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Video by For The Win
- At the 29th Annual Achilles Gala - a celebration of disabled athletes through Cigna and Achilles International - legendary Los Angeles Lakers point guard Magic Johnson spoke about LeBron James' legacy.
- Johnson, who named Michael Jordan as one of the NBA stars he admired most during his career, weighed in on the age-old debate as to whether James or Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.
- According to the five-time NBA champion, it'll come down to the "next two or three championships" for James "to really catch Michael [Jordan]."
- James is averaging 25.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and a league-leading 10.9 assists per game in his 17th season in the league and second in Los Angeles.
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The GOAT debate could finally be coming to an end, at least according to one NBA legend.
Magic Johnson, the Los Angeles Lakers point guard who is widely considered to be one of the best players in the history of the game, thinks that LeBron James is closer than ever to snatching the greatest of all time title from His Airness, Michael Jordan.
At the 29th Annual Achilles Gala in New York City, Johnson described James as "a special player" and said the four-time NBA MVP is "playing as well as I've ever seen him play" in his 17th year in the league. But the five-time NBA champion and 12-time All-Star went even further in his praise of James, arguing that the NBA's foremost star may also be its best ever.
"For him to really catch Michael, it's that next two or three championships," Johnson said. "If he could get a couple more championships, then he'll be probably the greatest that's ever played."
James and the Lakers lead the Western Conference. The combined force of James and Anthony Davis - a six-time NBA All-Star in his own right - figures to wreak havoc on the rest of the league and help Los Angeles to its first playoffs appearance since 2013.
Though he voiced confidence in James' ability to overtake Jordan as the all-time greatest player in the NBA, Johnson still gave credit to his former foe and one of the two players he claims to have admired most throughout his career.
"For me on my books right now, I would say Michael [Jordan] was the freakiest player in the game," Johnson said. "He was the greatest to play on the floor because I couldn't jump as high... But Michael going 6-0 in the NBA finals, oh man. That's awesome."
"I went to the finals nine times in 12 years, but we only won five," he added. "But I'll take those five, trust me. As long as it was two more than Larry [Bird], that's all I care about."
Johnson also included a third name into his GOAT deliberations. Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell won a record 11 NBA championships in his 13-year career, a feat Johnson deems worthy of consideration for the NBA thrown.
"You have to give some love to Bill Russell with 11 championships," Johnson said. "Always remember that."
Though James has expressed interest in continuing to play in the league for the foreseeable future and shows no signs of slowing down, no one is entirely sure how long King James has left to build his case against the likes of Jordan and Russell. Still, if both Los Angeles' and James' current trajectories stand, it looks like Johnson will have to amend his history books in no time.
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