Magic may have been the best point guard in NBA history. I wasn't around when Bob Cousy was playing for the Celtics, but based upon what I read and saw on film, Cousy may be the only guard who could compete against Magic as the elite NBA PG of all time.
Magic was the best for many reasons.
1. His precise passing and ball control. Big guys loved playing with him because if they were open, they always received the ball right in stride.
2. He was a 6 foot 9 inch point guard. Are you kidding? Who could guard him?
3. He was probably the most intelligent player of his generation. He realized very early on that a pass first point guard was a far better option that a shoot first PG. Magic knew how to involve everyone on the team.
4. Magic was at his best when the game was on the line.
There is something else that fascinates me in terms of both Larry Bird and Magic. Neither player could jump or run by most NBA standards, yet they were the greatest players of the 1980’s. Why? Because they made their teammates better. There were tons of guys in the league who were better athletes, but no one inspired better play from their teammates than Bird and Magic.
I totally agree with u..i saw on another forum that stated MAGIC wouldnt be dominate in todays game... I THINK THATS BS!!! U TALKIN BOUT 1 of the 3 best players of all time...
I agree totally. I feel this generation has grown up on MJ and thats ok but Magic was a winner just like Jordan. Jordan was great but Magic was great as well and should be considered as a guy you could start a team with and make a bunch of decent players look like all-stars. He single handedly extended the career of Kareem and made James Worthy into a hall of famer. He also made Coop and BScott look way above average. Nothing against Jordan just don't think the guy gets his due he could play in any era besides the new rules would actually play to his advantage. They played a lot tougher back then.
Magic was a winner from the first day he entered the league. If you will recall, even though Michael was scoring at will, the Bulls were losers his first few years in the league. It took Jordan about 4 to 5 years to figure out that he couldn't win by himself, he had to involve and trust his teammates. Unlike Jordan, Magic understood that his rookie year.
As for today's talent, there still isn't a single point guard in the game who could guard a 6 foot 9 inch opponent. And let's not forget Magic's intelligence, he was one of the smartest guys who ever played the game. When you factor in his height, strength, and basketball IQ, Magic would still be the best point guard in the league today.
I'm sorry, but this is silly. Jordan came to a team with Dave Corzine, Ennis Whatley, Caldwell Jones and Orlando Woolridge. Magic went to a Lakers team that had Michael Cooper, Jamal Wilkes, Norm Nixon and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I think it's safe to say Magic benefitted from a slightly beter situation. Magic is great, and would've been competitive in any era [as would Bird] but no GM in their right mind would pick anyone over Jordan knowing what we all know. NOT ONE. And to think otherwise is downright foolish. Michael Jordan is the greatest and probably most competitive player of all time, and remember when they met in the finals [when Jordan was just entering his peak and Magic was in the middle of his] who came out on top.
I am guessing that this is in response to the article about Magic not being dominate. The thing is that Magic Johnson could realistically play every position on the floor. Point guard is probably the ideal position for him, but what team wouldn't love a player with his skill, but also the ability to say that they can put him in whatever position on the floor that they need to and they would still win? I think when someone makes a statement that Magic wouldn't be dominate that it really makes me start to debate how intelligent they are when it comes to basketball. I'm not saying that because someone doesn't share the same position as me, but because we are talking about not just a hall of fame player, but a guy that no one has seen before or since. Those types of players don't come around very often.
Yes, I posted this new thread because one or more people said Magic couldn't compete at the same level in today's game. I don't remember who that was but I agree with you, they don't understand basketball. For all of the reasons mentioned in the first post of this thread, Magic was the greatest point guard of his time and would still be the best in 2009.
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Magic didn't make Worthy into a hall of famer. Worthy would have been able to star on any team in the NBA, as he was one of the premere small forwards in the 80's. He stepped up his game in the biggest of situations, and was a tremendous player in moving off the ball. Yes he was a recipient of many a Magic pass, but his finishing ability is up there with any player in his era. And for all the talk about having "it", Worthy definitely had it. He played with a couple of superior players over his career, so him being overshadowed is natural, but don't underestimate how necessary he was to Magic and the Lakers success. And I'm not saying all this just because he's fam.
Magic Would Easily Dominate Today The Same Way He Did In The 80's, POSSIBLY Even More With How More The Game Is Wide Open And You Can't hand Check As Much, Point Blank Standing At 6'9 Being Highly Intelligent, And Terrific in The Open Floor He Could Dominate Any ERA
I don't know how young you are, but thanks for bringing up the end of the Hand Check rules. With Magic's strength and size, he could take any point guard in the league down low and dominate.
