Jordan wouldn't have called Magic, Bird

Updated: July 19, 2010, 9:14 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six titles. And while he had Scottie Pippen, there is little question the Bulls were Jordan's team.

So what does Jordan, one of the best ever in the NBA, think of LeBron James joining with All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form a super team in Miami?

"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."

James, who played his first seven seasons with his home state Cleveland Cavaliers, was part of one of the most celebrated free-agent classes in history this summer. He met with the Cavs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets.

James let the world know he was taking his talents to South Beach in an hour-long TV special July 8 on ESPN.

TNT analyst Charles Barkley said James' decision might change his legacy.

"He'll never be Jordan," Barkley told 790 The Ticket in Miami earlier in the week. "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 team."