Did Magic Johnson really say Draymond Green is top five in the NBA?

BY foxsports • June 20, 2015

By David Harns

In a radio interview this week, did Magic Johnson say that Draymond Green was one of the top five players in the NBA right now? The answer to that question might come down to the interpretation of the listener. I was driving home from work, listening to the wide-ranging interview on The Drive with Jack, when Magic made his statement. When I got home I tweeted it out.

Immediately, people said that Magic was crazy, there is no way that Draymond Green was one of the top five players in the NBA. So I offered what I thought was clarification.

You can see why I was surprised when I started seeing articles being written about the radio interview, inferring that Magic did indeed say that Green was one of the top five players in the NBA right now.

First, by Graham Couch, whose article simply used the words that Magic said. Second, by Kyle Austin, whose article was headlined by the top five statement. Neither author used an incorrect quote, but both of them seemed to interpret the quote differently than I did. 

When I shared my opinion on Twitter, the replies also showed no consistency in what people thought Magic meant.

Since I don’t have Magic’s cell phone number, I did the next best thing. I reached out to Jack Ebling, the veteran sports journalist who has covered MSU athletics for decades. I asked him what he thought Magic meant. Here is his response:

“Earv said Draymond is ‘one of the top-five best all-around players in the NBA right now.’ I thought he was talking about versatile guys who could get a triple-double and still defend.”

You can listen to the interview and judge for yourself. As a Spartan fan, by the way, it is definitely worth listening to the whole thing.

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