Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 at 3:35 pm  |  74 responses

Magic Johnson Fires Back at LeBron James Following Snub

LeBron James initially left Magic Johnson off his personal Top 3 list of the greatest NBA players of all time. LBJ then stretched the list to four in order to include Magic, but that apparently wasn’t good enough for Johnson. The Hall of Famer responded today on Twitter, stating that despite LeBron having the right to an opinion, Magic’s championships ensure him special consideration in the never-ending G.O.A.T. debate: “Lebron is entitled to his opinion, but I still think that he and I have a similar game and that’s why I LOVE to watch him play! [...] NBA Championship rings are all that matter; Jordan 6, Me 5, Bird 3, LeBron 2 and Dr. J 1.”

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  • Samjbasketball

    If ring count was what it was then bill Russell would be the greatest of all time! I don’t even have magic in my top 5

  • illma

    Russell 11 …

  • spit hot fiyah

    maybe they can sponsor u earvin

  • Jonathan Faulkner

    Horry 7…

  • LakeShow

    Steve Kerr is tied with you Magic!


    I see what you did there! LOL

  • bike

    Well, putting Bird ahead of Magic had to sting him a little….quite a few folks would disagree with his top 5.

  • Tommy_Jules

    Championship rings are not all that matter. Over half of all NBA championships were won by the Lakers and Celtics.

  • Wilt Chamberlain

    Again, championship rings are a TEAM accomplishment. By Magic’s logic, Horry > all of them.

  • jub al

    Exactly what I was scrolling down this page to write..

  • Bedot

    how is magic NOT in your top 5?

  • Dfrance

    Magic too old to be gettin his panties in a bunch over something like this.

  • bobby

    haha, but forreal its kinda weird that magic would be so sensitive, its not like lebrons list is the definitive one. like who cares what he thinks?

  • spit hot fiyah

    and the rest by steve kerr, almost

  • Cortez Mack

    Please remember, Magic Johnson is not an excellent speaker or master wordsmith. This is a fact.

    He was not giving his personal “top 5″. He was giving the adjusted order of James’s top 5 after inserting himself. When he says “Championships are the only thing that matter” what he means is, “Championships should be weighted more heavily” once you start talking about a certain (high level) caliber of player.

    Robert Horry is not in that conversation, period. Neither is Steve Kerr.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ Nick Tha Quick

    Just wait till Kareem hears about all this.

  • Evan Boland

    They have stated many times they’re comparing themselves to other stars. There’s a big difference leading a team and bey a key role player. And.. Why do we play the game in the first place?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    LMAO, so Magic….used LeBron’s list as the qualifier and left off Russell and Jabbar…..you know, because then he himself wouldn’t be left off……again.

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    That’s not exactly firing back. You won’t see Russell “firing” back.

  • Blarmac

    At least he didn’t come off as a petty or anything…….

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk


  • chyea

    I know that MJ is the conventional answer in all GOAT debates, but I have Russell as the GOAT. There simply has never been a player in NBA history with his level of impact.

  • Chris LeDon
  • robb

    No matter what these lists are always subjective element. Accolades, skills, impact on and off court aren’t enough to determine the greatest players. We will never agree on that, but every opinion is valid. Lebron thinks Dr. J is a top 3 why not?

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    These two probably have each other’s phone numbers. I’d like to see them sit down and have a conversation. Not even an interview, just a talk. Much like KG and Bill Russell had when Garnett got to Boston. I’d also like to see Oscar Robertson and LeBron talk like that. Would be great to watch. Watching Magic talk to/about James to his face after they won in June was great TV.

  • RedDragon10

    Bill Russell 11

  • The Philosopher

    Magic is the greatest player to ever play in the NBA.

  • Marvin

    Sam Jones 10, Hondo 7. just Russell & Jones combined own more than the 5 Magic mentioned

  • RedDragon10

    I think you missed the point. The previous poster stated that horry was just a role player, so his ring count doesn’t count. So I listed a star player.

  • WestUp_R_VestUp, 713!


  • Clems

    He’s saying top 5… Those are his top five ….If anyone was slighted, it was Kobe

  • Ishmael Jenkins

    Let’s look at a few facts, shall we? Kobe came into the league playing on a team with Shaquille O’Neal…Magic came in with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar…LeBron came in playing with Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Ricky Davis, and Darius Miles…pretty much ends this whole thing. LeBron left guys like Mo Williams, Boobie Gibson, Antawn Jamison and Jamario Moon to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Bryant and Johnson already had those guys on their teams, they didn’t need to go anywhere. James did. Kobe would have begged for a trade playing with that team (which he did before Gasol arrived). He didn’t need to leave Shaq and Magic didn’t need to leave James Worthy. LeBron had to leave the guys he was playing with. Period. Kobe won with Shaq and Pau Gasol. Really going to hold it against LeBron for not winning with Anderson Varejao, Delonte West and JJ Hickson? Let’s be smart about this.

  • Bandwagonfan

    Magic johnson definitely care

  • Mack

    To me, it’s pretty simple: you’re debating and ranking individuals. You can’t use rings as the main discussion point because championships aren’t won alone. And yes, water is wet.

    Factoring in everything he did as an INDIVIDUAL, Michael Jordan is the greatest single player ever. IMO he could have been a minimum top 3 player in any era. He has more memorable moments than any other player in NBA history and his accomplishments/ stats only strengthen his arguement for GOAT.

    I just don’t get when people get all defensive about it. Yes, we get it, Magic Johnson was phenomenal; Wilt was certainly dominant; Bill Russell led 11 championship teams; Larry Bird is a legend; MJ was just a little bit greater than them all.

  • shockexchange

    So Horry Jr’s 5 don’t count either then. SE gets it.

