Monday, October 17th, 2011 at 1:25 pm  |  90 responses

Video: Magic Johnson Takes Shots at LeBron James

“There will always be guys who win Championships…except LeBron.”

In what looks like an otherwise harmless speech at the University of Albany, Magic Johnson fired multiple verbal shots at LeBron James while (presumably) speaking to a group of students. You’ll see the first at the 1:08 mark in the vid above. (H/T: Terez Owens)

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  • cnewells

    He actually did seem pretty frustrated, but why give this rant to a random group of students? LeBron sucks bro Magics right, he must have been playing a lot of 2k12 or somethin

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Can’t watch the video at work but… Why so harsh?

  • http://slamonline.com YKnoT

    I’m not even a Lebron fan and I’m getting sick of this. Does having a championship automatically make you a great player and vice versa for lack there of? So BJ Armstrong is a better pg than CP3? Mario Elie would kill Durant? Bill Cartwright better than Ewing? Gimme a break!

  • OKalnins


  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Word. I guess CBarkley, EBaylor, KMalone, JStock, Nique and PEwing must all be bums in Magic’s eyes.

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER


  • http://www.twitter.com/xpotatotitsx mersh

    is magic going to make an attempted tour at standup comedy? blaaahhhh and i hate lebron too.

  • http://www.twitter.com/nflem41 Nicolas Fleming

    So is it easier to make fun of LeBron or Bosh?

  • Jono

    Magic had Kareem, Big Game James and host of other great role players. Not to mention Pat Riley. Judge LeBron and the Heat after at least 3 seasons, not 1. Fu(king Magic Johnson, right pain in the ass sometimes.

  • AD

    i really think this is justa joke and maybe they are doing this thinkn lebron will use this as motivation i think magic wants to see lebron win but can’t say it nicely because the story wont be as interesting.

  • O

    I think LeGone b*tched up with the move to Miami, but even i’m tired of all these shots being fired at son. LBJ is BOUND to win at least 2 chips. So until he retires in the HOF section where Ewing, Barkley, Malone, and Stockton reside, can’t really talk about him not having any rings like it’s never going to happen. That said, F*CK LeGone Dames. Let’s go Knicks!

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    Yep, Magic Johnson HATES Lebron. Did anyone else read the article about the Heat voodoo dolls in Magic’s attic? or the fact that he secretly got kcuF norbeL inscribed on all the insides of Starbucks coffee cups? They’re great reads. Great reads.

  • marc

    im tired of the lebron hate. And im a kobe fan. And coming from me whether lebron gets a ring or not he’s still amazing and a great basketball player. He’s probably the best NATURALLY gifted player we seen.

  • http://offthebackboard.wordpress.com/ Off The Backboard

    Love it. Kind of weird for him to do it in front of a group of students (I think he was just trying to get a rise out of them), but its good to see players expressing how they really feel. After reading True Hoop’s asinine article by that faux-journalist Henry Abbott giving fellatio towards the Decision, this was a welcome sight.

  • Heals

    Isn’t this the same guy who said the torch had been passed by Kobe to him less than 2 years ago (I might be wrong, but could’ve sworn he said it on a pregame show)? This constant “where does so-so rank?” is so tiresome nowadays. Doing it every month with LeBron’s legacy (actually not his fault most of the time, i.e. Pippen’s remarks) is exhausting…

  • ugly_fish

    I don’t think Magic is saying “Lebron sucks” or anything like that…HE’S SAYING ITS FRUSTRATING AND CRAZY WHEN PEOPLE PUT LEBRON IN THE SAME CLASS AS KOBE AND JORDAN. Which is correct because Lebron hasn’t won anything and he choked hard in the Finals (which is irrespective of the supporting cast argument).

  • http://offthebackboard.wordpress.com/ Off The Backboard

    I also find it funny that people scream “WHAT’S WITH THE HATE?” regarding anything related to Lebron when a couple of years they did the same thing to Kobe and ignored Laker/Kobe supporters trying to defend Kobe in the same way. Doesn’t feel good to be on the defensive all the time, does it, Lebron fans? Unfortunately for the rest of us “haters”, Lebron is going to get at least a ring or two in the near future, there’s no question about that.

