I mean he actually thought it was a good idea for a 1 hour special on his decision and to say he is leaving? That was assinine, dude needs to stop surrounding himself with YES people. Grow up, this ain’t high school.

  • me

    “Also, consider that Magic never had a problem with carrying mediocre talent around him. He walked onto a team with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and a couple years into his career, L.A. landed James Worthy with the No. 1 pick in the Draft. The same could be said for Bird (who has yet to comment on the Miami trio), who had Hall of Famers Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and Dennis Johnson with him in Boston during his prime; and Jordan eventually got Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant and Dennis Rodman on his side in Chicago. Had Magic or Mike been playing with Reggie Theus’ Sacramento supporting cast for seven years, they might have sought help elsewhere.”

    that’s the only sensible thing i’ve heard regarding this whole big 3 thing, and why it isn’t such a bad idea. None of the other superstars before him had such a lack of talent surrounding him.

    But still, if anything, that’s more of a reason he should have went to Chicago.

  • K Dizzle

    @ AB
    “The Spurs were set up to contend because they had a very good, proven front office and a good coach. So while that particular roster was old, Duncan could trust they’d put good pieces around him. Which, as it turns out, is exactly what happened. Your claim that Duncan decided to “tough it out” in a situation where he was already winning championships doesn’t make any sense.”

    I can’t agree with this. Let’s review how the Spurs “proven” front office got Tim Duncan. Robinson goes out with a back injury and Duncan falls into their lap in the draft. Robinson comes back and they win in a lockout shortened season. Even Isiah coulda fell into that. Manu and Parker came years after that season. Pickin up Elie, Kerr and Antonio Daniels are the only moves they made after they got Duncan before they won it all.

    @ one and done
    I think your timeline is off a bit.
    Spurs first title was the lockout season in 98-99.
    The Magic made the offer to Tim, GHill and TMac after the 99-00 season
    Tony Parker didn’t come in till 2001-2002(3 seasons after the first chip)
    and Manu didn’t come over till 2002-2003(4 seasons after)

    I keep hearin that Duncan won right away and had this loaded roster just waitin for him. Wasn’t like that. His help didn’t come til 3-4 years later. Orlando put Hill and McGrady in his face when the Spurs were at their weakest. Google their roster when the Lakers were threepeatin and check who their 2nd best player woulda been. Dudes forget Robinson was at Navy for 4 years and had his military committment for 2 more years so he was already 34 when they got the first chip.

    “A spoiled ass punk teenager who wont grow up and has a legion of minions who’ll make excuses for the diva until the finally drown in the very hype they created for dude..”
    -That’s the post of the day

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mr.Brogden Mr. Brogden


    Meaning what exactly???

    Meaning, thier situation is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT then the NEW BIG 3.

    Meaning, they cannot fathom why a Bosh or Bron would wanna leave an average coming up short squad to join a better squad.

    If you don’t recognize this fact, go out on a court with an average squad and ONLY PLAY VERSUS THE GOOD GUYS. The “good guys” will more often than not, WHUP DAT AZZ.

    MAGIC : “I came…to play with Kareem and the Lakers.”

    Earv on why he wouldn’t play for the bum azz Chicago Bulls when came outta college.



    by way of


    Keep it funky, Magic. We got quotes dawg!!! You even said you want to play with better players. HOLLABACK

    OH YEAH, by the way : Lebron IS great already. hahaha take that witcha!! Dont nut-hug me. Dont slurp me. Just stating FACTS. Basically, before you hop on mine, just get off. lmao

  • Luke

    MJ’s jock called, it said you have to be this tall to ride.

  • boto

    This should put a new perspective on Magic


    Why is it so hard for people to understand that MJ and Magic never left because they had no reason to. Jordan did have a bad team when he was drafted, but as a rookie he couldn’t really demand much. Then he got Pippen and Horace Grant a few years later. Magic won a championship his rookie year and 5 in 9 years. Why would he want to leave again?

    So what is really bothering you (mostly Laker fans) is that he actively wanted to play with other good players instead of having them come to him. I didn’t realize there were different levels of winning in basketball.

  • one and done

    @ K Dizzle

    As a Spurs fan, I know the timeline just fine. Should Duncan be commended for sticking it out for 4 years before he won his next championship? It’s not like he was wasting his prime waiting to win. He already won one and was confident that he’d get his help. The same goes for Kobe, he had to wait 7 years between championships. In fact, Kobe should be commended for sticking it out that long.

  • BP

    My vote goes to K Dizzle and LakeShow84 as the most annoying posters on this site.

  • alf (from melmak)

    Geeez. So now, friendship means throwing out the window whatever competitiveness a player has?

    And Austin, when you say that “The Spurs were set up to contend because they had a very good, proven front office and a good coach”, then maybe that is really what Cleveland needed. Try comparing the the Cavalier roster last season to that San Antonio team.

    Dime, here is a suggestion. Create a section for columnists where they are free to put whatever bias they have. Putting this one under “Latest News” is dead wrong. I am sure you know how the process goes.

  • K Dizzle

    @ one and done

    completely agree.
    Duncan did wait 4 years, but he could not have known Parker and Manu were coming. He had to trust the front office even as Orlando made their tempting offer.
    Kobe waited 7 but as we know, just cuz you got there once, doesn’t guarantee a return to the Finals. Grizzlies don’t give us Gasol and hisory gets changed. Not sayin Kobe would leave cuz I don’t think he woulda, but we won’t ever know that either.
    That brings us to Lebron who was in the Finals 3 seasons ago, and had the best record the last 2 seasons. Is that really waiting? Tim and Magic won right away, but 3 seasons with a top 3 team in the league, which was only gonna get better as they gelled and brought in a better coach raises eyebrows.
    Like I said, I’m not mad Bron did Cleveland dirty or joined up with his buddies.
    I’m disappointed that a 2-time mvp would leave a team built around him and give up a shot at being the best ever.
    As a Spurs fan, how would you look at Tim if he had left for Orlando? I bet you’d look at him a lil different

  • K Dizzle

    “BP says:

    My vote goes to K Dizzle and LakeShow84 as the most annoying posters on this site.”

    Guess I’ll stop postin cuz the kid named after an oil
    spill don’t like me. Nuthin better than someone with nuthin to say takin time outta their day to post that they don’t like a name on a screen with opinions.
    Lol. See the irony?

  • tbone

    austin burton is the worst writer at dime. his good stuff is ripped. his regular shit sounds like… “what if dog spelled cat”. some really stupid shit.

  • SlimeBucket

    Thanks Austin for posting some common sense. People treating this like religion. I just want to see some good basketball which we will. I didn’t particularly enjoy the Chicago Bull’s style basketball as great as MJ was which is why I don’t like watching Kobe either although last year against the Suns in the playoffs he was playing much more balanced but then he reverted to ballhog Kobe in Game 7 and almost cost them the series. I really prefer watching the way the Suns played last year and the old Showtime Lakers. I think this Heat team has the potential to a monster uptempo team with Mike Miller playing Bryon Scott’s role. Even the 80’s Celtics teams were an awesome passing team.

    Your opinion as a fan really doesn’t mean much. As a fan all you can really do is enjoy watching the game and rooting for a team. You are not the Pope of basketball so please get over indicting other fallible human beings as pariahs especially since I heard you when you said it the first 20 times. :) It doesn’t help the players and it certainly doesn’t make you a better human being for thinking you somehow can judge other people. I’m just saying let’s lower the hate volume a bit or we can just go read about Palestian/Israeli conflict websites.