Which Player (Throughout NBA History) Would I Build My Franchise Around?

Magic Johnson

If I could pick one player throughout NBA history to build my franchise around, I would pick the same player that Bill Sharman picked in the 1979 NBA Draft — and that is Earvin “Magic” Johnson.Now, could Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, or LeBron James beat Magic in a one-on-one-game? I don’t know? But who cares. Basketball is not a one-on-one sport. Basketball is a five-on-five team sport. And in a five-on-five setting, and where that team is really playing the most “ideal” way, nobody has ever been better (or even close to better at that) than the Magic man. Nobody has ever been more magically unpredictable (and consequently unguardable) with the ball in their hands than Magic. Nobody has ever been better at extemporaneously finding the open man than Magic was. Nobody made their teammates better — the way Magic did… and remember, basketball, like we talked about, is a “team sport” by definition. Nobody has ever been “flashier” in the process of actually being “unselfish” than Magic was. His versatility at 6’8/6’9, the size of a “big man” (and with actually an A1 post game); but with yet the ball handling and playmaking skills of that of the greatest point guard in NBA history — is obviously in its own class. There are critics in this world that always try to find a weakness in everyone’s game. And even with most of the top 5 players of all-time, you can analytically find that one tiny little weakness in their game — if you really dig down hard enough. That one preposterous thing that some critics have disingenuously “decided” to criticize about Magic’s game is his shot. Why? I have no idea. Magic was statistically a more accurate shooter (from both the field and from the charity strike) than Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James (to name just a few). So yes, knowing your facts is actually important when you speak (believe it or not). Magic actually led the league in free throw percentage one year (1988-89) — so he was (at one point) actually the best in the league at his weakness. More important than anything — a sports league never elevated so inconceivably and extraordinarily because of one single athlete leading one team at one time than the way the NBA did when Magic was leading the Lakers in the 1980s. So, based on that one fact alone, it is an objective statement to dub Magic as the most “crowd-pleasing superstar in NBA history.” At the end of the day, what is more important than “pleasing the crowd?”