Magic Johnson Picks This Hall of Famer as the Most Dominant Over Michael Jordan

Published 10/05/2021, 4:30 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES, CA Spring, 1991 –– Los Angeles Lakers Magic Johnson, right, is guarded by Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls in the 1991 NBA Finals in Los Angeles. (Photo by Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


The rise of six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan was one of the turning points in NBA history. Jordan was one of the most marketable athletes of his generation and helped in popularizing the NBA. The legendary player was instrumental in Chicago Bulls’ success in the 1990s and won the three-peat twice with the Bulls.

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Michael Jordan was very dominant during his career and because of his leaping ability, he was nicknamed ‘Air Jordan’. While many would agree that Jordan was the most dominant NBA player during his time, one of his contemporaries doesn’t think so.

Lakers legend Magic Johnson played during the Jordan era and ruled the NBA in the 80s with the Lakers.

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LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 25: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (L) and Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson attend the MLB game between the Cincinnatti Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on July 25, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage)

The Lakers won five championships from 1980 to 1988 and ruled the NBA before the Bulls. However, Magic Johnson has recently revealed his choice for the most dominant player in the NBA and it’s not Jordan.

Magic Johnson feels Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the most dominant player ahead of Michael Jordan

An old interview of Magic Johnson has resurfaced on YouTube. During the interview, Magic talked about his championship wins and the players that were integral to the Lakers’ success. Magic also revealed that his former teammate at Lakers, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, was the most dominant player at that time.

“Then to have the most dominant player at that time in Kareem. There was still never be another Kareem Abdul-Jabbar because all the things that he could do,” Magic Johnson said.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had a long NBA career spanning 20 years. He won six NBA championships in his career, one with Milwaukee Bucks and the rest with the Lakers.

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He was also a record 19 time NBA All-Star. Kareem was integral in the Lakers’ ‘showtime’ era. His records and stats speak for himself. No wonder Magic picked him as the most dominant player during his time.

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However, Michael Jordan was also a force to reckon with during his peak. He was unstoppable at times and achieved a lot of success after Kareem’s retirement.

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While there might be some former teammate bias in Magic’s opinion but Kareem was equally dominant. Who do you think was the most dominant player during the 80s and 90s? Let us know in the comments below.

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Abhishek Singh

192 articles

Abhishek is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports with over two years of journalistic experience with Chase Your Sport and Dribl. A Football Management graduate, he has previously interned in the Indian Super League, I-League and the AFC Champions League. In addition to being a Michael Jordan fan, Abhishek is an ardent Steph Curry and Warriors guy, and believes they have a few more championships in store before the former retires.

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