  • Do Work

    What was the actual reason Magic is giving a speech? To repeat his same opinions about basketball that we’ve heard before?

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Believe me.. LeBron will be so fired up for next season (whenever it is), and just go HAM on everyone. I see him winning an MVP and a ring in the same season. It’s only a matter of time. People need to lay off him, I like Magic, but this was totally unnecessary for him to say this.

  • andy

    i think this shows lebron needs to be roasted. Jeff d
    Ross please get onto it!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    this was unnecessary but Magic is right however. People need to stop comparing that dude to Jordan and Magic. Last season people were so quick to have him leapfrog Kobe in the GOAT debate until he stunk it up in the finals.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    ^Kobe and LeBron are in a GOAT debate? LOL, no they aren’t. Both top 20 for sure, but no one (who is sane and sober) is saying that either of them could be GOAT.

    LeBron will stop all of this once he wins a Chip. So win it next year so we can stop hearing all these peeps bi*ching about it. (Only problem is the Lakers are winning the Chip next year!)

  • T-Money

    i don’t understand the timing though. it seems the rant was totally unprompted. odd.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    To me, it’s pretty obvious why Magic is so heated.
    He keeps saying to stop comparing LeBron to Jordan and Bird, but what he really wanted to say was he’s tried of Bron being compared to HIM.
    Think about it, since high school most analysts believed he was more Magic Johnson than Michael Jordan.
    More of a triple-double threat than a scoring terror (although he can be that, too).
    I bet Magic been bottling up these feelings since the comparisons first started back when Bron was like a high school sophomore.
    He really wanted to say “come on, I’ve got 5 championships!” but didn’t want to sound too egotistical so he used Jordan instead.
    My two cents.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    yeah i don’t get what motivated Magic to do this. Maybe someone called him Tragic recently and he needed to divert attention….

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Enigmatic is right.
    Nobody has a bigger ego than Magic. The same size, yes, but bigger? Hell no.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    lebron is laughing about this right now… but when the season starts he’s gonna try and average like 40 10 and 10..

  • ionmic

    Mt feeling is that these guys like Magic dislike Lebron cos he is cashing in on being the next greatest and physically he is unrivalled but they see that he doesnt have the mental toughness to be as great as they were and they don’t want to tarnish their greatness by having a fake like lebron become ‘The greatest’. The difference between larry,magic, mike, even kobe and any other great isnt that they were far better athletes it was their mental toughness and dedication. Then we have lebron using his name to make money on the side hosting parties and generally exploiting his potential greatness to make a few extra bucks and never developing those inner qualities that you need in order to fulfill his potential.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    datkid, Like when you said LeBron was laughing last season and that he would average a trip doub, prove all the critics wrong, and win a chip. Whens the laughing stop and the actually winning the Chip and averaging a triple double start? Stop with the non sense about averaging 40,10,10 for once and acknowledge that he will never do that and needs to win next year before he can start laughing again? Am I right? I know i’m right.

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    HA! Co-sign LakeShow.

  • LA Huey

    Nobody in their right mind predicts a human being averaging 40-10-10 in today’s NBA. Saying ish like that is how you effectively excuse yourself from a conversation.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Huey, and thats all I meant. LeBron is the best overall player right now. That’s obvious. BUT, to all the slurpers, stop doing that to LbJ! He is fantastic, stop putting ridiculous expectations on dude. Avg. 27,7,7 next year and play even better D and win a chip! Thats the only thing LBJ needs to do and has a realistic chance of doing.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I though the key word in Dat Kid’s comment was “try.”
    Maybe I was wrong.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    It was try, but lakeshow is an overreact-er lol

  • http://@cookinwitPOTS P.O.T.S

    THERES A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GREAT ATHLETE AND A GREAT BASKETBALL PLAYER!!!! the thing is lebron is uncoachable. Lets be honest, mike brown was more of a spectator when lebron excelled in his in his amazing cleveland playoff runs. Who really thoupoght spoelstra was capable of gelling together those egos and such talents? Did the officials even respect his authority to call a timeout? You would never see scottie and mike mocking the illness of an opposing great player after a game that they lost. The character of a great player comes out when they outcome arrives.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Kobe’s gunna try and score 100 in every game he plays next year!

