Kareem had already won a title in Milwaukee with HOF PG Oscar Robertson. He was already a 4 time MVP and had numerous scoring titles before Magic got there. It was CLEARLY his team. In 1979 when LA drafted him, they were a 2nd round playoff team and got the #1 overall pick in a trade with bottom feeder NO Jazz. It'd be the equilivant of last year's Lakers getting the #1 overall pick and drafting Kyrie Irving. Magic was privileged enough to be drafted by a playoff team full of all stars like Kareem, Norm Nixon, Wilkes. Magic never had the heart or desire to lead a team from scratch like a LeBron and be the man. He's on record as saying if the Bulls had won the coin flip that year (over LA) he would've went back to school.
As stated, he has 6 total rings and 6 MVPs. Thats more than 2 times as many MVP awards as Magic. Kareem is the ALL TIME LEADING SCORER in NBA history. Let me repeat that, he is the ALL TIME LEADING SCORER in NBA history as a big man. Dont think that helped Magic out a bit?
Magic should've never got Finals MVP in 1980. Kareem was averaging 33.4 points and over 12 boards a game thru 5 games. Had it not been for Magic being more "media friendly" he wouldnt've got it. Look at Kareem's #'s that series than Magic's and tell me why the "sidekick" won MVP?
Shame on me for looking at Magic for what he is. A HOF PG that would be titleless had he not played with HOFers and all stars his whole career. He never took a bottom feeder to the Finals. He never took a sorry team and made it great. He was blessed to play on great teams and a great organization his whole career. How many NBA players can say that? Not many. The one Finals he played in without Kareem he won 1 game at age 32.
Kareem, in my opinion, is the 2nd greatest player of all-time. However, you're going too far to try and discredit Magic. Magic was the most important player on the Lakers during the Showtime era. Besides his skyhook, Magic is the main reason that Kareem remained such an offensive treat well into his late 30s.
Also, I have watched every game of that 1980 NBA Finals series, and there is no doubt that Magic deserved MVP. He averaged a near triple-double (22, 11, and 9) while shooting nearly 60% from the field. Kareem got TONS of easy baskets during that series because of Magic. And while Kareem was sitting on the sideline injured during game-6, Magic started at center and scored 42 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and dished out 7 assists in a series clinching win to give the Lakers the championship. How are you going to give Finals MVP to Kareem when his team won game-6 despite him not playing? I could see your point had Kareem played in game-6 and the Lakers still won.
And I love how you try to downplay the fact that Magic lead the Lakers back to the Finals without Kareem in '91. His Lakers only won 1 game against Jordan's Bulls. So what...no one expected that Lakers team to knockoff the Bulls. No one even expected the Lakers to make it to the Finals. Portland was the favorite to come out of the west.
Magic never had the heart or desire to lead a team from scratch like a LeBron and be the man.
This is a ridiculous statement and you know it, KT. Magic played in an era when it was rare for players to leave college after only 2 years. Had Chicago landed the number 1 pick, Magic would have stayed in college, but not because he didn't have the desire to lead a team, but because he loved college. By all accounts Magic had no intentions of leaving college early. Then the Lakers unexpectedly landed the number 1 pick and he seen a Golden opportunity to play with Kareem. I'm sure that MJ would have left college sooner if seen the same opportunity. It had nothing to do with Magic not wanting to be "the man". Magic proved that he was the man time-and-time again.
Unfortunately, I'm probably wasting my time responding to you with a serious reply.
Edited by CarolinaBlue704, 06 March 2012 - 12:51 AM.