Magic Johnson is, by basically any way you cut it, one of the greatest basketball players to ever live. In addition to his spectacular, once-in-a-generation feel for the game and ability to pass the basketball, Johnson is known for his incredible competitive streak, which has helped make him into a prominent person in the business world in his post-playing days.
That competitive streak was at the center of a story Paul Pierce told while Johnson was a special guest on the All The Smoke podcast. The pod featured a conversation regarding the legendary summer runs at UCLA, and Pierce’s story is about one particular run that happened during his rookie season. Johnson, as Pierce tells it, was “10 years retired” and brought a whole team to campus to play, and explained that he had never seen the Hall of Fame inductee and gold medal winner lose a game.
Paul Pierce was on All The Smoke telling a story of how Magic Johnson refused to lose a pickup game against him pic.twitter.com/ON5IhuLBRe
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“I’m guarding him in the post, game is tied up, 6-6, we’re going to seven,” Pierce said. “I’m like, alright, I got Magic. Magic go up, shoot the hook, I challenge the shot, he missed the hook, we get the rebound, we throw it ahead, we score. Game over. Magic look down like, ‘Nah, nah, that don’t count, that’s a foul.’”
It is at this point that Johnson busts out laughing, while Pierce claims he “didn’t even touch him.” Despite that, they brought it back, Johnson tries a hook again, makes it, and wins.
“I always told them, I’m gonna teach them one thing, and that’s to understand that everything’s not gonna go their way in the league,” Johnson said. “So, the reason I called that foul was to make him strong at the end of the day.”
Everyone laughed at this, as it is extremely funny.