Magic Johnson On Kobe Bryant: ‘Closest Thing We’ve Seen To Michael Jordan’

Heading into his 20th season with the Los Angeles Lakers, there were questions if Kobe Bryant would retire at the end of his two-year, $48.5 million contract.

While the five-time champion stated numerous times he would not make a decision until after the season, he announced his retirement in a poem on The Players’ Tribune before the game against the Indiana Pacers.

With former and current players reacting to the news, Magic Johnson had high praise for Kobe and called him ‘the closest thing we’ve seen to Michael Jordan’ according to Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! Sports:

“He’s the closest thing we’ve seen to Michael Jordan,” Johnson said. “He’ll probably go down as the second greatest scoring guard. You couldn’t stop him. His will to win was incredible and he stayed in the gym like no other. This guy was 24/7 basketball. I’m happy for him because he said he feels this is his time to go out. He’s going out the way he wants to go out.”

While there were concerns Kobe would struggle with the idea of retirement, he seems at peace with his decision. After five championships in 20 seasons, he has accomplished everything possible in his career and will go down as one of the greatest to ever play this game.

With Kobe officially making his announcement, the Lakers will travel to face the Philadelphia 76ers to begin an eight-game road trip. After years of getting booed by his hometown, it will be a special moment for the five-time champion as he plays there one final time.

Magic was a small forward

  • OMG! I’m so sick of hearing about Kobe being the closest to MJ. Can this man retire as his own man? With his own legacy? We get it, he idolized Michael and did what any intelligent player would do and copied all his greats moves to become a great player too.

  • Magic has been awfully silent with how things are turning out in Lakerland.

  • Being Called the Closest thing to Jordan is a Great compliment….You see alot people trying to emulate certain Greatness and Fall short….Kobe Pulled It Off…When you have MJ being considered by many the Best To Ever Do It.

  • Because he already stated his case in Calling Out Jim Buss a Multitude of Times.

  • Every decade there is a generation of a great NBA player. For some reason most comes from the Los Angeles Lakers. From Jerry West to Magic Johnson saw the pages of the NBA History written time immemorial. But the greatest of them all comes from Chicago. Considered the real true GREAT baller. When Michael Jordan retired. his void was filled by a High School kid from Lower Merion High School. The next was history for 20 years. Nobody dominated the floor ever since then. Last night was the last chapter of our great Player. It was sad because we will never see anything like it in our generation. Savor all his moves this year because you will never see it again. After this season there will be a void again. Le Bron James the current greatest player, with all respect has not yet reached the greatness of Kobe Bryant. We shall see in the next 5 years. Then and only then that I will consider the void filled by another GREAT. He could be it. For now let me say farewell to the great wind. You have made the world , both young and old happy.

  • You make it sound like anybody could have done what Kobe did in “copying MJ”. If it was simply an intelligent move, why hasn’t anybody else done it successfully?

  • No that’s not what I’m saying. I’m strictly referring to the fact that people say he’s the closest to MJ because of his rings and style of play but I’m not referring to it being hard or easy to replicate. Jesus Christ.

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