Posted August 22, 2013

Magic Johnson disagrees with LeBron James’ choice of top-3 players

NBA
Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabarr won ?? titles as Lakers. (Mark Sullivan/Getty Images)

Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won five NBA titles as Lakers. (Mark Sullivan/Getty Images)

Upon being asked by FOX Sports to name the NBA’s three best players of all time Wednesday, LeBron James settled on Michael Jordan, Julius Erving and Larry Bird.

One of the Hall of Famers left off his list — Magic Johnson — went to Twitter on Thursday to use championship rings as his scoreboard.

Johnson offered up some diplomacy and props to King James, but the Lakers legend also referenced his five NBA championship rings as proof that Jordan, Bird and he should be the top three, with Johnson’s five titles slotting him between Jordan’s six and Bird’s three.

GOLLIVER: Nike’s new LeBron James Slam Dunk Contest ad rings hollow

No word yet from Erving on Johnson bumping him from LeBron’s top 3. It also remains to be seen if Johnson’s longtime Lakers teammate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar comments on being left off of Johnson’s list. Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time scoring leader, won six NBA titles — five with the Lakers and one with the Bucks. That’s one more than Magic.


249 comments
usapartner
usapartner

I find it hard to believe that anyone could leave off any BOAT list Bill Russell. 11 championships in 13 years means dominant. I know he played 50 years ago but we can only be compared to our contemporaries. so Magic, using your rings measuring stick, it's Russ, Jordan and you for the top 3. I welcome comments but Russ dominated the way Ruth dominated baseball (pitching and hitting) and Jim Brown dominated football.

Hammer60
Hammer60

When you look at the all around person I'd have to go with Dr. J......Not only was he one of if not the best in the NBA he also commanded and got respect everywhere he went. Not just because he was a creative beast on the court but because of the grounded and smart man that he was.

Shag11
Shag11

Doesn't make any since whatsoever to try to name just 3. I mean, come on. No Baylor, West, Wilt, Russell, and I could go on, and on, and on. 

LawrenceKnighten
LawrenceKnighten

The ball-hogs will not make my list because they did not play team ball!!

LawrenceKnighten
LawrenceKnighten

The ball-hogs doesn't  make my list, because they do not play team ball! 

richardstarr
richardstarr

The problem is, you need to judge a person within the time they played.

If you have two athletes that come up at almost the same time and they play the same position you can compare their careers, but even then it is not going to be 100% because they have different team mates.

So, there is no real way to fully compare.  You can't go by rings, because some guys on the bench have more that dominant HOF players.  You can't go by MVP, since that just means in addition to good you are on a team where you are "the man".


Frankly, unless you have a TARDIS and are going to travel through time and pluck them out at the top of their game to play against each other, it's never going to make a difference.

 

Frank46
Frank46

LBJ vs MJ

LBJ scored in the 30 during the playoffs.

Somebody tell me how many points MJ would have scored a game if the defense decided to stay 5 to 10  feet off of him. 

John293
John293

In that case, Bill Russell and his 11 NBA titles would top the list

LonnieTruman
LonnieTruman

Lets get real!!!!!  MJ is the best!!!!  Lebron won't pass him.  MJ is better in many areas, and played in the most competitive era in NBA history.   Magic being in the top 5 is way too high.  In  the late 70s and early 80s it was basically a 3 team league.  The Lakers won the title in 82' and magically had the 1st pick in the draft. (Worthy)  Teams couldn't afford the high picks so the Lakers and Celtics stockpiled talent.  Kobe wasn't even the best player on his team for his 1st 3 rings.  He's not in the top 10.  1.MJ  2. Wilt  3. Bird  4. Kareem 5. Robertson

Vinny Cordoba
Vinny Cordoba

Geez, these athletes and their Twitter. Why the bleep does Magic even care? It's just an opinion. Unbelievable.

