Magic Johnson “I was trying to… beat Larry Bird,” Not Play with him


Add Magic Johnson to the list of former NBA greats who consider the idea of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh playing together a novel idea.

“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.”

This follows Michael Jordan’s comments echoing the same sentiments over the past weekend.

“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 said after playing in a celebrity golf tournament in Nevada. The interview aired on the NBC telecast of the event. “But that’s … 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.”

Johnson added on Tuesday: “It was never a question in our mind because nobody has ever done that.”

It is an interesting statement because it’s as if these greats are deeming the move by James, Bosh and Wade a cop out. Michael Jordan almost seems to be saying that he could win on his own and didn’t need to team up with another superstar to win championships. Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan also allude to a competitive fire that will not allow them to take an “easy” way out.

  1. This is laughable considering Magic was full of excitement when Karl Malone and Gary Payton came to the Lakers at the twilight of their careers for the chance to win rings. The fact of the matter is no matter how you slice it Magic, Bird, Jordan, and almost everyone else who won championships had help. Pippen, Rodman, Worthy, Abdul-Jabbar, Mchale, DJ, the list goes on. Does anyone remember the years after Shaq left and the best Kobe could do alone was a 6th or 7th seed in the west. At least Lebron led his team to back to back number one seeds. He didn't do dick til Gasol got there. NO FREE AGENTS WERE GOING TO COME TO CLEVELAND! Rip the guy for the lame press conference and not telling the Cavs about the decision before hand, but don't rip him for wanting to win championships while taking less money…..oh and did I mention they have no state tax in FLA. Cheers!

  2. Totally agree. Here's some great insight from my homie @phz_sicks from his tumblr blog on the same topic.

    "-Magic was drafted first overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979. LeBron James was drafted first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003.

    -Magic came to a team with an already Hall of Famer on his team in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and a superstar in Michael Cooper. LeBron came to a team with Carlos Booser, Z, and Ricky Davis. No Hall of Famers or superstars in the bunch. Magic, later, had another superstar in James Worthy three years in to his career. (Remember this Hall of Fame/Superstar structure for later: Two Hall of Famers = Ring or One Hall of Famer & more than two superstars = ring)

    -Magic won 5 championships with the last one in 1988. After that championship season, Kareem retired. The next three years, Magic was literally “the man” after also losing Cooper and didn’t win any titles post-Kareem.

    There’s a reason why building his own super team never crossed his mind. He was with a Hall of Famer, two superstars, and a huge market. Those are three things that LeBron didn’t have and if he had anything remotely to that, staying in Cleveland would have been in his foreseeable future."

    1. by the way, I was agreeing with the comment made above, not Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan or Charles Barkley for that matter.

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