The debate for who the greatest NBA player of all-time is one of the fiercest in the sport, with opinions coming from every direction.
Still, Michael Jordan remains the consensus greatest to ever grace the hardwood for most, with six NBA championships and two three-peats to make his legacy the story of legends. As his career shrinks further in the rear-view mirror, his myth seems to only grow.
LeBron James' strive for greatness as he passed Jordan on the all-time playoffs scoring list has re-heated the debate, and now hoops legends are getting in on picking who they feel the greatest ever is. Pat Riley, who's worked with legends spanning several decades, gave his take on it.
Riley, the architect behind the Showtime Lakers, had to give the greatest of all-time title to the one and only Magic. The former coach-and-player duo held a special event on Monday and discussed the NBA Finals among other things.
Pat, who still remains as president of the Miami HEAT, even said that Magic would beat LeBron in a one-on-one featuring both players in their primes:
Considering he's seen both all-time greats up close and personal for years, that's nothing to write off. Riley also witnessed Jordan dominate the NBA in the 90's, but he's still giving the crown to the man with the magic smile and killer instinct.
Johnson's absolutely one of the players that can legitimately be argued as being the GOAT, but it's unlikely the general opinion on Jordan owning the crown, throne and rings will ever change. LeBron may be the only contemporary player who can do that.
James' case may be taking a hit, though, as the Golden State Warriors currently own a commanding 2-0 lead in an NBA Finals series that isn't even close. LeBron's been his usual great self, but the Cavaliers' role players and defense have been bad.
Should LeBron dig himself out of the latest hole the Cavaliers are in against the Warriors - Golden State did blow a 3-1 lead after all - his legacy would get a huge boost. If not, he'll enter the summer two rings short of Magic's five and three short of Jordan's six.
The world will never know what the ceiling on Magic's career could have been, of course. His early retirement rocked the professional sports world, stealing one of the first true crossover NBA superstars from competing far too early in his career.