As I mentioned in my earlier posts above, there are several reasons why Magic would still be, far and away, the number one point guard in the game if he were in his 20's.
You hit on the key factor that made Magic such a unique and elite point guard, he made everyone around him better. I don't care who was on his team, Magic would always elevate their level of play.
You must have posted this in error, you can't be talking about Magic taking up too much attention in the post.
I think we have a mild disagreement.
If a guy like Magic is 6 ft.9 and weighs around 245 pounds, he of course has the ability to take any point guard down low. Obviously that would be a total mismatch so it would clearly be an important option on offense.
Having said that, Magic's game was on the perimeter and the fast break. He always loved passing and understood the significance of keeping your teammates involved and happy. Even though Magic could take any guard down low, that wasn't his game, nor his priority. He would do it only when it was appropriate.
You brought up an interesting point, who would an NBA GM pick if both Magic and Jordan were available. Wow! How could you make such a choice? It's generally accepted that you can't win in the NBA without a top flight point guard and I agree with that philosophy. You certainly couldn't go wrong with either player. My arguments in this thread were actually restricted to the PG position, no one was better than M. Johnson, so he would always be the first PG chosen in the draft.
If I were forced to choose between the two, I think I would go with Magic, but I wouldn't feel bad if my consolation prize was Jordan.
&$#%#&@!, play Jordan at the 1. If we're talking about starting a team from the ground up and you were given the oppertunity to pick anyone in history and have them for the duration of their career I don't know how you could pass Jordan up. There was a stretch during one of his first few seasons [wasn't his 2nd 'cause he was injured most of it] that he put up a triple double in multiple consecutive games. I don't remember off the top of my head so I'll get back to ya'll. Anyway, I'd take him over anybody, anywhere, anytime. And, as much as I like Magic his supporting cast made him a lot better than he would've been elsewhere. I'd honestly probably grab Stockton as my point guard if given the option, as much as it pains me to say it being a native Houstonian.
Sorry, was out of town. Yeah, I would take Stockton. More effective passer, better defender -both on the ball and off -, set a meaner pick, etc... I honestly don't care what Magics #'s were when Kareem left, 'cause he still had Worthy, Scott, Cooper, Rambis, Orlando Woolridge came over, need I go on? I like Magic but he was blessed with a phenominal suppoering cast. Outside of Malone Stockton went to the finals with Hornacek, Russel and Ostertag rounding out his starting unit, and he did it twice. Oh, and Jordan didn't guard Magic full time for a reason, and they didn't put Pippen on him until game 2 or 3. Honestly, I might take Isiah over Magic too, but I'd have to really think about it.
Uh, you got that backwards. GM's USED to consider it impossible to win without a top flight bigman, not pg. But that's obviously not entirely true anymore either. The Bulls had Jordan and Pippen bring the ball up, Bryant does the majority of ball-handling for the Lakers, etc.. As long as you have someone who understands distribution and flow [and can pull it off] you're set.
WhiteFlash said, "I would take Stockton".
How long have you been watching basketball? I cannot believe you, or anyone else, could think that John Stockton was better than Magic.
I completely agree that John Stockton was one of the greatest point guards of his generation. He was durable, reliable, and he got 100% out of his ability. I can't think of another player I respected more than John Stockton. This isn't a knock against one of best PGs ever, but he wasn't Magic Johnson.
Magic was a once in a 25 year type player. He was 6 foot 9 and weighed around 240 points, yet he played point guard. That meant no other PG could possibly guard him. In addition to his physical attributes, he was incredibly intelligent, he made everyone around him better, and he was at his best during crunch time.
I don't know if we'll ever see another guard like Magic, but I hope so.
I gotta ask how long YOU'VE been watching ball? Magic was listed at 6'9", but was closer to 6'7" and he was closer to 220lbs, not 240. With that he was a defensive liability, couldn't shoot well and only excelled in an uptempo offense. Stockton is the NBA career leader in Assists and steals, played tough on the ball D as well as playing the passing lanes, set mean ass picks, stuck open AND contested jumpers, and could play uptempo or slow it down, grind it out playoff style ball. I'm not saying that I necesarilly think Stockton was better, I'm saying I'd rather have him running the 1 on my squad. Also, how many times do I have to mention how much Magic benefitted from his cast? Not trying to take away anything from Magics career, but no one finds it odd that the two most storied franchises in NBA history [at that point] got the two best players in the draft, even though Bird was picked 6th and waited a year to join? Point blank, if Magic hadn't joined the Lakers we'd be talking about him a little differently. No matter where Stockton went we'd be talking about the same guy. Ask Charles Barkley.