  • old school

    See the way my T-mobile set up……can only hold 5 and magic didnt make the cut

  • Dolan


    Who knows how many rings Lebron will win when he retires.

  • Jonathan Faulkner

    I was being facetious about Horry to make a point, the game is played to win and rings are a huge part of measuring a players greatness but it’s only part of the equation. If Kobe won one more ring to reach 6 (he won’t) would he then be equal with Jordan? No, of course not, because you’d look at Finals MVPs, MVPs, individual accomplishments, shooting percentage etc.. What it would do is put Kobe in the conversation, it’s disingenuous for Magic to express his opinion solely in those terms, he knows there’s more to the debate than that, as does everyone who knows and loves the game.

  • berkamore

    And Kareem 6. So Magic is pissed about getting snubbed and he’s snubbing the guy who got him at least 3 championships. But that’s why those debates never end………….

  • berkamore

    To me, he might the greatest Laker ever. (It’s either him or Kareem, would have picked Kareem if he had spent his whole career with the Lakers)

  • The Fury

    Tim Duncan 4…Adam Morrison 2…

  • Evan Boland

    Hm? Why ’cause you’re saying Shaq was the leader of the first 3? I consider them both leaders of that team, but still, Magic’s point means nothing. Just being defensive. It really cracks me up how people like Magic and Kareem are so self conscious about themselves after all they’ve accomplished. Who cares? You have nothing to prove. Makes me wonder why Magic say’s Kobe greatest Laker ever. We get it, you like the dude, but sorry, you’re wrong lol. Magic is all over the place, he claimed Dwade was the second best baller in the L after game 7 lol.. You’d think Magic and Lebron and Pippen would have a clue as to who’s the greatest, but nope, the fans know better. Only right thing Magic ever said was that MJ would beat Lebron 1 on 1 10/10 times

  • grgeblck

    Seriously? SMH.

  • grgeblck


  • Evan Boland

    Meh. I don’t rly look too much into awards and all that. I’ve been following the game since MJ and I KNOW who the best are. Stats may say Lebron is on MJ’s level, but I know that not to be true. Magic just getting defensive. Funny how all-time greats like him and Kareem are so self-conscious.

  • Interdico Scriptor

    bro. Can u pls (pretty pls) explain what Horry jn means? At first I thought u meant RHorrry, or his son?

  • Interdico Scriptor

    Morrison? really?? with who??? I mean i believe u, just curious. Was it in LAL land??

  • Interdico Scriptor

    i hate u

  • Interdico Scriptor

    is the philosopher stoned?

  • Interdico Scriptor

    yeah man. Why aren’t we talking bout that

  • shockexchange

    It’s self-explanatory. No?

  • Dfrance

    Lmao. He just couldn’t let the meme flourish right?

  • Busta213

    Lol, thats soo subjective though. More memorable moments to who? To the fans who grew up in his era. To a previous era Russell was considered the gold standard, but there arent as many people around who remember how great he was so we moved on to the next one.
    When youre old and grey the next generation will have crowned someone else. They already tried that with Kobe and he was always a bad clone….

  • Busta213

    Lol, Magic was responding using Twitter – he cant exactly write an essay on there. He just wanted to point out that LeBron is still a young fella and Dr J shouldnt be ranked ahead of him.

  • batangbibo

    Shaq has 4…

  • Saleem Rainman


  • jockexchange

    he means Kobe got his rings in the same way as Horry.

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

    Which is hilarious considering some of the averages Kobe posted during the Lakers 3 peat.

  • Cy

    Anyone who puts Dr. J as a top-3 player doesn’t know jack about bball.

  • jbdingle

    So was Russell a role player too?

  • Andre Miller Fanboy

    Wilt Chamberlain is the best (most talented) player of all time, but he only won 2 titles. When Wilt had a good enough team he won. Three to four players would often surround him and he’d still drop 50 on ‘em. When he chose to pass to open perimeter shooters they’d miss. When Wilt had good teams his PPG average dropped drastically and his assists went through the roof ( the best passing big of all time- averaged 8 assists in one season). I’m sick of this idea that success in the NBA is a championship. It’s really not. To me success on a basketball court is about inspiring people . That’s where it begins and ends. People will always talk about Barkley, Stockton , Ewing, Webber, Pistol, Baylor, Kemp, and others. They never won a championship, but they inspire us with their artistry. They live in our memory. That’s success.

  • 2K insider

    Great comment mah man.

  • Matterofact

    That’s what kills me about today’s nba….no respect for bill Russell, same jones and so on…it’s like they don’t matter.

  • kakapupu

    If rings is all that matters then why didn’t he have Bill Russell on that list?? It’s clear he made that response cuz he felt some type of way…lol

  • kakapupu

    Dr. J was very underrated. He was phenomenal.

  • kakapupu

    Fuck outta here. He didn’t have to leave, he had Kareem and James Worthy.

  • Teemo Luciano

    Magic is the GOAT. Forget about it. 1st ring and MVP as a rookie.

  • jesse aldere

    HA!! u must be mad wasted!! Jordan beats everyone by miles and miles regardless of decade. Thank you Youtube.

  • jesse aldere

    First of all, anyone on here not agreeing that Jordan wasn’t the best player BY FAR who has ever lived needs to go back and get their GED!! He is so above the rest throughout history that you can’t even argue that so please stop. The rest…who cares.

  • jesse aldere

    Magic????? Are you on crack dude??? Pippen was better than Magic!

  • jesse aldere

    Jordan would have dunked on Russell in his rookie year!

  • BE.water

    Not on this planet.

  • BE.water

    Kobe is the greatest Laker ever by a margin.