On Monday, the Lakers announced that they will be retiring the jersey of a legendary player, which is a pretty big deal. But it turns out this player is one who just retired, as no one knew the beloved Lakers legend would be doing so before the announcement. In the past few years, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash have decided to call it quits with the club. However, no one knew that the next in line would be Magic Johnson, who is a former Lakers legend. Johnson has been with the team since 1996 and, though he has never won a championship, he did lead the team to a championship in 2008, which is the team’s only title. The two-time NBA champion will be being announced as the
At the end of the day, we’re all just humans. We all have our faults and strengths, just like Magic Johnson. He has many faults, but when he’s in the gym working out, he’s unstoppable. When he sees his young Bucks teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo, the future of the franchise, he knows he has to speak up and tell him how great he is. If you’re a Bucks fan, you know how great Giannis is.
Back in 2016, Magic Johnson made a bold prediction that Giannis Antetokounmpo would lead the Bucks to an NBA title. Johnson has been wrong about a lot of things over the years, but this was one of his boldest. It didn’t end there, either. The Lakers legend went on to say “I can’t put a price tag on that,” which was obviously a joke, but also an accurate one.
Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks has grown into one of the best players in the NBA during the past five years. At only 26 years old, Antetokounmpo is already a two-time NBA MVP and a five-time NBA All-Star, and with one more Bucks victory in the NBA Finals, Giannis will be able to add NBA champion (and possibly NBA Finals MVP) to his already loaded résumé (which should scare the rest of the league).
One of the most amusing aspects of Giannis’ rise is that Magic Johnson, whom Antetokounmpo watched while growing up in Greece, anticipated it. Magic stated just before Giannis’ second All-Star appearance that he will one day be an NBA MVP and deliver a championship to Milwaukee. And it cost the Los Angeles Lakers $50,000 strangely enough.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, like Magic Johnson, is a fantastic all-around player.
Magic Johnson and Giannis Antetokounmpo (from left to right) | Kevin Winter/Getty Images Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images for Turner Sports
Magic was undoubtedly one of the greatest all-around players in the NBA during his peak with the Lakers, which lasted almost his entire career. He was obviously a pass-first point guard, but he could also score when required and was a great rebounder. Johnson averaged 19.5 points, 11.2 assists, and 7.2 rebounds throughout the course of his 13-year Lakers career.
Antetokoumpo, like Magic, is a great all-around player, as shown by his career averages of 20.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 4.5 assists, statistics that would have been considerably higher if he hadn’t been more of a supporting player in his early Bucks years. Antetokounmpo has averaged 26.8 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 5.5 assists during the past five seasons, all of which he was chosen to the NBA All-Star Game and an All-NBA squad (three First Team, two Second Team).
In Giannis, Johnson sees a lot of himself.
Magic was asked about the “Greek Freak” a few weeks before the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, which marked the second consecutive season that Antetokounmpo was named a starter for the game, and he said he saw a lot of himself in the then-23-year-old star, whom he obviously admires as he called Giannis “the greatest athlete we have in the league today.”
Magic talked on how “amazing” Antetokounmpo is, praising his abilities to score, rebound, pass, run the floor, and block shots, basically reiterating what we’ve already said about him being a complete player (h/t ESPN).
“With his passing abilities and ball-handling talents. I could never shoot over the rim like he does. But it’s in his knowledge of the game, his basketball IQ, and his shot-creativity for his teammates that he shines. That’s where we’re both on the same page. Can take it down, pass it, and create a play. I’m simply glad he’ll be starting in the All-Star game; he deserves it.”
On Giannis Antetokounmpo, Magic Johnson said
But the enchantment didn’t end there.
Giannis would be an NBA MVP and deliver a championship to the Bucks, according to Magic, and it would cost the Lakers $50,000.
When speaking with ESPN, Johnson was obviously impressed with Antetokounmpo, and he proceeded to lavish praise on the young phenom with the following remarks:
“And he’ll be an MVP, a winner, and this guy is going to put Milwaukee on the map. And I believe he will one day deliver them a championship.”
On Giannis Antetokounmpo, Magic Johnson said
Magic made a great forecast. Antetokounmpo earned his first NBA MVP title a year and a half after Johnson’s remarks, and then won it again the following season. And, once again, Giannis is one victory away from fulfilling Magic’s prophesy of him delivering a championship to Milwaukee.
Overall, wasn’t that simply a lovely compliment?
The NBA, on the other hand, did not think so. What’s important to remember is that at the time, Magic was still the Lakers’ president of basketball operations, and the club was hit with a $50,000 tampering punishment for Johnson’s nice comments, which makes no sense. Magic wasn’t attempting to get Antetokounmpo to join the Lakers. He didn’t even go for the generic/wink-wink approach when he said Giannis will win a championship someday. He actually said that Antetokounmpo would lead the Bucks to an NBA title. Isn’t it just absurd?
Now Magic and the Lakers are pursuing Paul George, who is still under contract with the Pacers. That was tampering, and the franchise lost half a million dollars as a result. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Magic’s sole argument was that Antetokounmpo was on the verge of becoming an incredible superstar, and he was completely correct. Would he have been ecstatic if he could have lured Giannis to Los Angeles? Absolutely. However, he was merely praising a player who resembled himself. That is no longer the case. That’s not the case. Unless you include the $50,000 that was taken out of the Lakers’ bank account after he stated what he said.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton ‘Hated Each Other’ During Their Early Milwaukee Bucks Years
On Wednesday, Giannis Antetokounmpo visited Magic Johnson at his home in Los Angeles. Before the meeting, Magic Johnson, the former Los Angeles Lakers star, said he believed Giannis could lead the Bucks to an NBA title. Another NBA legend, Kobe Bryant, echoed Magic’s remarks. “He has the DNA to win a title,” Bryant said. “He’s very driven. He’s willing to do the work. He puts in the time. He’s willing to put in the work to get better. He wants to win.”. Read more about magic johnson real name and let us know what you think.
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