Magic Johnson is the fourth best player in NBA history

Magic Johnson was one of the best players in the league in his prime. Still, Magic’s career is sometimes forgotten because of his teammates and a career essentially cut to 12 games due to his AIDS diagnosis.

Nick Wright thinks the LA Lakers legend is among the greatest players in NBA history. In fact, Wright reckons Johnson is the fourth-greatest player of all time behind both LA Lakers and Michael Jordan.

During a recent podcast, Wright said:

“Magic’s career, I just want to reiterate the bold points. He was 12 years old before he had to retire due to HIV. This was during one of the most competitive eras in NBA history, the 1980s, a time when now, obviously, Magic’s older than Michael — got there before Michael — but Michael couldn’t sniff out a championship, and Magic Johnson won five.”

While Johnson wasn’t the only one to propel this Lakers dynasty, he was instrumental in winning their championships. He ultimately helped end a Boston Celtics dynasty that was the first significant threat to Jordan’s success.

In his prime, Johnson played as one of the greatest players in basketball history. Wright pointed out how good Johnson was in his prime:

“He went to the Finals nine times. He played for 12 years. In those nine years, he won the league MVP three times, was second in the league MVP in voting three times, and finished third in three times. So, 75% of his healthy years, he was one of the top three players in the sport.”

While others have had success in their careers, it’s almost impossible to be in the top three for nine straight years. Few players have ever accomplished this feat, let alone earn three MVPs in the process.

Due to Johnson’s dominance in his prime, Wright believes only a select few players should be considered ahead of Magic.

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Nick Wright thinks only three players should be considered more important than Magic Johnson

According to Nick Wright, LA Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of Magic's few level players.
According to Nick Wright, LA Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of Magic’s few level players.

Given Magic Johnson’s success at his peak, analyst Nick Wright thinks only a few players can be above him, saying:

“Put anyone other than Kareem, Michael and LeBron (James) in front of Magic is so disrespectful and insane. If Magic hadn’t been diagnosed with HIV, I think they would have ended their career with a legitimate GOAT case. .”

On his best days, Earvin Johnson would prove why he earned the Magic moniker.

While separating the all-time greats can be tricky, Johnson has done a lot in his short career to prove his greatness.

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein


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