Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with NBA legend Magic Johnson.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
MAGIC JOHNSON ON THE NBA FINALS:
JANE WELLS: FIRST, KEVIN DURANT. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS CHAMPIONSHIP SO FAR? ARE THE WARRIORS – CAN WE SAY YET, AT THIS MOMENT, ARE THEY THE GREATEST TEAM EVER? AT THIS MOMENT.
MAGIC JOHNSON: NO. NO, I DON'T THINK YOU CAN SAY THAT. I THINK THAT YOU CAN SAY THAT THEY ARE A GREAT TEAM TODAY. AND I THINK THAT KEVIN DURANT TOOK THEM TO A WHOLE OTHER LEVEL. AND HE ALLOWED STEPH CURRY NOW TO PLAY FREE, AND STEPH CURRY ALLOWED KEVIN DURANT TO PLAY FREE AND BE A CHAMPION. BECAUSE I THINK THEY ARE GOING TO WIN THE SERIES. AND WHEN YOU ADD IN TWO OF THE BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYERS IN THE LEAGUE IN DRAYMOND GREEN, WHO MIGHT WIN DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR. BUT THEN YOU ADD IN CLAY THOMSON. AND STEVE KERR IS AN EXCELLENT COACH. AND THEY HAVE A GREAT BENCH. I MEAN, IT IS A TOTAL BALANCED TEAM. AND SO, THEY WILL GO DOWN AS ONE OF THE GREATEST TEAMS THAT HAS EVER BEEN ASSEMBLED AND WHO HAS EVER WON A CHAMPIONSHIP. NO QUESTION. I WOULDN'T SAY THEY ARE THE BEST EVER, BUT I WOULD SAY THEY ARE ONE OF THE BEST, FOR SURE.
WELLS: GIVE THEM ANOTHER FEW YEARS AND WE CAN REVISIT THAT, MAYBE?
JOHNSON: OH, YEAH. YEAH, IF THEY CAN PUT TOGETHER A STRING OF MULTIPLE CHAMPIONSHIPS, OH, THEY CAN GO DOWN AS THE BEST TEAM. BUT RIGHT NOW, WINNING ONE DOESN'T MAKE YOU THE BEST. YOU HAVE TO WIN A FEW CHAMPIONSHIPS.
WELLS: LEBRON TIED YOUR POST SEASON RECORD.
JOHNSON: WITH TRIPLE DOUBLES.
JOHNSON: YEAH. SPECIAL GUY. SPECIAL PLAYER. ONE OF THE GREATEST THAT HAS EVER LACED THEM UP. ALREADY IN HIS CAREER HE HAS ALREADY IN THE TOP FIVE. BUT HE IS SPECIAL BECAUSE HE MAKES HIS TEAMMATES BETTER AND YET STILL PLAYS AT A HIGH LEVEL HIMSELF. SO, THE LEBRON JAMES' OF THE WORLD COME AROUND EVERY 20 YEARS. YOU DON'T GET TO SEE – IT'S LIKE KOBE WAS SPECIAL, LEBRON JAMES IS VERY SPECIAL.
WELLS: YOU WERE SPECIAL.
JOHNSON: OH, WELL THANK YOU. AND YOU KNOW, YOU CAN GO ON, BUT I JUST NAMED THOSE TWO RECENTLY. AND TIM DUNCAN, THE SAME THING FOR THE SPURS.
WELLS: ASSUMING THAT CLEVELAND CAN DO SOMETHING, COULD THIS BE POTENTIALLY – AT WHAT POINT DO YOU SAY THIS IS A RIVALRY THAT RIVALS THE LAKERS AND THE CELTICS?
JOHNSON: WELL I THINK, YOU KNOW, THEY ARE RIGHT – THEY ARE CLOSE. BECAUSE EVERYTHING THAT WE HAD, THEY HAVE. THEY HAVE SUPERSTARS. THEY HAVE A HIGH WILL TO WIN. THEY ARE COMPETITIVE. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT GREAT COACHING ON BOTH SIDES. THE COUNTRY IS ENGAGED. THEY WANT TO SEE WHO IS GOING TO WIN, THE RUBBER MATCH IN A SENSE, WHO IS GOING TO TAKE THE 2-1 LEAD. SO, THIS RIVALRY OF THE WARRIORS AND THE CAVS HAVE BEEN GOOD FOR THE NBA AND IT HAS BROUGHT IN THE CASUAL FAN. AND THE KIDS. YOU KNOW, FANS WHO YOU MIGHT HAVE GONE AWAY, CAME BACK. AND SO, THAT IS SPECIAL.
MAGIC JOHNSON ON THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY:
JANE WELLS: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF PRESIDENT TRUMP?
MAGIC JOHNSON: WHAT DO I THINK OF HIM? YOU KNOW, I VOTED FOR HILLARY AND I THOUGHT SHE WAS MORE PREPARED AND READY TO BE THE PRESIDENT. HE HAS TO FIND THE WAY TO BRING EVERYBODY TOGETHER. AND FOCUS ON THE ECONOMY, PUTTING PEOPLE TO WORK IN OUR COUNTRY, BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER IN OUR COUNTRY AND I THINK HE'S HAVING A CHALLENGE TO DO THOSE THINGS RIGHT NOW BECAUSE RIGHT NOW HE'S ALL OVER THE PLACE SO HE HAS TO FOCUS IN. AND THEN FORGET TWEETING JUST DELIVER WHATEVER YOUR MESSAGE IS DELIVER IT TO US YOU KNOW AND I THINK IT HAS BEEN A CHALLENGE BECAUSE SOMEBODY IS SAYING ONE THING AND THEN HE TWEETS ANOTHER THING AND THE MESSAGE IS ALL OVER THE PLACE. I WOULD SAY HE HAS TO GET SOME WINS THOUGH BECAUSE THE COUNTRY IS SITTING WAITING ON THE PRESIDENT AS WELL AS HIS ADMINISTRATION TO PROVIDE US WITH HOW WE ARE GOING TO CHANGE THINGS AND PUT PEOPLE TO WORK HERE IN AMERICA AND HE PROMISED A LOT OF THINGS SO HE HAS TO NOW DELIVER ON THOSE PROMISES ANS SO WE WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENS.
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