OK, that’s not exactly what NY Daily News sports media critic Bob Raissman had to say about the analytical chops of Magic Johnson. But with the end of the NBA Finals earlier this week, Raissman — along with taking shots at Jalen Rose (“more about high volume than heavy insights”) and the Sports Putz (“he often looks like he’s not even interested in participating in the conversation. If he wants to be somewhere else, why should the rest of us schlubs stick around to watch?”) — insists, “if ESPN does not want to totally blow up “Countdown”, the least it should do is dump Magic.”
There are times when a conversation starts to flow and Johnson, like he did on the pregame Thursday night, says: “This game is going to come down to which Big 3 plays better.”
How do you respond to that? It’s tough. Even tougher when the cast — generally — is deferential to Johnson because of his icon status. Like at halftime of Game 7. Johnson basically repeated his “Big 3” line saying the team whose “superstars” play better in the second half will win the game.
Hoping for some TV magic, we thought one of the guys (in Barkleyesque fashion) would say: “Magic, didn’t you say the same thing on the pregame show?” Busting Johnson’s chops would have produced one of “Countdown’s” rare spontaneous moments. It might have also forced Johnson to offer an original brand of analysis.