The Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson joined ESPN's First Take crew featuring: Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman, and Molly Qerim. They discussed the Lakers' dominant season and the impact of LeBron has been having on the team. The interview finished off with several exclusive projections from Magic himself.
Max Kellerman had an intriguing narrative about how Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were amazing physical talents with unparalleled work ethic, and a killer will to win. However, for Kellerman, at least, King James belongs to a different category.
I really haven't seen that package with the size until Lebron James, and that felt like you and Larry (Bird).
Kellerman asked if the COVID-19 break affects the Lakers and LeBron more than other NBA teams. Magic went on to explain how it definitely affects them more in comparison to other teams since there were playing exceptionally well, and Lebron was having arguably the best season in his career.
Oh, it is definitely going to affect them more! Because they were playing so well. There were on the top of their game, both on the offense side and the defense side and then a guy like Lebron who was playing, I mean this was one of his best seasons ever and dominating the league, it affects him too because you know, when you are rolling, when you are playing well as an individual and as a team, you want to keep playing, you don't want to break. It is just like Milwaukee and the Greek Freak; it is going to affect them too, and so you want to as soon as possible for the league to get back.
With the season postponed until further notice, it is pretty much down to LeBron and Giannis in terms of the MVP ladder. Here's what Magic had to say about his projection for the NBA's most valuable player this year.
Lebron James to me, right now, if the season ended today is MVP of the league and I tell you why. Because he took eight new faces, see people not giving him credit for this. The Lakers got eight new guys on the team, got a new coach as well. So, now he had to make an adjustment to all these new faces, and he still got the Lakers with the second-best record, he still is dominating on a high level. So not only he is MVP, he is the best player in the world.
Magic took it a step further, saying how believes once the season continues and the entire situation with Coronavirus gets sorted out — the Lakers and LeBron will be playing against Milwaukee Bucks in NBA Finals. According to him, Lakers will probably win:
You know Milwaukee is on the mission, and they look like a team that is saying; Hey, this is going to be our year, and so I am scared to death of Milwaukee, but I think that it will be a seven-game series, and when this is a seven-game series and that you got a man Lebron James on your team, who has been to eight or nine NBA Finals, and he is bringing home for the Lakers, so if I were a betting man I would bet on Lakers to beat them in seven games.
Did you expect anything else coming from the Lakers legend? Although Magic has a clear bias when it comes to the purple and gold, I have to say I agree with him. In a seven-game series, LeBron's Finals experience will come into play, and will probably be the deciding factor in overcoming Milwaukee. However, let's not forget their crosstown rivals so fast — Clippers and Kawhi will definitely have something to say in the Playoffs, if the season commences again, which it hopefully will, soon.