DavidTomlinson
DavidTomlinson

H ell,Pippen shut down Magic in the '91 Finals. Go to guy, I don't think so!

rskins09
rskins09

I go with Wilt,  The Big O ,  Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant ,  The Big E  (Hays)...MJ isn't on my list ...

rfaronson
rfaronson

If I'm going 3 best, I go Wilt, Oscar, MJ, not necessarily in that order.  I would not put any active players there at least until they've become HOF eligible.  I mean, I love Magic, but Oscar averaged a triple double one season.  Russell has the rings, but swap Russell for Wilt and I think Russell has 0-1 rings for his career, Wilt 11.  Wilt outplayed Russell head to head but couldn't overcome team for team.  And I think 3 best is a bad number.  Pick your all time lineup.  I'd go with those three, add Duncan and Bird at forwards, have Phil Jackson coach, and Bob's your uncle.

humdrumdrumhumming
humdrumdrumhumming

Hate the Lakers, but it goes.

1. Kareem 

2. Nobody

3. Nobody


If you don't know, you better ask somebody.



beast
beast

I wouldn't have Johnson in my top 10. It's not all about the rings. Rings are proof of a TEAM EFFORT not proof of individual greatness.

Kobe has the rings and the stats but he's not one of the greatest. He doesn't lead his team or make them better.

And this is Lebron's list. He doesn't have to clear that with anyone.


disbeme1
disbeme1

magic, it's his list not yours. when someone asks you about your top 3, then you include whomever you wish to include. until then, get somewhere and sit down!

GaryGuillermo
GaryGuillermo

Old players and new players and championship rings . . . Of course the old greats would be great today but if you make the choice by rings don't forget about free agency. 

Yahoo Bill
Yahoo Bill

I guess Robert Horry (7) should be on the list. 

A.d.Penedo
A.d.Penedo

Bird was so unique and compelling, that such a slow flabby earthbound homely as all hell Midwestern trailer trash dude could somehow manage to perform at that level time and time again, when he outdueled D. Wilkins in the playoffs, OMG, does not get better than that....  But come on guys: Russell, Jordan, Magic.  Would also put Kobe and LeBron and Kareem ahead of Bird as well, but not Wilt or Shaq (am I the only one who remembers how dominant this dude was?) or Hakeem or Dr. J, but just barely.

marshad
marshad

@AaronDunckel

Michael Jordan says LeBron would not be...as successful in his era
Just the facts Aaron good luck this seaon while lebron shoots 47  percent, all they have to do is close the lane spurs showed the league how to stop lebron . let him shoot

marshad
marshad

to jeff


 @JeffreyAzevedo @marshad Jeff., Micahel jordan has an official 4.3 speed in the 40 yard the highest recorded vertical leap in history. PHIL JACKSON SAID IN AN INTERVIEW THAT Lebron is GOOD at 5 postions , BUT MICHEAL JORDAN WAS GREAT AT 3.  Lebrons stats in this week league just does not warrant putting him as all time number 1. Let me ask you. Who in the league would you want to have the ball in his hands at the last second for the world championship.???Where do you think lebron would be on that list. There 20 guys i could list ahead of Lebron, I am sure you know them all, starting with Michael Jordan.

NETS AND SPURS IN THE FINALS NEXT YEAR, 

pogivic1@yahoo.com
pogivic1@yahoo.com

I became a fan of Larry Bird when I saw him play at  Indiana University, then Boston Celtics. Can't jump, can't run, but oh, how he can shoot! Most of all, he was the most intelligent player on the court. And he is honest to a fault. When he saw Magic Johnson play, he said  "I will pay to see Magic play." And then, Michael Jordan: "He is God in basketball shoes." THAT is the ultimate comment. 

charlie West
charlie West

If rings is all that matters, lets see Russell 11, Horrey 7, Kareem 6, Jordan 6  beats 5 every time

pogivic1@yahoo.com
pogivic1@yahoo.com

I have a Smush Parker card. I know Michael Jordan would like to have it. But I am waiting for Mr. Warren Buffet to bid on it.

ChrisSmith5
ChrisSmith5

if thats the case Robert Horry 7 rings

rugcutter
rugcutter

Wilt Chamberlain  was the best ever,  No contest. 

Baresark !
Baresark !

Hey LeBron, maybe Larry Bird could make the top ten NBA greats.....

Baresark !
Baresark !

