Magic coach Stan Van Gundy was asked Friday morning about James' request, and he didn't hesitate to say he thinks the idea is misplaced.
"It's a nice gesture, but he (Jordan) is not Jackie Robinson. Baseball did it because it had historical significance,'' Van Gundy said. "There actually were guys before Michael who could play the game. Then you should retire numbers that (Bill) Russell, Wilt (Chamberlain), and certainly Oscar (Robertson) wore. I understand LeBron didn't grow up watching those guys, but still. ''
"I wasn't in the banner department,'' he said. "I'm just not one of those guys who thinks unquestionably that he (Jordan) was the best player of all time. I don't buy that. We've had a lot of great players at a lot of positions, so what are you going to do? Retire all the numbers, and pretty soon our guys will be wearing No. 327 because all the two-digit numbers are gone.''
James made his request after his Cavs beat the Heat in Miami Thursday night with Jordan in the stands sitting alongside Pat Riley, Heat president.
"Michael was a great player, and if the NBA wants to decide that every other team in the league has to worship him, then that's up to them,'' Van Gundy said. "Would I be for that? No.''