INTERN AARON’S PHONE CALL WITH A NBA LEGEND
Added by Aaron Guttenplan on June 15, 2013.
“No, really. What’s your first assignment?” was the overwhelming response to me telling people I had been invited to join the “ESPN: NBA Finals with Magic Johnson” conference call. My friends and family could not believe that my internship duties would begin with hearing a live presser with an NBA legend.
And let’s face it – I could hardly believe it myself. I would be on the phone with a five time NBA champ, three time MVP, and the undisputed heart and soul of the showtime Los Angeles Lakers.
“Yes, Magic freaking Johnson,” was my resounding reply.
Naturally my imagination ran wild, and I began to imagine scenarios where Magic and I would hit it off on the phone and become best friends (hey, it could happen). While telling my incredulous father the amazing news, I decided to slip in the phrase “Don’t worry, I’ll tell Earvin you said what’s up.” I was already having fun with the experience and the call hadn’t even happened yet.
On Wednesday, I woke up at about 6:00 and began rehearsing questions for Magic. I knew that I probably wouldn’t get a chance to ask them, but I wanted to be ready just in case. When it was finally time to call in, I dialed with shaky fingers because for some reason I almost expected that Magic would answer the phone himself.
After a nerve-wracking 16 minutes on hold and some initial technical difficulties, the man himself picked up the phone and begins to take questions from a number of well known publications.
Of course, there were the generic questions about the finals.
“What’s happened to Dwyane Wade?”
“Was Lebron James aggressive enough?”
“Who the hell is Gary Neal?”
The one interesting thing he said about the series was that he would like to see Lebron act “more like Kobe and Michael then like me,” meaning he should be more aggressive scoring the ball.
But it was the other questions asked that struck me. I was surprised at the range of questions being asked of Earvin (I think we’re on a first name basis now). He covered a wide variety of topics including Dwight Howard’s future, Tim Duncan’s legacy, Paul Pierce’s changing role, and even the wild dodger brawl – all of which were answered with Magics usual insightful, enthusiastic manner.
He answered without any hesitation or thought, and he appeared to be an expert on every subject. Magic Johnson has proven himself to be a dominant point guard on the court and now a NBA scholar analyst off of it.