One of the greatest things about the NBA league is that there have been so many highly talented athletes to play the game. Unfortunately, we can’t see these players go and play forever but we know is that when one superstar comes to the close of the career, a new one is born.
We’ve decided to look at two particular years when two hall of famers have retired in the same year that two all-time greats entered the league.
1996 NBA: Magic Retires, Kobe Is Drafted
Two of the biggest names in Lakers history are Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant. Between the two of them, they’ve won 10 championships, 3 MVPs and 5 Finals MVPs. In the year of 1996, Magic Johnson retired after making a comeback to the game. During the same year, Kobe Bryant was drafted by the same franchise, the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers have been privileged to have such big-name players play at the franchise at different times. It’s hard to say who was the better player of the two or who was the more loveable figure in the eyes of Lakers fans but what I can say is both players will go down in history as two of the best players to ever put on a Lakers jersey.
2003 NBA: Jordan Retires, LeBron Is Drafted
One of the most prominent questions that have yet to be answered is the question of MJ and LeBron, who really is the Greatest of All Time? Basketball fans all around the world have their opinion and there’s no true one answer. One of the most fascinating years in NBA history must be 2003 where Jordan officially retired from the game and LeBron James started his career in the league for the Cavaliers.
Looking back at it now, it was like the passing of the baton, with 6 MVP’s and 6 Championships, Michael Jordan had accomplished everything he possibly could in basketball. LeBron James came into the draft has a very high draft prospect that was expected to excel in the big time. Many would still be surprised to see just how far LeBron has come, 2 championships for two different franchises is important but his pure ability and athletic prowess to dominate and take control of games is what really stands out.