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Jordan On Lebron: I Wanted To Beat The Best, Not Join Them

By Karl Klockars in News on Jul 19, 2010 6:20PM

Michael Jordan gave us a reminder of that ever-burning fire of competitive spirit this weekend when he sounded off on Lebron's decision to take his talents to South Beach. After a celebrity golf tournament broadcast on NBC, Jordan (thankfully devoid of the recent questionable 'stache) sat down to answer some questions. After talking about the evolution of the game's finances, wondering if it'd be different if his generation could play against the Kobe Bryants and Tim Duncans of today, he finally offered up this nugget of perspective on that whole Lebron James situation that you might have heard something about.

There's no way that in hindsight now, I would have ever called up Larry [Bird], called up Magic [Johnson], and said "hey, let's get together and play on one team." But things are different - I can't say that's a bad thing. That's an opportunity these kids have today. In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys. I don't know if they would have been on my team. Obviously, when you look at the Dream Team, they were all on my team, and it wasn't too much of a competitive thing. You know, I'm a competitive guy, and I like to play against competitive players and see what happens from there.

When you read that statement, taken away from the video and devoid of tone, it's hard to see it as anything other than a direct dig on Lebron. When you watch it, it's possible that MJ didn't mean any disrespect, but was just a guy talking after a game of golf - except for the fact that said guy is the greatest basketball player ever.

You be the judge. While much of the internet is rushing to judge MJ's statement as a final nail in the Lebron Will Never Beat Jordan coffin, for us it's just a reminder of the MJ we used to know. Really, it's not much more than a nice way to take the bitter taste of Jordan's Hall of Fame speech out of our mouths. Besides, if MJ had ever made that call to Larry we never would have had the video game glory that was One On One: Jordan Vs. Bird.