- Dwyane Wade defends Nate Robinson after Gilbert Arenas’ message goes viral
- Report: Miami Heat sign Max Strus to training camp deal
- Miami Heat rising star Tyler Herro favored to win 2 NBA awards next season
- Andre Iguodala predicts former Golden State Warriors teammate to win MVP
- Bam Adebayo must achieve one major goal to be paid full supermax contract
- Jae Crowder demands huge request from Miami Heat after bidding farewell
- Bam Adebayo makes epic announcement after he officially signs extension with Miami Heat
- Pat Riley speaks out on Bam Adebayo officially signing 5-year, max rookie contract
- Dwyane Wade recounts him and Jimmy Butler losing $50K to Rajon Rondo, other teammates while gambling
- Precious Achiuwa reveals he was ‘probably the biggest’ Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo fan last season
Pat Riley Says Magic Johnson Could Beat LeBron James One-on-One
- Updated: June 6, 2017
On Monday night, the two living legends met at the Conga Room in Los Angeles for a discussion moderated by Cari Champion of ESPN and they reminisced on their dynasty of the 1980s. They also shared insights about champions in the current era and one three-time champion was brought up multiple times: LeBron James.
Specifically, Riley said that Johnson would beat James in a game of one-on-one, and his reasoning is interesting to say the least:
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) June 6, 2017
“You wanna know why? He (Johnson) would never call a foul … and LeBron would respect him as an elder,” Riley said.
Johnson and Riley both praised James for his accomplishments profusely, but Riley emphasized while James’ seven consecutive trips to the NBA Finals was impressive, it was still a bit shy of Johnson’s nine trips in 12 seasons.
Then, Riley, the former Lakers head coach who had won four NBA championships in nine seasons with Johnson on the team, called the legendary point guard the “greatest player of all-time.”
Pat Riley on Magic Johnson: "He's the greatest player of all time."
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) June 6, 2017
Johnson is a contender for that lofty title, but the biggest takeaway from Monday night’s discussion came from a joke Riley told about possibly executing a trade with Johnson.
“It depends on who calls who,” Riley laughed. “If I called him first, then he ain’t gonna say anything. And if he calls me first, I’m going to say, ‘I know that I can make your team better.’ Let’s have a conversation. Let’s do this, forget about the cap ramifications and start talking about player personnel … and before you know it, I get a treasure of players.”
Riley and Johnson are larger-than-life figures who will battle to get free agents this summer, but their longstanding friendship was on full display at this event.