On February 10th, KIA NBA Countdown analysts Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons and Michael Wilbon provided insights on several top NBA players and discussed today’s blockbuster ABC NBA Sunday Showcase: Los Angeles Clippers at New York Knicks at 1 p.m. ET, followed by Los Angeles Lakers at Miami Heat at 3:30 p.m. ESPN will also televise a primetime NBA game at 8 p.m. – the San Antonio Spurs will visit the Brooklyn Nets.
*Additionally, ESPN’s Mike Tirico is calling two NBA games in one day for the first time in his career when he calls the Knicks and Nets games Sunday.
KIA NBA Countdown highlights:
Magic Johnson on LeBron James’ greatness
I think this is the best he’s ever played, but to me he could get even better. Once he starts posting more down low on the block, LeBron James won’t be stopped by anyone. Even the great Michael Jordan doesn’t score in as many ways as LeBron James does.
Jalen Rose on LeBron James as league ambassador
LeBron James has become the number one ambassador in professional sports. He has pole position. He has become a spokesperson for the game. He’s now doing everything on and off the floor. He’s now the face, officially, of the league.
Bill Simmons on what LeBron James has done differently this season
He’s so efficient this year. He’s figured out how to do all of the things he’s done before, with less shots, less energy, he’s picking his spots.
Johnson on Carmelo Anthony
He’s not just a scorer, he’s now a shooter who has perfected the outside shot and the three-point shot. He has become a better teammate. He’s now a leader of the team. If he’s not open, he swings the ball to an open teammate and that makes a winner.
Rose on key to Knicks-Clippers game today:
Blake Griffin needs to be that 20-10 guy he was his first year in the league. He needs to dominate his matchup today.
Wilbon on Chris Paul
Chris Paul is not in the MVP race because he’s missed 12 games, but when he’s on the court he’s as valuable to his team as any team in the NBA right now.
Simmons on Knicks’ struggles
When the Knicks were hot those first five, six weeks of the season they were making three’s and we knew that wouldn’t last.
Wilbon on Knicks’ trade deadline needs
Do they need to make a deal at the trade deadline? Perhaps for a big? You have Shumpert starting in the forward spot – you need some power basketball. You might run into an Indiana or a Chicago in the playoffs and if you have inspirations to make the Eastern Conference Finals, you need a big player.
Simmons on Steve Nash
The guy getting a free pass from me this season is Steve Nash. He might be washed up. He’s 39 years old. Point guards and centers are like boxers, when they lose it they lose it. If he doesn’t start playing better the Lakers are not going to make the playoffs.
Johnson on Lakers at Heat matchup
I think the storyline is how Kobe and Dwight Howard play together. They need Dwight to be dominant if they want to win this game.