Why Michael Jordan Is Wrong About LeBron James' Decision To Go to Miami

Mihir Bhagat@mihirbhagatSenior Analyst IIIJuly 19, 2010

MIAMI - JULY 09:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat is introduced during a welcome party at American Airlines Arena on July 9, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

LeBron James made a bold decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers in favor of the Miami Heat, and ever since, he has attracted immense hatred and disappointment from fans all around the league.

In fact, even Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert posted an unprofessional letter expressing his frustration. 

Now, Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest player of all time, decided to voice his opinion on the matter as well.

When asked to comment on James' decision, he said:

"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. 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."

While Jordan is one of my favorite athletes of all time, and in my opinion shouldn't even be compared to the likes of Kobe Bryant or James, I will have to defend the "King" here.

Sure, I respect Jordan for making those remarks. However, LeBron made a wise decision.

First of all, I understand that Bird, Magic, and Jordan were rivals. Their respective teams, the Celtics, Lakers, and Bulls, competed in 16 of the 20 Finals in the 80's and 90's. There was no doubt that their teams were some of the most dominant of all time. 

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The key difference is that James, Wade, and Bosh aren't rivals and never were. The Cavaliers, Heat, and Raptors never played each other in the playoffs and they have totaled only two Finals appearances over the past seven years in the league. The true rivals are teams like the Lakers, Magic, and Celtics. 

In my mind, the formidable trio is very similar to the Big Three in Boston with Garnett, Pierce, and Allen. 

Sure, the latter are older, less talented, and joined together in a different manner. Looking at the big picture though,both are sets of players who are in search of a championship.

From a professional basketball standpoint, I see nothing wrong with it.

I realize that James disheartened an entire city and left them in a current economic depression. LeBron should have handled the entire situation much differently. At the same time though, he did give his all to the team and city for seven years. After the team failed to win a championship, it was time to move on. 

It was really unfortunate that as opposed to honoring his services, Cavaliers fans decided to unleash complete and utter emotional backlash. They followed their pathetic owner, and said that James "quit" in their playoff series against the Celtics this year, and that his decision will diminish his legacy.

First of all, why would the Cavaliers want to bring back a player who allegedly "quit." If that were the case, I'd be glad to get rid of him. Of course, on most standards, I wouldn't really consider 27 points, 19 rebounds, and 10 assists in his final game "quitting." The significant drop of production from players such as Mo Williams, and Antawn Jamison is questionable though. 

To those that are going to point out LeBron's poor shooting, realize that when he went 3-14, the Cavaliers lost by 32 points. Meanwhile, when Bryant went 6-24 in Game Seven of the Finals against the same opponent, they won by two.

Why is that? Could it possibly be because Bryant had a brilliant supporting cast to play alongside his superstar ability?

Why nobody is discussing how his five titles were won with a dominant big man such as either Shaquille O' Neal or Pau Gasol is puzzling to me. Not to mention that Derek Fisher, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, and Andrew Bynum aren't half bad either.

Why is it that nobody is questioning how he demanded a trade when the Lakers were struggling? Was that not a sign of disloyalty?

As for NBA Legends such as Bird, Magic, or Jordan, each had their own great team, with the emphasis being on the key word "team." The reason none of them had to leave to go play elsewhere is because their original teams were already great. 

Magic had fellow Hall of Fame players such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy.

Bird had his own version of the "Big Three" with Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish.  

Jordan didn't win a title until Pippen became an All-Star, and even had defensive stud Dennis Rodman come along later.

How can anyone compare LeBron's lackluster supporting cast to those players'? Nobody has ever won a championship by themselves. It's truly a team effort, which is why it's unfair to criticize LeBron for not being "man enough" to do it “by himself.”

And it's not as if he planned on leaving all along. It has been confirmed by multiple sources that LeBron did try to bring All-Star forward Bosh with him to Cleveland. Sadly, his efforts were to no avail as Bosh simply refused to play there. 

That left him with no choice other than to leave, and for that he is not a coward. A coward would not risk tarnishing his name or put himself in a position where he may never be welcome in his hometown of Akron ever again.

James is a true competitor, as the only thing that mattered to him was the ultimate prize for any athlete: a championship. 

Furthermore, James is not a "Robin in search of a Batman," as some, including ESPN's First Take analyst Skip Bayless, are calling him. A "Robin" wouldn't have single-handedly led the Cavaliers to back-to-back league leading records in the regular season, and an NBA Finals appearance in 2007. 

Instead, I would say LeBron is a "Batman in search of a Robin." It just so happened that he had the opportunity to join "Superman" and "Spiderman" as well...something I guarantee few would pass up.

Even though I believe that Bryant is the better overall basketball player, and I'm a Golden State Warriors fan, I fully support James in his decision and wish him the best of luck moving forward.

If you are interested, you may read my opinion on why I felt Dan Gilbert's comments were out of line