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 is having 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 for him, 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. Having 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
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 men, 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.