Michael Jordan Statements: Top Players Who Benefit From What He Said
By stating that he wouldn't do the same thing LeBron James did, Michael Jordan proclaimed his opinion on the subject.
By basically slamming James for his lack of competitive spirit, Jordan said how things have changed in the new NBA and how he would have never teamed up with the top players.
James shipping to Miami with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh won't be the end of top stars pairing up. Chris Paul wants out of New Orleans and could possibly team up with Amar'e Stoudemire and, possibly, Carmelo Anthony in New York to create another super team.
But there are still stars in the NBA who remain loyal to their squads instead of taking the easy way out. For every James and Bosh, there are superstars like Durant and Bryant.
Jordan's statements might show how the NBA is different now than in his day, but it also makes some of the top stars in the league look good after the criticism.
Here are those guys that benefited from Jordan's comments.
By signing a long-term deal with the Mavericks, Nowitzki proved he was loyal to his teammates in Dallas.
He could have very well taken the easy way out and looked for greener pastures, but he realized how well the Mavs have treated him and how much success they've been through.
Overall, the team has struggled to break through the deep West the last few years, but Nowitzki proved he is down to try to overcome the struggles.
Instead of teaming up with other superstars in another city, Nowitzki did the right thing and stayed with the team that's treated him well.
Celtic's Big Three
While Jordan's statements may have affected these guys when they first started in Boston, it makes them look good now.
Yeah, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett may have teamed with another superstar in Paul Piece, but Allen and Garnett were stuck on mediocre teams.
Garnett needed a change of scenery after never seeing playoff success in Minnesota. Allen was a superstar, but wasn't going to dominate as the main guy for a team.
Their situations don't quite compare to LeBron bolting for Miami. James has seen success in Cleveland, but instead chose the easy way out with the Heat.
This free agency period, the Boston Big Three showed their commitment to each other by all signing on to stay in Boston.
Even though they made the Finals last season, all three's careers are dwindling. They've had such a good time together that separating wasn't an option.
They chose to stick together instead of bolting for more money and better opportunities.
A tweet from Nash about Leandro Barbossa heading to Toronto summed up Nash's position with the current Suns' team
It read: "Today's the end of an era. My close friend Leandrinho leaves the Suns making me the last player from 04-07. Great memories. Boa sorte irmao!"
Barbossa is the last player from Nash's early years in Phoenix. With Amar'e Stoudemire gone, it's hard to say that the Suns will be the same team they were last season.
Nash just keeps on though. He always remains positive and keeps his head up, no matter what.
His up-tempo style and dazzling passes will always make the Suns a viable contender. They may never get over the hump and become an NBA champion, but Nash always gives them a chance.
He could demand to play for someone else, but he remains faithful to Phoenix. Nash is a breath of fresh air in the NBA.
Miami has received all the attention this offseason, but its Florida competitor could still be considered the top dog in the state.
The Orlando Magic have been very successful the last few seasons and Dwight Howard has been the biggest reason for their triumphs.
With James and Bosh hopping to Miami, Howard fits the old mold of a top superstar leading his team. He's the Magic's heart and soul.
Howard has never complained about his stay in Orlando. He's just gone out and played hard, even though his team hasn't pulled home a championship.
Expect the same in the future from Howard. He proclaimed that he wanted to stay in Orlando his whole career when he signed a five-year deal in 2007.
It'd be ironic to see Orlando derail the Heat's playoff chances this upcoming season. While so much attention has been given to the new Big Three in Miami, a team with one superstar and solid role players could take them down.
Durant's contract extension might have been the most underrated move of free agency.
The league's top scorer last season likes the situation in Oklahoma City and sees the potential his team has.
The sky is the limit for the young Thunder, with Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden budding into a dominant trio. Expect them to make some noise out west next season.
Durant's long-term signing shows his commitment to the future with the Thunder. He showed that he wants to be the superstar who will fight for success in for a growing Thunder squad.
He could have waited until his contract expired and received the attention from every NBA team, but Durant showed the NBA he is focused on succeeding in Oklahoma City.
If there's an embodiment of the type of player Jordan was talking about with his statements, it has to be Kobe.
Bryant wouldn't dare team up with another superstar in another city. He thrives on the challenge of being "the guy" and would hate sharing the spotlight with someone with equal caliber.
He's also showed his loyalty to Los Angeles, sticking through a tough period after Shaquille O'Neal left and enduring until the Lakers put together another viable team.
While he may have clamored about leaving during the period, it was probably an act to get the front office to bring in a supporting cast. It paid off, and now Kobe is the king of the league's top team.
Nobody resembles the type of player Jordan was more than Bryant does. He has the same killer instinct and desire to win that MJ had with the Bulls.
Bryant would never choose to team up with other superstars. He would never believe in selling himself short like that.
Jordan's statements might have signaled a changing time in the NBA, but there are still players who embody his era in the NBA.
James chose a secondary role in Miami over possible struggles as the guy in Cleveland, and Chris Paul is signaling that he wants out of New Orleans to team up with a superstar somewhere.
But guys like Bryant, Durant, and Howard show there are guys who thrive as the main threats for their teams.
They give hope to an NBA that's seen a lot of things change in the 2010 offseason.