NBA all time best to date, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan and Earvin Johnson....

bradk457
bradk457

If NBA Championship rings are all that matter what about then Bill Russell (11), John Havlicek (8), and Robert Horry (7) would be above Jordan.

Jeff73
Jeff73

@rfaronson Wilt averaged 29 per game against Russell.  And that's 29 REBOUNDS a game.  He also averaged 29 points a game.  No one has ever dominated the league like Wilt and they never will.  He averaged over 50 one year.  FIFTY!  He was 7'1", did the high jump in college, and was a star at running the 440 (equal to the modern 400 meters).  He ran it in the low 50's.  That's Olympic speed.  He was a monster.  He was a true giant.  Only prejudice kept him from scoring far more.  They berated him for scoring too much instead of cheering for him like they would now.  The press slammed him for shooting too much.  They would build an altar to the guy now.  The league put in rules to slow him down.  The league put in rules to help Shaq.  Different era, different attitudes, different results.  I'm telling you.  I saw him play in his prime.  No one could compete with him.  His bad luck was to play on a bad team until late in his career.  When he finally got on a good team they set a record for wins beating out the 76er's who had also been led by Wilt.  Only Jordan's 1995 team has broken that record and remember the league didn't like Wilt.  They did all sorts of things to slow him down.  They had the "Jordan Rules" for MJ making it far easier for him to dominate.  Wilt was twice the player MJ was.  Surround him with the kind of talent Russell had and he would have won every year.  Bill said it was like playing a giant when he played Wilt.  He was bigger, stronger, faster and a better jumper.  And he could shoot.  He could have averaged 50 ppg every year if he hadn't been hounded by the league and the press to quit scoring so much.  That's unimaginable today.

EricLahr
EricLahr

If you make a top 10 list of NBA players and leave Magic off, you have no business making a top 10 NBA players list.

EricLahr
EricLahr

1. Jordan

2. Kareem (All-time scorer. Won NBA FInals MVP's 14 season apart!! '71 and '85)

3. Russell (Not sure how he would translate to modern times. Wouldn't be a center, more like a KG with better D and less scoring.)

4. Magic (Came closer than any modern player to avg a triple-double in '82. 9 finals in 12 years!)

5. Bird

I think LeBron will be #1 before he is done (and I am a Laker fan who hates LeBron/Jordan). People act like Jordan never lost, not true. LeBron's game is so well rounded. He is a better team mate than Jordan and he can guard your center or your quick little point guard effectively. Amazing.

HOFPufnstuf
HOFPufnstuf

bird played at Indiana state not indiana u. Small correction but good post

EricLahr
EricLahr

Why did Wilt get traded so often? Read some of the things his own team mates have said about him. His legacy has suffered since some of this stuff came out. Cared more about stats than winning, pouted during playoff series', etc.

sergej.knez
sergej.knez

@rugcutter

Wilt THE BEST EVER???? R U completely insane??? If anything, Wilt will always be remembered as the greatest whiner, not winner... He should've won at least 6-8 rings, but he only ever managed to get two (had a moment of enlighment on the first one with Philly, but couldn't even hang on to that, so they shipped him out the very next year -- can anyone imagine Bulls selling MJ just after he'd won his first? Didn't think so...) -- how could the best player ever keep choking year after year after year??? 

But maybe you were refering to his amply (self)marketed bedroom exploits???


AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

he only gave a top 3-4 ---- and you yourself didn't even put bird in your top3

HOFPufnstuf
HOFPufnstuf

Havilicek has 8? Wow. Since he also finished with 20,000 points, 5,000 assist and over 5,000 rebounds, might be time to consider him. Are we sure it's 8?

humdrumdrumhumming
humdrumdrumhumming

@zoom0321 


hi Zoomba,

i've read your posts


you've been weighed, measured, and found woefully ignorant...


just thought you should know...



samlang
samlang

@HOFPufnstuf 


Well, since Bird originally enrolled at IU, maybe pogivig saw him play some pick-up ball in Bloomington.

Eh, he probably just got the school wrong.

