Jordan says he'd be happy to sit down with LeBron
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)
Michael Jordan says he would be happy to sit down and share his basketball knowledge with LeBron James.
The Miami Heat star had said in an ESPN interview that he's like to connect with Jordan and pick up some advice.
''Sure, I would be willing to talk to a bunch of the kids,'' Jordan told The Associated Press on Friday. ''And actually I do. I don't advertise it because I don't want it to be misconstrued or to be viewed as tampering with other stars. I'm in a more difficult position than other owners because it can be viewed in a different way.
''But I've always welcomed an opportunity to talk to anybody, LeBron included.''
Jordan, a six-time NBA champion and the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, said he's mentored other players but has kept it on the ''down low'' because he doesn't like to publicize his efforts. He wouldn't name the players, but said there's nothing he wouldn't do to help the game.
''I was very moved to see (Lebron) said that. But I'm not the type that is going to chase down today's athletes,'' Jordan said. ''If you welcome conversation or insight from me, I'm here and I'm always going to be receptive of that. I will do what I can to better the player for the game of basketball and not give them bad information because he's with the Heat and I have a team over here.
''I'm about the game of basketball and I would give feedback to improve them as a basketball player,'' Jordan said, then added, laughing, ''even though it may cost my team a chance at the end of the game.''
Here are five topics Michael Jordan talked about during his interview with The Associated Press on Friday:
STERN LEGACY: David Stern is retiring in 2014 as NBA commissioner after 30 years. ''He's done a great job for the game of basketball. I think he's changed the persona of the professional basketball player as more of a business-like person other than just an athlete who just plays basketball. Dr. J , Larry Bird and Magic Johnson all became business figures. (That goes) right down to myself and Kobe (Bryant) and LeBron and to all of these guys. And Stern had a lot of vision about that.''
1-ON-1 CHALLENGES: Grizzlies owner Robert Pera recently became the latest to challenge Jordan to a one-on-one basketball game with proceeds going to charity. Jordan has said that's not something that interests him. ''It's a no-win situation,'' Jordan said. ''He may have had some motivation in why he said it, or with his competitive nature. But it's all in good fun. Hey, I've been used for worse. I didn't see the benefit for me playing one-on-one. Why? It was a nice gesture, but I haven't played the game of basketball in I don't know how long.''
PLAYING BASKETBALL: Jordan, who got married earlier this spring, said he rarely picks up a basketball these days. ''My knees feel good. My feet feel good. Everything on my body feels good and I don't want to ruin that at the age of 50,'' Jordan said. ''I may mess around at my camp in Santa Barbara. The kids ask me to dunk and the next thing you know it was all over the news and the internet. Then Jalen Rose says I'm coming back at 50. I try to stay away from those scenarios as much as possible.''
BEST NBA PLAYER: When asked who's the best player in the game, Jordan quickly responded, ''I'm not playing'' before letting out a laugh. ''It's hard to pick. It's hard to say the best player,'' Jordan said. ''You would have to say LeBron because of what he's capable of doing. Kobe is coming off an injury and you don't know where he is going to be at his age. I would have to say LeBron.''
BOBCATS' OUTLOOK: Jordan's is confident he'll turn Charlotte into a winner. ''We hired a coach that is going to be able to make a much bigger jump with the young kids and put them in a position that they're going to be very successful with,'' Jordan said. ''We acquired a center in Al Jefferson that we know what we're getting 17 (points) and nine (rebounds) every game. ... We are doing everything from the business basketball side that's positive to try to move away from where we were.''