Magic Johnson Dodgers: Matt Kemp Crazy to Think He Could Beat Magic in Hoops

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2012

TEMPE, AZ - MARCH 12:  Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers plays against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the spring training baseball game at Tempe Diablo Stadium on March 12, 2012 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Matt Kemp is the best five-tool player in baseball, and in my opinion should have been the MVP last season. He's a fantastic athlete and the face of one of the classic organizations in baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

That said, Kemp could not beat Magic Johnson one-on-one in basketball. Frankly, he should know better.

Some context: Kemp recently mentioned he felt he could take new part-owner Magic Johnson in a game of basketball, citing Johnson's age as the reason why. Here's the quote, from Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times: 

Matt Kemp said Wednesday morning he could "definitely" beat Magic Johnson in a one-on-one game of basketball. Kemp was a standout basketball player in high school.

"Probably not back in the day," Kemp said, laughing. "I'd definitely take him one-on-one now. I don't think he's shooting hoops no more. He's wearing suits now. He's writing my checks."

Kemp was obviously being a bit playful here, but don't doubt that he thinks he could take Magic. He's a competitive athlete—of course he thinks he could take him.

Magic couldn't hang with him athletically, of course, but he could use his smarts to win. Magic would probably play off of Kemp, conceding the jump shot and giving him room to use his height advantage for a blocked shot if Kemp still tried to drive the lane.

Offensively, Magic would post Kemp up all day long. He'd be too strong for Kemp to keep him out of the paint, and with a six-inch height advantage he'd drop baby hooks in on him all day long. Magic may have been a point guard, but just ask Philadelphia 76ers fans whether or not Magic could bang down low.

No, I don't think Kemp could hang with the savvy basketball acumen of one Magic Johnson. He might not be the athlete he once was, but he can still ball.


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