ESPN KIA NBA Countdown Analysts Provide Insights on Lakers, LeBron
On the February 8th edition of ESPN’s KIA NBA Countdown, analysts Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Bill Simmons and Michael Wilbon provided insights on several top NBA story lines including the Kobe Bryant vs. Dwight Howard Los Angeles Lakers saga, LeBron James’ place in history and whether Derrick Rose should return this season.
Magic Johnson on Kobe Bryant’s relationship with Dwight Howard
If I was Kobe, I would have just pulled Dwight aside and said, ‘are you ok?’ You have to know who you are dealing with – you’re dealing with Dwight Howard. He’s a guy who doesn’t like his name in the paper.
Bill Simmons on Dwight Howard saga
It’s about human nature, it’s about character and it’s about Dwight having a big free agent contract looming. It’s about whether he wants to play for a coach he doesn’t like.
Magic on Kobe vs. Dwight
Coach D’ Antoni doesn’t have a system that fits Dwight Howard. It comes down to whom are you going to keep? Who are you going to build your organization around? I don’t think Jim Buss will trade Dwight. Jim Buss is looking bad in this whole situation, so he’s making sure he is covering himself.
Magic on Eric Bledsoe
He doesn’t make Griffin better or Crawford better, but he’s really tremendous with the second unit where he can go at one speed, which is really fast. He’s usually going against backups; he can’t yet take it to a starting point guard in the NBA.
Simmons on Chris Paul’s return to the lineup tonight
I also have questions about Chris’ health. Four weeks is a long time to miss with a bruised knee cap. Chris has had knee injuries in the past and I don’t know if he’s healthy. Sometimes you rush back when you’re not ready.
Magic on Clippers’ current playoff position
If you are staying at the three spot and you have to face either the Warriors or the Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs, wow, you better watch out. That could be an upset right there.
Wilbon’s “GM for a Day” trade
San Antonio Spurs would receive Al Jefferson; Utah Jazz get Tiago Splitter, Stephen Jackson and Nando De Colo.
Simmons on whether LeBron James is the most versatile NBA player of all time
The difference this year in LeBron’s game is the 55 percent shooting percentage. Not even Michael Jordan was in the mid 50’s. I’m not saying this just because you’re here, but I think you’re the most versatile player of all time (Talking to Magic).
Wilbon on most versatile players
The most versatile players of all time, to me, are Oscar Robertson, Earvin and LeBron James.
Magic on Derrick Rose:
I say hold him off until next season. You’re not going to advance to the NBA Finals this season. I believe the Miami Heat will advance, regardless, to the NBA Finals.