UPDATE on Jan 29 at 11:05 am EST by Adam Fromal
It appears that the flak has caught up to Magic Johnson.
The great ones Shaq, Kobe, Dr. J, Isiah, Duncan, Olajuwon, Barkley can put their team on their back and win!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 29, 2014
The Mamba is present.
But what? No Michael Jordan?
Only kidding this time, as Magic is just covering his bases by sending out a whole new list of players. Nothing to complain about here.
--End of update--
Is Magic Johnson trolling the Los Angeles Lakers?
It sure seems like it after the best point guard in the history of the NBA took to Twitter and listed some of the "great ones" who have laced up their sneakers in the Association:
The great ones Michael, Larry, Kareem, LeBron and now Kevin Durant can put their teams on their back and win!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 28, 2014
Michael Jordan. Larry Bird. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. LeBron James. And now Kevin Durant.
Does it feel like anyone is missing? Maybe a certain someone with the initials K.B.B. who goes by a nickname that invokes images of slithering reptiles?
To be fair, all of the current inclusions are reasonable selections.
M.J. is the consensus greatest of all time, Bird and Magic enjoyed an historic rivalry, Kareem was a teammate of Magic's for an entire decade and the two remaining names are the clear-cut best players in the current NBA.
But couldn't he have thrown in Kobe's name? After all, he had another 31 characters to work with, and it only takes a few to include the name.
Now, he could've mentioned a whole bunch of names with those extra characters. Bill Russell, Tim Duncan, Oscar Robertson, Isiah Thomas and a slew of others immediately come to mind. But Magic was naming greats whom he had connections to, and he definitely has one with Kobe.
You know, the whole Lakers thing counts as a connection, even if it hasn't seemed to matter too much.
Magic Johnson trolling the Lakers is one of the most fascinating story lines of the NBA season.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) January 29, 2014
I’m not sure why Magic consistently trolls the Lakers. What sort of weird pleasure he gets out of it. But it’s not helping anything.— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) January 29, 2014
I've heard rumors of a Kobe & Magic rift in the past. How the two aren’t as friendly as it might seem. Magic’s tweet might illustrate that.— Daniel Buerge (@danielbuergeLA) January 29, 2014
This isn't the first time that Magic has enjoyed some Kobe-related controversy during the 2013-14 season.
Remember when he told Mike James of the Los Angeles Times that the L.A. 2-guard should spend the rest of the season on the sidelines?
It prompted B/R's Kevin Ding to write, "His uneducated, shallow, fleeting assessments indicate he's a bandwagon guy who mainly wants to make clear, in a trap a lot of older people tend to fall into, that the past was better."
Did Magic intentionally leave Kobe's name out?
Ding continued to question whether Magic actually cared about the Lakers, and this simple tweet is only going to lead to more inquiries along similar lines.
It's only a handful of characters, but the exclusion of Kobe—whether intentional or not—is still interesting. Perhaps we're reading too much into the thoughts of the retired point guard. Perhaps there wasn't much thought put into the message at all.
But, at the very least, shouldn't Magic have just mentioned the Black Mamba and saved himself the trouble?