Anyone who frequents Magic Johnson’s
But when it came to a serious NBA historical debate that involved himself, Johnson didn’t hide behind a keyboard. In late August, Stephen Curry emphatically claimed to be the best point guard of all time on the podcast of former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas, acknowledging that the argument was between himself and Johnson.
In a recent interview with Zach Gelb on CBS Sports Radio, Johnson cited a long list of stats to make his own case.
“OK, so, if he got more than five championships, if he got more than three Finals MVPs, and three league MVPs, then he’s the greatest,” Johnson said of Curry. “If he got more than No. 1 in assists all-time in the Finals, No. 2 in double-doubles, No. 1 in triple-doubles all-time in the NBA playoffs, No. 4 in steals all-time in the playoffs. If he got more than those numbers, then he’s the best.
“If he got more than all those things, he’s the best. But the last time I checked, he doesn’t. But everybody has to decide for themselves who they think the best is.”
We won’t get into all the arguments for and against Curry and Johnson (my colleague Brad Botkin tackled the topic admirably after Curry’s claim last month), but it is truly in the eye of the beholder. Curry’s freakish shooting ability can be matched by Magic’s uncanny vision and passing. Curry uses his relentless off-ball movement to drain opponents, while Johnson employed his 6-9 frame to dissect helpless defenses. Both had the help of Hall of Fame teammates. Both have their own unmatched statistical achievements.
At the end of the day, you’d expect nothing else than both Curry and Johnson to claim GOAT status. After all, it takes supreme self-confidence to achieve at the level they have. At 35 years old, however, Curry has the benefit of what should be at least a few more productive seasons to help bolster his case.