  • 2307

    I love magic, but I do remember (by which i mean watched the re-runs and heard him talk about it) a celtics lakers finals when he didnt play so hot himself! lets just see how LeBron has done when his careers over! im just saying

  • seriousblack

    Kobe doesn’t have the energy or knees to “try”, rocket surgeon! :D

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Lakeshow, he has done that every game of his career but game 7 against Phoenix in 06. haha

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    When has Kobe not “tried” to score 100?
    Kobe been gunning since gunning was a gunner. Lol.
    I thought Dat Kid was saying Bron is going to be mad and try to kill because of those comments. Now, I think that’s silly because Bron already is motivated enough, but I think it’s sad when people are reaming Dat Kid for something he didn’t even say.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    LOL. So true he does!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    @lakeshow, they are mentioned, but I was being lazy and didnt want to specify that I was talking about the greatest PLAYERS of all-time, and not the greatest PLAYER. Many analyst last playoffs were acting like it was a foregone conclusion that Lebron was better than Kobe.

  • Red Star

    Lmao! Magic is a wicked man!

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Great job Magic, I can’t wait until his tour hits up North Carolina!!!

  • Chukaz

    I wonder if he’s mad cuz he knows that if LeBron was the starting PG for those Laker teams in the 80′s the Lakers would’ve never lost a single game EVER. This is coming from a Laker fan. I hate LeBron as much as anybody from Cleveland, but come one son. Respect the man’s game. The fact that LeBron hasn’t won any championship’s doesn’t mean he’s a lesser player. Stephen Jackson’s got a ring, does that make him better than LeBron? No it does not. The reason LeBron has never won is because nobody has ever told him no. If a couch would’ve told him at some point “no LeBron, you can not run the offense” maybe LeBron would’ve won by now

  • http://kingakai.com Alpha-bet

    I agree with Enigmatic, I think Magic really wants to say stop comparing dude to ME! He would never publicly say that though, as to not come off egotistical.
    Even though Magic was right, that rant come out of nowhere and was a bit ackward too.

  • blakos

    Just some standard 2011 jokes to get the crowd laughing.

  • Ali

    well lebron does suck

  • LA Huey

    datkid was also telling us what LBJ’s acute reaction the situation and how he plans on doing about it. Might want to correct him about that unless we’re assuming he’s actually Maverick Carter or LBJ himself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    C’mon Magic, really? You’re like 53 years old. Of course someone my age would clown Lebron like that, but dang, Magic unleashed feelings that were obviously held in for awhile. …..Then again, why am I surprised? He is Magic Johnson after all…..

  • Rainman

    to the guy who said give the heat 3 years

    The Lakers won the ring the first year Magic Joined the lakers…just sayin.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Yeah and he played with Kareem. So, yeah.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    allenp you and nbk pretty much understood me correctly. I’m glad SOMEONE did. wow lakeshow… i like how you made that giant overreaction to my comment. my point was that after all this flak and criticism that lebron would come back post-lockout and be ready to dominate even more than he already does. 40-10-10 was an exaggeration obviously… but thank you again for proving just how poor you’re reading comprehension is lakeshow. Also my prediction last year? 26-7-7 isn’t that bad, and if memory serves homie came pretty close to winning it all. despite his offensive deficiencies.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    also lakeshow? just so we’re clear you’re still the jack@ss in this conversation. btw spaceshipt jay? LA huey? you know you’re wrong if you ever even think of cosigning this guy smh

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    datkid going in.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    The Greatest Player who has ever lived going in on The King.

