Magic Johnson weighs in on the Angel Reese-Caitlin Clark rivalry: What did Magic say?

Magic Johnson weighs in on the Angel Reese-Caitlin Clark rivalry: What did Magic say?

Magic Johnson gave Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark a massive stamp of approval as he likened their rivalry to his own infamous one with Larry Bird in the NBA, as the two young women continue to do battle in professional basketball.

The rivalry between Johnson and Bird is one of the most storied in NBA history, defining the league during the 1980s and laying the foundation for its modern popularity as Bird and Johnson led their teams to multiple championships throughout the decade.

Angel Reese ejected from Chicago Sky vs New York Liberty game

Johnson’s Los Angeles Lakers won five NBA titles while Bird’s Boston Celtics won three. Overall, the pair won eight championships from 1980-1988, showing the extent they dominated their game as the two stars faced off in the NBA Finals several times.

Clark and Reese have been said to echo this pattern with their own dynamic but what does Magic Johnson himself actually think about the matter?

“I like it and they are,” Johnson said to Jimmy Kimmel Live, when asked if Clark and Reese like he and Larry Bird, giving the two women his nod of approval.

The Johnson-Bird rivalry is remembered not just for the individual brilliance of two of the greatest basketball players but also for the way it captivated fans and helped transform the NBA into a major sports league.

But the rivalry began in college when Magic Johnson’s Michigan State team faced Larry Bird’s Indiana State in the 1979 NCAA Championship game. Magic’s Spartans won, giving Johnson an early edge in their head-to-head matchups.

Clark and Reese, who already laid the foundations for their rivalry throughout college basketball with the Iowa Hawkeyes and LSU Tigers, could threaten to repeat the Johnson-Bird dynamic in the WNBA and could have the same impact by catapulting it to new fame.

Already, it’s clear that since turning pros, Reese has not let their rivalry simmer down as she’s made at least three shots at Clark after being picked by the Chicago Sky, appearing to success the overall first pick is actually overrated.

Johnson calls physicality a part of the game

Clark entered the WNBA regarded as the best talent to come into the sport in a generation after smashing Pete Maravich’s NCAA points scoring record with the Iowa Hawkeyes, as she led them to two national championships.

So perhaps the established pros and her peers are looking to make an example out of her as players get physical with the Indiana Fever ace to try to shut down her prolific shooting talents, something that has attracted criticism of the WNBA and the Fever for a perceived lack of action to protect the 22-year-old.

But Johnson, who had the same treatment after being selected as the overall first pick of the 1979 NBA Draft, said it’s a part of the game and said he made sure he made it known he wouldn’t be a pushover.

“Of course, veterans are going to test you. If they feel that you’ve gotten more money or more publicity, you know that they’re upset about that,” Johnson said when Kimmel asked him about Clark‘s treatment. “When I came [to] my first training camp, first day of practice, Ron Boone – I was looking up to get the rebound – He came in, hit me real hard behind my neck.

“My own teammate and he said, ‘Take that rookie,'” Johnson replied. “So, I said, okay. I got up, about three plays later, he was looking up to box me out. So, I ran as fast as I could and I hit him, bam! Right behind his neck, really hard, and he fell to the floor.

“And I told him, I said, ‘Don’t forget, I’m tough. I’m rough. If you want to play like that, we can play like that,’ and all the Lakers players came running up to me and hugged me, [they] said, ‘We like you.'”

Source link



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

Social Media

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.