Skip to main content

Shawn Kemp shares why Magic Johnson is the GOAT of the NBA

kemp and magic copy

Which player in NBA history is the GOAT is one of the most exciting debates among fans. Usually, these opinions are based on personal preferences rather than some facts and accomplishments. These debates also depend on who has them; hence, the younger generation of fans will choose differently from some older generation of fans who had the opportunity to see more players in action. It’s also interesting to hear what NBA players have to say about this topic, and in an interview, we did with Shawn Kemp, he disclosed his thoughts about this topic and why Magic Johnson is the GOAT.

In Kemp’s opinion, the GOAT definition is usually someone who can make others around him better, which Magic did better than anyone. He also thinks Larry Bird should be in this conversation, but Magic was his favorite player growing up, so that is why he is his pick for the best player ever to lace them up. A great floor general is essential for any team and their success, measured in winning multiple championships.

"I think the GOAT is not the best scorer, not the best rebounder. The GOAT is the general, and he is the one who passes the ball and gets everybody involved. If we all watch basketball, I would say Magic Johnson and Larry Bird are the greatest two players of all-time, but my favorite player is Magic Johnson. He was a facilitator, and he was the general. He passed the ball and did everything that needed to be done. He is the only player that I know who started at point guard, but in his rookie season, he started at the center and won the championship."

Shawn Kemp, via Basketball Network

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

For Kemp, scoring points or grabbing rebounds is not as important as a player’s role that can make everyone around him better and adequately execute the coaches’ idea, something Magic did exceptionally well his entire career.

"Therefore I think Magic was the best because he was the total team player. It’s not about how many points, how many rebounds; it’s about the person who can work with everybody, make them better. He played with so many great players I don’t know anybody else who played with as many great players and won five championships. The ball was in his hands the majority of the time, and that is why I think he was probably the best even though Michael Jordan was the best scorer, Wilt Chamberlain was the best big man, Magic Johnson was the best all-around player."

Shawn Kemp, via Basketball Network

Even though he was an astonishing player during his 12-year-long career, it seems Magic often gets neglected in these types of debates, especially from younger fans. He was a legitimate triple-double machine, a five-time NBA champion, and won MVP awards on several occasions. He made it to the NBA finals nine times in his career and was often the Lakers’ best player. Unfortunately, his career was short because of HIV, but he is often considered the best point guard in NBA history and most certainly deserves to be in the GOAT discussions.

Kyrie Irving on why he didn't get a new contract this offseason - I gave up four years, 100-something million to be unvaccinated”

Kyrie Irving on why he didn't get a new contract this offseason - I gave up four years, 100-something million to be unvaccinated”

Irving said that his decision to remain unvaccinated from COVID-19, which prevented him from playing for the Brooklyn Nets, cost him a new contract this offseason

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic

“I don’t want to disappoint him" - Nikola Jokic credits the person behind his life-changing weight loss

Nikola Jokic has entrusted his career and life to the Nuggets' strength and conditioning coach. And he didn't make a mistake.

Indiana Pacers guard Reggie Miller

“I knew immediately” — Reggie Miller on scoring 8 points in 8.9 seconds against the New York Knicks

Reggie Miller gave Knicks forward Anthony Mason some props for delivering the best chest pass he's ever seen.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green

“I don't think it will happen” — Draymond Green on getting a contract extension with the Golden State Warriors

Draymond said he won't let his contract situation get in the way of defending the title. Let's see if he feels the same way when Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins get an extension.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

“He was crying, bro” — Chauncey Billups revealed why Kobe Bryant was crying after making it to the 2009 NBA Finals

Kobe Bryant was so determined to win a championship without Shaquille O'Neal to the point that his emotions oftentimes consumed him.

Los Angeles Dodgers partner Magic Johnson and wife Cookie Johnson

“I bribed her. I gave her a million dollars” — Cookie Johnson's condition to allow Magic Johnson to return in 1995

The money was just a cherry on the top. Cookie gave Magic a clear ultimatum, or else she would've divorced him.

Shaquille O'Neal and Vince Carter

“I felt like it was close“ — Vince Carter revealed that he was close to teaming up with Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal's unwillingness to play in Canada was a harsh truth pill to swallow for Vince Carter, whose career would've probably been different if he had teamed up with O'Neal.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo

“I appreciate the compliment. It's not going to soften me at all.” — Steph Curry brushes off Giannis Antetokounmpo calling him the “best player in the world”

Compliment or not, Steph Curry says he’s not going to let Giannis Antetokounmpo get into his head with some gamesmanship.