  • Galagu

    dang didn’t know magic was a hater like this…makes me like magic a lil less and im not a bron fan.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    Also I’d like to point out that lebron’s probably not uncoachable…mike k. coached him just fine during the olympics. and I’ve never heard a coach talk badly about him unlike george karl did with melo, or phil jackson did with kobe.

  • Do Work

    Magic is the greatest player who ever lived? Not a chance. Top 10 easily, no matter who’s list it is. But he had absolutely no jumpshot. Jordan murked him once he finally got some teammates to match Magic’s HOF teammates. Jordan is the G.O.A.T.

  • Drob

    a couple of ZINGERS from Magic….priceless…

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Actually with Jordan guarding Magic the Bulls got trashed (Game 1 – 91 finals) – then they put Scottie (best perimeter defender ever) on him and won the next 4. Jordan was better, but Magic is just about as close as it gets in terms of all-time greatness (depending on your POV)

  • robb

    As I’ve said before, talking about how good a player is doesn’t equal greatness. Example: Kobe is the best Laker ever, Magic is the greatest. There’s a difference. Greatness goes beyond the talent and accomplishments as a player. The only exception? MJ. MJ is the best player ever and the greatest ever.

  • CubicleWorker

    Lebron isn’t GUARANTEED to win two championships, we’re eight seasons into a (personal estimate) 15 year career. Will he come out blazing next season? Yea… can he keep it up for 100+ games? If history is any indicator probably not..Even so, if he wins one championship most of you guys will jump on his dcik like he’s won six. Also for all of you saying Kobe won three as the second option I’m not sure what playoffs you were watching last year but if Heat would have won DWade was the Finals MVP

  • Guru

    Bron is a phenomenal talent but I want to see some humility and grace. He got hyped up from a young age but that does not mean hes Gods gift (who puts King James on there own front gate, really?!). Hes physically the best player in thye nba, mentally hes not even close to being great

  • http://tempdog1 Tempest

    In all seriousness. When Magic was in his prime and when Lebron gets to his prime, if they played 1 on 1. Id have my money on Lebron.

  • http://slamonline.com Big D

    He spoke the truth. Can’t touch Jordan.

  • Klemperer

    Survived the HIV, still working on that ADD.

  • Justin

    nbk, I don’t think I’d call game 1 of the Bulls and Lakers a thrashing. It took a Sam Perkins 3 pointer late in the game to get that win. And the Pippen on Magic switch was hardly the series turner either. Game two saw the Bulls shoot something like 64% as a team and one of the games had to be won in OT. It also took a different type of defense in the way they double teamed Vlade while having James Worthy and Byron Scott go down to injury didn’t help the Laker cause either. Now, I’m the biggest MJ fan there is and I think the Bulls would have pulled it out eventually but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking the matchup switch was the big reason for the wins.

  • http://myspace.com/gametimeweezy Gametimeweezy

    Magic roasting LeBron thats maad funny seems like everybody has been roasting the King lately.. I dont know if he’ll ever be the greatest but he’ll always be the King.. no Elvis. Fo real though he needs to start balling up if he’s even to have a greater career than Charles Barkley/Shawn Kemp.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Justin that is the reason they won. Pippin didn’t shut down Magic, but he limited him, made him work. Magic was breaking down at the end of games. And it allowed Jordan to focus on offense and play more minutes. Nobody was ever going to shut down Magic, but Pippen atleast slowed him down (except Game 6) and opened the door for Jordan to do what Jordan did.

  • Yesse

    Is he trying to do stand up comedy?

  • Jesse

    Magic is an old head just trying to give the young people what he thinks they will find amusing.

  • RobbieJay

    lets just combine all these video clips and sell em in cleaveland for 10 dollars, that should help pay some bills. & @nbk your right, i watched that whole series, pippen was the reason for them winning. lock down d at its finest.

  • Justin

    nbk, I assume you meant game 5 since it only went 5 games. I know you know your stuff. ;-) Anyway, I’m not saying you aren’t right as far as what Pippen did to Magic, I’m just saying there were other factors. If you read what you originally wrote, you can see how it comes across.

