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Posted at 08:51 AM ET, 10/19/2011

Magic Johnson rips LeBron James — but he’s only kidding. Really. (Video)


Magic Johnson, at a job fair in Michigan in September. (David Coates / AP)
It’s a good thing Magic Johnson “loves” LeBron James. Otherwise his comments to students at the University of Albany over the weekend might be misinterpreted.

Johnson was asked to weigh his legacy — as a Hall of Fame member of the Los Angeles Lakers and as a businessman.

“That’s easy. Putting people to work in minority communities,” he said (via ESPN). “There's going to always be great players in basketball. There's going to always be guys who win championships in the NBA, except LeBron.”

Oof.

(Video after the jump.)

With students laughing, hooting and clapping, Johnson pointed out that he was kidding and said, “Don’t be mad.” Later, he clarified that “I'm not hating on LeBron. He's a triple-double threat every single game and he's going to get better.”

Which is nice. But the road to there was paved with jabs and zingers.

“Everybody's always asking, 'Who is better between Kobe Bryant and LeBron?' I'm like, Are you kidding me? I'm like, are you kidding me? ... Kobe, five championships; LeBron, zero.”

More from Shecky Johnson:

“I love the young man, though. I know he's going to get better in the fourth quarter this year.”

Gold, Jerry, gold.

By  |  08:51 AM ET, 10/19/2011

 
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