Lakers News: Pat Riley Says Magic Johnson Is Greatest Ever, Would Beat LeBron James 1-On-1
Lakers News: Pat Riley Says Magic Johnson Is Greatest Ever, Would Beat Lebron James 1-on-1
American Express Teamed Up with Magic Johnson and Pat Riley Photos by Andrew Bernstein

Pat Riley and Magic Johnson both hold a special place in the hearts of Los Angeles Lakers fans. After all, it was Johnson who was flying up and down the court, delivering no-look passes for the Showtime Lakers of the 1980’s. All the while, there was Riley, pacing the sidelines with his slicked-back hair and GQ style, orchestrating the beautiful chaos.

Today, Riley has moved on from Los Angeles, taking his talents to South Beach where he runs the Miami Heat. Johnson, on the other hand, has only been on the job as the new president of basketball operations for the Lakers for a few months.

They are competing against each other now, but in a recent event put on by American Express, the former coach and his point guard sat on stage and laughed casually. Riley even paid Johnson the highest of compliments, calling him the greatest player of all time, per Mark Medina of the Southern California Daily News:

While Riley is clearly biased, Johnson should indeed be in the conversation for the greatest player ever, even if most today give that title to Michael Jordan. Recently, some have thrown LeBron James into the mix, but Riley asserts that Johnson would beat James one-on-one:

Again, it’s a high compliment from Riley, who watched James up close during his days with the Heat’s big three championship teams. Whether or not Johnson truly would defeat James is up for debate, but no one can deny that it would be one of the more anticipated games of one-on-one of all-time.

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