  • riggs

    “allright allriiiiiiiiiiight….you gone learn today”

  • DieselMechanic

    i don’t see how bron doesn’t start winning championships with this group immediately. i’ll be very surprised if they don’t. a lot of ppl gon be eating their words.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Yeah J your right, I see what your sayin. And I did mean game 5 (Magic had 20 Assists). Scottie on Magic was the catalystic move, but it was not the only reason Chicago run. my fault

  • http://offthebackboard.wordpress.com/ Off The Backboard

    To anyone saying Kobe didn’t contribute much, and was only a second option, and the rings belong to Shaq: you’re a fool. In the 2000 playoffs, yes, the ring was mostly a result of Shaq’s dominance and an all-around team effort (Kobe averaged around 21, but Shaq was rightfully the MVP that season and in the playoffs – he was in his prime). However, Kobe was still the closer on that team. Game 4 against the Pacers in the Finals comes to mind, as does the game winner against the Suns in the first round. AFTER 2000, there is no way anyone can convince me Kobe was not 1A (not #2, 1A) on those Laker teams. He averaged 29, 7, 6 during the 2001 playoffs (and a ridiculous 33, 7, 7 against the SPURS, to which Shaq called him “the best player in the league”), and 26, 5, 4 during the 2002 run. You really think the Lakers would have won the ring with just Shaq and any two-guard? C’mon. Stop kidding yourself.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Off The Backboard, Ive tried to show these guys that. They just don’t get it. What more important? The guy closing the game or the one who kept you in it? Neither/Both. They are both equally important thus 1 and 1A. Sometimes Kobe was 1 sometimes he was 2. Same for Shaq daddy.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/mediator-111018/nba-lockout-george-cohen-save-season Allenp

    But Shaq got 3 Finals MVPs.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Pretty easy to hand the trophy to the MDE in his prime over the young up and comer. I think Shaq deserved all of them. It’s just as Wade would have got it last year had the Heat won. Despite Bron being the better over-all talent.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    But I know you just hating on me Allen as per usual so it’s cool. I got love for you :)

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Shaq was the better overall talent, player, force, everything in those years. ANd it isn’t taking anything away from Kobe to say that. He was clearly integral to them winning those titles. But don’t try and give him and shaq equal credit, that was Shaq’s team. You don’t give Scottie Pippen as much credit as you give Michael Jordan, and he was also one of the best players in the league.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I kind of do give Scottie just as much credit… I mean if Scottie was not locking up the opposing best player down then MJ would have to, which would cause his offense to struggle. Pippen was also their second best scoring threat that also took pressure off MJ. Obviously MJ was the man and not only the most talented on the team but of all the L, of all time. So obviously you gotta give him the nod as being the most important player, but he ain’t going anywhere with out Scottie. Once again, do you want the guy that can finish the game for you or the one who gets you into the position to win in the first place? Both. Thus equally important. Shaq deserved all 3 MVP’s. I would only have one finals as being a toss up between the two.

  • zach

    Jordan won Defensive Player of the year in his prime scoring days, unless you’re talking about later in his career. Shaq was the man on both sides of the court for the Lakers. Kobe was great but he wasn’t the man on those 3 chip teams.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    ^Who said KB was the man? Who said Jordan wasn’t a great defender? Geez, words get screwed like a motha f*ck up here some times.

  • BostonBaller

    After watching this short clip I didn’t see Magic as frustrated…his attempt at humor may have been a bit pointed but it did seem like he was trying to work the crowd with a few high profile names..

  • Van City BBall

    im no lbj fan either but rings do not make you automatically better… ALLEN IVERSON has never won a ring but does that mean Derrick Fisher is better?… exactly

  • Justin

    LakeShow, your analogy with MJ and Pippen and the “do you want the guy that can finish or the one that gets you into the position to win” is not a good one because Jordan did both.

  • http://www.tumblr.com arthurissupreme

    If you put Lebron on magic’s laker teams they win at least 4 rings