James Worthy: “Kareem was the greatest, but I would always choose Magic”

James Worthy: “Kareem was the greatest, but I would always choose Magic”

Everybody wants to play with a point guard that can make you better. After all, that is the primary job of a playmaker. That is precisely why Magic Johnson is almost the unanimous best point guard of all time. Everybody wanted to play with him, despite him not being maybe the most lethal scorer or athletic phenom. But Magic knew the game and used the size to play the game with style and joy. Something that would influence everybody around him and create the “Showtime Lakers.” Those teams’ other two core members were Kareem Abdul Jabbar and James Worthy, who made a true dynasty in LA. 

Who was better between Magic and Kareem?

Magic may be regarded as the best point guard of all time, but when talking about the greatest players in general, Kareem’s name gets mentioned more. And with sound reasoning. The leading scorer in NBA history, 6x time champion, and true icon, Kareem has a respectable GOAT case that many former players would back up.

His teammate James Worthy agrees with that, but he still admitted that he would always go with Magic Johnson if he had to choose. While talking with Richard Jefferson on the Road Trippin podcast, RJ shared how he hates Magic’s humbleness by referencing him calling Kobe the greatest Laker ever. Worthy agreed and explained what made Magic stand out above everyone else.

“I played with Kareem, who I think is the greatest player to ever play the game. But if I had to choose one player, I would choose Magic. And here’s why. Because he enhances everybody three times more than you could ever. He wills stuff, he wills games. When he has to perform, he’s done it. He’s a winner. When you need that guy that can will stuff, that’s what he does. That’s why I would choose him.”


Kobe may be the most lethal scorer, and Kareem is the all-around best player, but Magic had an ability that is valued most in basketball. Aside from being a spectacular player by himself, Magic had the ability to make players around him immensely better. That was the reason guys like James Worthy, Byron Scott, Michael Cooper, AC Green, Kurt Rambis, and more had such significant stints in Los Angeles. Like a true point guard, Magic made them better and created championship teams.

Magic is known for being humble and not putting himself into the conversation, but the fact is he is ranked much higher in the NBA world than he says. Thankfully, like Worthy, most of the NBA fandom recognizes that and still puts Magic on a pedestal when talking about the greatest point guards and Lakers of all time.