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Magic Johnson Reveals The One Thing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Did To Make Him Mad When He Was A Rookie: "He Didn't Pay Me Back. And He Made More Money Than Me. I Was Only A Rookie On A Rookie Salary."

Magic Johnson Reveals The One Thing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Did To Make Him Mad When He Was A Rookie: "He Didn't Pay Me Back. And He Made More Money Than Me. I Was Only A Rookie On A Rookie Salary."

Magic Johnson has been a legend in the NBA for well over 3 decades now, he is widely accepted to be one of the Top 10 players of all time, arguably even in the Top 5. So it's hard to think of Magic as a rookie, although the new TV series 'Winning Time' does portray it. And it's even harder to imagine him doing rookie duties, but he did those too in his time, for none other than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who incidentally isn't too fond of the TV series

Rookie duties usually involve doing whatever it is the senior player tells you to do, from getting them food and drinks, to whatever else they may ask for. And while Magic says he was happy to do most of those things because he loved Kareem, he revealed on the Jimmy Kimmel Show that there was still one thing that made him mad. 

(Video begins at 1:59 minutes)

“I was Kareem’s rookie, and he told me, ‘Have my newspaper at 7 O’clock in the morning’. I said, ‘Ok’. ‘Second, every time at practice that coach says it’s a water break, I want two waters and two Gatorades, and I want them cold too’. So I was like, ‘Okay cool’, I’m excited, I’m a rookie, Imma do what he says. 

“Then, we flew commercial, so every time we went to the airport, he said I want two hot dogs and you better make sure they’re beef cuz I don’t eat pork. So I go to the concessions guy and I ask him, ‘Are they beef?’, and he says, ‘No, they’re pork’. So I says, ‘Shoot, I gotta go back and tell him he can’t have hot dogs’. So I did everything for Kareem and I loved every minute of it. But what I was mad at, Jimmy, every time I bought him those hot dogs, when they did have beef, he didn’t pay me. He didn’t pay me back. And he made more money than me. I was only a rookie on a rookie salary.”

Considering that Magic Johnson went on to become one of the highest-earning players the NBA had ever seen and earned a ton of endorsement deals, it's hard to feel too bad about him having to pay for some hot dogs. He was joking though, and the bond between him and Abdul-Jabbar was a strong one, leading the Lakers to one of the greatest eras that the NBA has ever seen.