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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar changes mind on GOAT PG take after Magic Johnson snub

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar turned heads recently when he was asked for his opinion on the greatest point guard of all time. Instead of choosing between Stephen Curry and his former LA teammate Magic Johnson when reporter Justin Walters mentioned them, Abdul-Jabbar instead picked Oscar Robertson.

In explaining his choice, the former Lakers great highlighted his experience playing alongside Robertson and how great the Big O was. Abdul-Jabbar added that Robertson had 3-pointrangeas well, but he was never able to utilize it because the shot wasn’t a big thing during his time.

“I only had a chance to play with him at the end of his career, but he was awesome. And if people had seen him play in the prime of his career and with the 3-point shot. Oscar had 3-point range, but he never got to play when the 3-point shot was incorporated into the game,” Abdul-Jabbar said.

“And people don’t really understand how significant he was in how to play the game. But I played with him for those four years. I know Steph Curry and LeBron [James], Kobe [Bryant], Magic, all those guys are superior. But I would have to go with Oscar.”

Of course it shocked plenty of Lakers supporters and NBA fans in general. While Oscar Robertson indeed has a case for the GOAT PG title, many believe that it’s actually only down to Stephen Curry and Magic Johnson. And considering the success that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had with the latter, it seemed like a no-brainer choice.

After the buzz it created, though, Abdul-Jabbar appeared to have a change of heart. In a follow-up video he released, Abdul-Jabbar explained his change of stance and what he overlooked when making his comment. He admitted that it’s nearly impossible to gauge who’s better between Johnson, Curry and Robertson, but he feels he should have given it to Magic in the first place  considering what they have accomplished together.

“I was asked earlier this week who was the best point guard in the NBA, a very difficult question. Steph Curry was mentioned, he’s the best 3-point shooter in the NBA these days and a very valuable player. And people also mentioned Magic Johnson,” Abdul-Jabbar shared.

“I picked Oscar Robertson, but I should have said, first of all, that Magic really should get the priority because I played with him, we won five world championships together, and he’s my best teammate ever. So I can’t put anybody else in front of him. But I have to give credit to Oscar for being the complete player that he was, and example for a whole lot of players that come up behind him. It’s almost impossible for me to determine who’s the best between all of those guys. But I can tell you why, that’s the success I enjoyed with Magic.”

True enough, as Abdul-Jabbar shared, it’s hard to pick one over the other. The best point guards of all time all have solid cases of their own. Curry revolutionized the game, while Johnson pioneered position-less basketball. And then there’s Robertson who can do everything on the court even before it became popular.

No one can blame Abdul-Jabbar for making his initial Robertson choice. After all, the Big O certainly deserves more respect than what he’s getting.

Following his clarification, though, Lakers fans should feel at at ease now knowing that it’s all love between Johnson and Abdul-Jabbar.

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