Magic Johnson RumorsAll NBA Players
“He’s the closest thing we’ve seen to Michael Jordan,” Johnson said. “He’ll probably go down as the second greatest scoring guard. You couldn’t stop him. His will to win was incredible and he stayed in the gym like no other. This guy was 24/7 basketball. I’m happy for him because he said he feels this is his time to go out. He’s going out the way he wants to go out.”
The other one that was very similar was when I traded Norm Nixon. He and Magic Johnson both needed the ball to be successful. Jerry Buss and I talked about them and I said, “I don’t call Magic Johnson ‘Magic Johnson.’ I always call him Earvin Johnson, but he was Magic Johnson when he had the basketball in his hands. When he played and he didn’t have the ball in his hands, he was Earvin Johnson.” I think our fans got to expect Magic Johnson instead of Earvin Johnson. He and Norm were too similar in the way they played the game. They both needed the ball. Those were horrible days for me and I will never forget that Jack Nicholson, who was an incredible Lakers fan, wore black to our games for a solid month. He and I finally had to have a talk about that.
Magic Johnson, Jerry West says, was the superstar who had the strongest opinions about who he wanted on the team, and while West heard him out, he didn’t always heed Magic’s advice. “He liked his friends, and we didn’t like them as much as he did sometimes,” West says.
Johnson blasted Buss over the hiring of Mike D’Antoni in 2012 instead of former coach Phil Jackson. He went on several TV and radio shows ripping Buss, saying he wouldn’t be able to bring the Lakers back to relevance. “Magic Johnson going nuts on me?” Buss said with a laugh. “It’s like, ‘Really, dude? My dad made you a billionaire almost. Really? Where are you coming from?’ ”