Magic Johnson in . . . The Nagging QuestionDecember 12, 2007
Now that The Basketball Kid has wandered defiantly out of the gymnasium inside my head, I must fill up the hours some other way. I wish I wasn’t a fill-up-the-hours kind of guy. I wish the moment was to me like a fastbreak was to Magic Johnson, a realm of kinetic creation, a careening eruption of jazz. But since I don’t often see things that way I must fill up the hours. One way to do this is by wondering about trivial hypothetical questions. The hypothetical trivial question for today is as follows: If you were called upon to build a basketball team and could pick any player in his prime, who would be your first pick? Me, I’m going with this guy. Wherever he went he won, and he beat the best, and unlike the handfull of players that could be considered his historical equals (in my mind there are three: Jordan, Russell, and Bird) he played not only with indomitable will but with infectious joy. His greatest and most peerless talent was making other people look good and have fun while they were doing it. Put another way, his greatest talent was being a teammate. So what better way could there be to start a team than to start it with Magic?