Role Reversal: Magic Plays for Celtics, Bird for the Lakers

Two of the greatest players in NBA history are Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird. They also played for the most storied franchises in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.

Their styles could not have been more different. Bird was a shy guy who wanted to avoid attention, while Magic loved the attention. Even their styles on the court differed—Bird was an nonathletic man who looked more like a farmer than a basketball player. Magic, however, was extremely athletic as a 6'9" point guard, and his flashy play style helped the Lakers become the Showtime Lakers.

The scenario of Magic going to the Celtics and Bird to the Lakers is extremely unrealistic since they were drafted in different years, but it was fun to think about regardless.

If Bird was drafted by the Lakers, they would have had one of the best inside-outside combos with him and Kareem. But with Bird locking up the combo forward position, it is unlikely that the Lakers would have drafted James Worthy, who played the same position. Sadly, that means that there probably wouldn't have been a Showtime Lakers team without the Magic and Worthy.

In that draft year they would have probably taken a point guard to replace Norm Nixon. The best point guard out of that draft was Fat Lever, a triple double threat on any night, just like Magic. Another point guard taken in this draft was Sleepy Floyd. They could have also taken a point forward, Paul Pressey. Or they could have taken the forward route and taken either Worthy or Dominique Wilkins and moved Bird to the power forward. There were many routes the Lakers could have taken, but I would see them taking Fat Lever.

With this draft pick the Lakers are looking at a starting five of Fat Lever, Jamaal Wilkes, Larry Bird, Kurt Rambis and Kareem. The bench would be led by Bob McAdoo and Norm Nixon.

If they would have taken Worthy or Wilkins, the lineup would ...

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