Though admitting he’s previously dubbed ESPN hoops analyst Magic Johnson, “a show killer” on “NBA Countdown” (“his ponderous, often predictable analysis, was a detriment”), the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman suggests the Hall Of Famer would best be utilized as the program’s host, “a point guard to direct the flow of the show”, if you will. Man, some people will do anything to avoid giving Richard Bey another chance with a national audience.
In this new host role, Johnson would not be able to offer sleep-inducing analytical soliloquies. Yes, he still could present his opinions, but his new responsibility would force him to deliver the words in short bursts — to be more of a counter-puncher while challenging, or agreeing, with his mates.
Johnson can handle this assignment. We have been told he is thoroughly prepared for all “NBA Countdown” episodes, but leaves some of his best material in the Green Room. Running the show, Johnson would be more motivated to deliver, to succeed like he did on the court and does in the business world.
ESPN is already paying him major moolah as a studio analyst. By anointing him host, it would be getting more of a return on its investment. He could be officially billed as the star of the show — its face. The NBA, which soon will be negotiating new TV contracts, would like this.
There will be risk involved, especially early on when Johnson is finding his way. Risk beats the status quo. Collins is nothing more than a recycled NBA analyst. Is he going to be a difference maker? Oh, he’s going to bring a coach’s perspective? We’ve seen that movie.