Most versatile NBA player ever: LeBron James vs. Magic Johnson? | The Tylt
Most versatile NBA player ever: LeBron James vs. Magic Johnson?
While James' physical prowess gets a lot of attention, it is his basketball IQ that really powers his game. It's hard enough to master one position in the NBA, but James is smart enough to know all five. That kind of knowledge allows him to know exactly where to be in any given spot, no matter which role he plays.
Let's not forget about his physical traits too. James is perhaps the most athletic player to ever be in the NBA. He is fast enough to defend and blow by guards. He is big and strong enough to guard every forward position. Johnson was getting things done in an NBA era that didn't have the same level of athletes. James is the best player in a league that is faster and stronger than it has ever been.
With Kareem Abdul Jabbar out against the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1980 NBA Finals, rookie Johnson was thrust into the starting center role. With a chance to win a championship, Johnson dominated the game with 42 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists. On the biggest stage of the sport, the former Michigan State Spartan showed there is no such thing as one position when he was on the court.
Johnson was mainly a point guard, but spent significant time at shooting guard, and power forward. His unreal court vision was dangerous from the top of the court all the way to the post. That's where he would back down smaller players and drive past larger defenders. James might be the greatest player of all time, but the most versatile title belongs to Johnson.