Magic Johnson Believes There Are 14 NBA MVP Candidates, Broken Into Two Tiers

We are approximately a third of the way into the 2020-21 NBA season, and for many, the MVP race has already been narrowed to a few top candidates. LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, and Joel Embiid are the three most discussed for the award, while others will include Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry, and others.

However, Magic Johnson is not ready to narrow the field so dramatically just yet. The former Lakers president, who famously resigned suddenly in part because he couldn’t take not being able to tweet about other players in the league without getting fined for tampering, has his own MVP tier system and he sees 14 candidates still existing for the league’s highest individual honor, broken into Tier 1 and Tier 2.

I like to believe, somewhere, Magic has a full list of the entire NBA tiered out, and this is how he made decisions during his time in L.A. — I also desperately would like to see this list. I choose to believe this because Magic loves making lists, as we learned last year when he listed his 60 favorite movies and TV shows of all time just for the fun of it, like he’s a 2010-era blogger.

In all seriousness, it’s a really solid list of MVP candidates and I appreciate him casting a wide net because there has been some incredible play in the NBA this season and while we tend to get bogged down in the MVP debates, it’s nice to just appreciate how many great players having great seasons there are. While his tweeting style has become something of a running joke, it is genuinely the thing I love most about Magic. His earnest positivity and sheer enjoyment he takes in watching basketball is something all of us who find ourselves getting a little too serious about some of this stuff could learn a lesson from. No one thinks basketball is more fun than Magic Johnson, and even as someone who was one of the best to ever do it, he can always appreciate greatness in a way few former players seem willing to.