Magic Johnson

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There are a lot of articles and news stories out about what Magic Johnson did for HIV awareness and education and the strength of spirit he’s shown in the face of his illness. Great points, and we at Double Dribble give Magic huge dap for his contributions on those fronts.

What I haven’t heard or read anywhere else though is an account of just how good Magic was at the time of his forced retirement. He was the league MVP in 1990 and the runner-up in 1991. It would be easy to argue that Magic was the second best player in basketball at a time when the GOAT was peaking and virtually impossible to keep him out of the top 5.

At 32 years old and with a Jason Kidd type of oversized point guard build, it’s not hard to imagine Johnson ranking up there with Jordan, Barkley, Robinson and Olajuwon through 1993 and maintaining a high level role player position as late as 2000 when he turned 40.

It’s hard to feel bad for Lakers fans who have enjoyed 5 titles since Magic retired, but they were deprived of many more years of unparalleled point guard play from the greatest passer of all time, and Magic’s own claim to the GOAT title might be even more compelling.

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