Keeping It Real??

By Dexter Rogers, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: July 20, 2010

INDIANA (BASN) — We’ve all heard the old saying, “If you can’t beat them join them.”

Surprisingly when LeBron James bolted for the greener pastures of Miami Heat some felt he took the easy road by joining forces with two Batmen instead of getting his own Robin.

As we all know Michael Jordan endured bitter battles with Larry Bird as he tried to get through the Boston Celtics in the beginning of his career. As he ascended to the middle of his career there were the “Bad Boys” of Detroit waiting to punish him.

Then the likes of Earvin “Magic” Johnson were waiting for him to prevent him from winning NBA Championships. Did Jordan try to beat Bird, Thomas, and Magic or did he try to join forces with them to do something he couldn’t get done himself?

Jordan had this to say when asked about King James joining forces with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

“There’s no way, in hindsight now, I would have never called up Larry [Bird], called up Magic [Johnson] and say, ‘Hey, let’s together and play on one team,’” Jordan said.

“But things are different. I can’t say that’s a bad thing. That’s the opportunity these kids have today.” He continued: “I mean, in all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys. I don’t know if they would have been on my team.”

“If they had been on my team … then obviously, if you look at the dream team, they were on my team and it wasn’t too much of a competitive thing.”

Is MJ taking a shot at James or keeping it real?

For once, in his way, he’s keeping it real.

In any event my take is King James has tarnished his legacy. He’ll never be MJ even though the league has done all it can to elevate him as the heir apparent to MJ’s throne.

That will never happen.

Yes, I said never. Jordan is only 47-years old. He’s achieved on the court as well as off it. He’s he first African-American player in professional sports to become majority owner of a professional franchise. MJ is hailed as the greatest basketball ever.

A legitimate choice, but I vote for Bill Russell.

MJ is a Hall of Fame player and that’s setting an example of being a champion in the business world as well.

But don’t rule out a comeback as a player. He mentioned in his Hall of Fame speech he may come back and play at 50-years old.

We’ll see.

For all that he’s accomplished on and off the court, it hasn’t really translated to opportunities for those who need direction. The only major knock I’ve had against MJ is he never took stands on controversial issues that affect the African-American community.

He never utilized his platform to ignite change in society. MJ was never vocal about issues that really mattered that could truly make a difference.

I’ve grown to understand the marquee stars will opt for silence rather than be boat-rockers. I don’t agree with it but it’s their choice to sit on their laurels rather than share what they have.

Back to James: Had he stayed in Cleveland, made more money and got some help he could have won championships there.

Who knows what was going on behind the scenes in the negotiations with Cleveland but we do know owner Dan Gilbert was irate when James left.

We also know he didn’t get James his “Robin” so what was he so mad about?

Purely on the matter of his legacy James’ his story would have been better written had he went the MJ route and persisted until he got his championships in Cleveland. Be “ole school” and do it the old fashion way.

Go through what stands before you rather than run away to greener pastures.

If James wanted to be mentioned in the same breath as Michael Jordan he can forget about it. When he hopped that plane for South Beach and changed his number he also altered his basketball legacy forever.

I guess James knew he couldn’t beat them. That’s why he had to join them.