July 19, 2010
It was roughly 14,000 blog years ago that LeBron James(notes) chose to sign a gigantic contract with the Miami Heat, and since then, there have been no shortage of opinions on the choice or "The Decision." Basically any viewpoint on the subject has been written, Tweeted or spoke by someone, and then repeated over and over. And over.
One of the most popular of those sentiments is that, placed in the same situation, Michael Jordan would have never joined forces with the superstars of his era like James has done. Not surprisingly, that sentiment is right as Jordan has gone on record as saying teaming up with the game's best players isn't his cup of tea. From CBS Sports' Ken Berger by way of an NBC Sports interview:
"There's no way, with hindsight, I would've ever called up Larry, called up Magic and said, 'Hey, look, let's get together and play on one team,'" Jordan said after finishing tied for 22nd in the American Century Championship golf tournament in Stateline, Nev. "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."
Ya burnt, LeBron James. Twice now, by the best player in the history of basketball who doesn't seem to be the biggest LeBron fan in the history of basketball. But it's not just the Charlotte Bobcats majority owner who is speaking out against James' signing. From the Arizona Republic's Dan Bickley:
"Let me just tell you this," [Charles] Barkley said. "Mike and I are in 100 percent agreement on this. If you're the two-time defending NBA MVP, you don't leave anywhere. They come to you. That's ridiculous.
"I like LeBron. He's a great player. But I don't think in the history of sports you can find a two-time defending MVP leaving to go play with other people."
And that's not all Barkley had to say about James. In an interview last week, Barkley aired his concerns about James' legacy to Dan LeBatard.
"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 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(notes) team."
So yeah, NBA legends aren't too impressed with LeBron James teaming up with two other top-flight ballers, which is exactly what was expected. Not to mention, Barkely will undoubtedly take any chance he gets to bring up how much James hurt his legacy by signing with the Heat. He's definitely not one to let that kind of thing slide, which is going to make things kind of awkward when he's filming T-Mobile spots with Dwyane Wade.
However, if LeBron wins multiple championships and MVPs then doesn't balloon to more than 300 pounds or wear artlessly distressed mom jeans upon his retirement, he'll have the last laugh. 'Tis a daring gambit.