EricLahr
EricLahr

It is 8 but most were before 1969 and all were pre-merger. The NBA was just different back then. I think Hondo's game would transfer pretty well to today's NBA, but most of those titles came when there were 10 or fewer teams in the league.

zoom0321
zoom0321

@dumb dum dum drum .... dont hump the drum 

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn..........

:)


humdrumdrumhumming
humdrumdrumhumming

@zoom0321

As for this kiddie brain vomit, you prefaced it by saying it's your opinion (which I recommend you do with anything you say for the rest of your life), because if you don't assert something as fact people aren't forced to assert that you're an idiot.

But if I may help you with your writing


For the last shot my first preference would go to MJ (obvious), next probably would be Kobe ... or why not BIG SHOT Rob. However the last shot is not what the whole game ! I had the whole game perspective in mind when I was referring to LJ. I do agree that he has more than once not taken key shots which he should have but I also clearly see that problem diminishing rapidly. Now back to WHOLE GAME performance .... LJ in my opinion is in all time TOP 5. Now he does have the potential, I believe, to be #1, but for that he will have to rise his game to a WHOLE new level. There is a great mighty abyss between him and MJ at this point of time, but once again, I clearly see the potential for him to cross it. Will it happen or not .... Only time will tell.

here, i fixed it for your young punkahzz who never played the game...


"My (Zoomba's)  preference for taking a last shot would obviously got to MJ, Kobe would probably be next, and why not Big Shot Rob?

But the last isn't the entire game, which is what I had in mind when I referred to Bron Bron. I agree that he hasn't always taken key shots when it was called for, but he is beginning to assume more responsibility, case in point, the last shot of the 2013 Finals and his game winner against the Pacers.

In my opinion, LBJ is a top 5 player of all time, and I believe he has the potential to go down as the best ever -- but for that to happen he will have to raise his game to a whole new level. 

Because there's still a huge gap between MJ and LeBron, can the kid from Akron reel in Mike --- only time will tell."



now feel free to swim with the ignorant fishies once more....


humdrumdrumhumming
humdrumdrumhumming

@zoom0321

hi Zoomba,

Here are all of the comments that weren't made to me, and prove that you are young and stupid --- but don't get bad mad bro, there are plenty of others just like you.

A) Here is Zoomba's boring attempt as to be the one millionth kid to rank players who were balling before he was born, and failing miserably: 1. MJ. 2. Wilt Chamberlain. 3. LJ. 4. Bill Russell. 5. Kobe. 6. Magic. 7. Kareem. 8. Larry. 9. Duncan 10. Shaq

Total and utter failure, as you highlight your ignorance by placing Kobe, a man who has only ever clearly been the best player on a championship team once in his career, and has bloated career stats because he didn't play in college fifth.

A list like this is so subjective, with nearly no wrong answers, and yet here's Zoomba proving he can be "wronger" than the rest.


B) This next comment is you arguing with another young imbecile, thinking you it will make you look good, but as always it just becomes a case where one-eyed youngsters poke each other in their only good eye.

"Your reasoning makes no sense at all. What about the most important ingredient for greatness, which is "talent". As per your logic Carl Lewis or Bolt or Mike Tyson should be the NBA legends. But they are not because they don't have the needed talent. Talent is the most important parameter ... others like number of rings or records or physical parameters are important factors but not the KEY. There are many other players who match LJ physically but they are obviously not in the same class."

First off, how stupid are you to say "many other players match LF physically"? Please start naming the players in NBA history that were built like Karl Malone who have NFL wide receiver athletic tools. Here, I'll help you, Lebron - --- list over.

And, you've just asserted that a player whose career ended after a rookie season where he was MVP would be the greatest player of all time.

You've also said that 5'10" 233 pound point guards who could knock people out, will become NBA legends if they practice hard enough (Mike Tyson). Name one NBA player in history under six foot and over 225 pounds who was decent, or even existed.

And it is nice that you tried to use a word like parameter, but talent is not a parameter Zoomba, which is defined as --- Anumericalorothermeasurablefactorformingone of a set that definesasystemorsetstheconditions of itsoperation.

I'll sum that up if you're confused, talent is not finite, mumerical or measurable.



zoom0321
zoom0321

Dum dum .... Drum drum ... Dumb dumb .... Dum dum ...:)