I’m so tired of the “get off my lawn” generation of former players whose egos and identities are so wrapped up in how great their teams were that they don’t acknowledge the quality of today’s teams or players. Some of that’s hyperbole, but it just gets tiresome.
Which brings us to an event in Los Angeles Friday night where Magic Johnson and Pat Riley spoke. Magic said the Showtime Lakers would have swept these Warriors, mostly because of the size difference.
Let me get my bias out of the way up front here: Magic Johnson is my all-time favorite player, and I think the peak Showtime Lakers may well have been the greatest team ever.
And maybe they would win a series against these Warriors (I would pick them to), but it wouldn’t be that simple. It’s not a sweep. Would the Warriors have had trouble guarding Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Of course. But on the other end is he going to be able to defend in space? That was not his strong suit, and if he laid back the Warriors would still be able to rain threes. Magic himself was not a great one-on-one defender (but he was a solid team defender). All of which is to say, that matchup might be closer than it appears on the surface to Magic.
Vegas oddsmakers think these Warriors could beat the 1996 Chicago Bulls led by Michael Jordan. Not sure about that either. But like with the Lakers, it would be interesting.