In an untypical move, back in 2010, James teamed up with his close friends and fellow 2003 NBA Draft classmates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, joining the Miami Heat after spending 7 tough years in Cleveland. It was a critically condemned move by many in the NBA, as it seemed James was looking for an easy way to win the NBA championship.
But Michael Jordan had quite an open-minded opinion on this move. When Jordan was asked to comment on James’ move, MJ responded that while he would have not done what LeBron did, he doesn’t think LeBron was wrong.
“That’s yet to be determined. Free agency is a part of every professional sport. How that’s going to play into this scenario, I don’t know, time will tell. There’s no way I would have called up Larry and called up Magic and said ‘hey, let’s get together and play on one team’. But things are different, I can’t say that’s a bad thing, that’s the opportunity kids have today. I was trying to beat those guy, I don’t know if they would have been on my team. If you look at the dream team, they were on my team and it wasn’t too much of competitive thing. I’m a competitive guy and I like to play against competitive players and see what happens from there.”
Perhaps being an team owner, is what made Jordon have a different perspective on free agency. As a team owner, Jordan could have easily acquired the players using free agency as a weapon that he may not have been able to acquire through trade. But at the same time, MJ did say that being a competitive guy he always wanted to perform against the best and he wouldn’t have found an easy way to team up with his contemporaries.
Jordan never lobbied to have superstar free agents join the Chicago Bulls. He believed in making things work with what he had. But it is also worth noting that Jordan played under one of the greatest general managers in Jerry Krause, who made sure MJ never had to consider leaving the Chicago Bulls and look for other opportunities.