Magic Johnson on Kobe Bryant, The Lakers & Vacations with Jimmy Kimmel
It's very good to see you. - You too. - Thank you for being here. You've been booked for a few weeks, and I really appreciate you-- you keeping the booking and coming tonight. You know,
Kobewouldn't have wanted me to cancel. JIMMY KIMMEL: That's right. I think-- You know,
Kobewould want us all to carry on and be great in our lives. And we should do something positive. You know, whether it's making sure that we love our family or giving back to an organization in his name. You know, we should do something great because he was such a great man, great husband, great father, incredible basketball player. And for 20 years, you know? JIMMY KIMMEL: Yeah, long time. To wear the Laker purple and gold. Man-- And never take it off. No, no. And loved playing the game. And then to see him, you know, just become a great father and husband. And he was enjoying life, and went way too-- way too early. Yeah, well, you were his idol. I mean, that's-- that's something. Well, we idolized each other. Yeah, that-- I think that's very interesting because you both called each other the greatest Laker of all time. Yeah. And it didn't seem like either one of you was just being nice about it. It seemed like you both meant it. And I could understand you being his idol, him calling you the greatest Laker of all time, and to be honest I think of you as the greatest Laker of all time. Thank you. It's so unusual to me that you would give that title to him. Well,...
because we both poured our heart and soul into performing every night in Los Angeles for the greatest fans on Earth. And to-- we both were committed to basketball, we were married to basketball, we were married to winning and playing the game the right way. And then every night that you came to the Forum, because that's where he first started, and then he was actually able to build Staples Center. And every night you came to Staples Center you knew you were going to see something special, something great, that you've never seen in your life. And that was
Bryant. And then he made no excuses, that's why we all should never make excuses. Because
Kobenever made an excuse, whether he was tired, hurt, he played through everything. And the man gave us everything that he had. Who do you think hated losing more, you or him? Both of us. JIMMY KIMMEL: Yeah. We both hated losing and we both enjoyed winning, and especially winning in Los Angeles for the
Lakers. And-- This is a great photo of you guys. You posted this from 1998. MAGIC JOHNSON: Yeah. JIMMY KIMMEL: What do you remember about this, anything? MAGIC JOHNSON: Well-- we actually one time played one-on-one. And he got so mad at me because I called foul on every play. Can I tell you something? I actually-- we-- he said that here on our show, and we have a clip. Let's look. Well, one of the things, speaking of
Magic, that I thought was very interesting is that you only played with
Magiconce. One time. - One...
time. JIMMY KIMMEL: In a practice. - That was it. JIMMY KIMMEL: How did that go? He called every single foul, even the ones that weren't there. It was like-- he's like, hey, that was a foul. And I was, like I-- JIMMY KIMMEL: All right, you're
Magic. What's the score? Uh, it's 10 to 6. No it's not, it's 10 to 9. I'm like, what was-- all right. Is that an accurate account of what happened? Of course! I was older. He was in his prime, killing me. So, I was like, I gotta cheat. I gotta do something. It was like you were on the Houston Astros almost. Oh! JIMMY KIMMEL: No, we don't want to-- we can't talk about that. The last time we did that, I got fined. I know, I know. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But now, you could be the first man fined in two different sports. Only you and I. I didn't get fined, weird thing. No fine for me. There's no for you. JIMMY KIMMEL: No. And all that money went out of my wallet. Cookie was not happy. Hey that meant she couldn't shop as much as she wanted to. JIMMY KIMMEL: Yeah, right? Well, you know-- So be careful tonight. OK, I'll be very careful. I won't mention it again. We'll talk about that next you're over here. You got me sweating up in here. Well, hopefully the Dodgers will have a great season. - Hopefully the Dodgers-- I'm sure they will have a great season. And hopefully it will be a fair season. In your basketball career, did you ever cheat? Did you ever-- deflate the ball...
a little? No? Do anything like that? No, the
Lakers, we never cheated. But the Celtics-- JIMMY KIMMEL: They cheated. Yes. That sounds right. Red Auerbach-- it was in June. So, it was, like, 90 degrees outside. They cut the heat up in our locker room. JIMMY KIMMEL: To get you-- To make us tired. And it worked. Didn't they turn off the, like, heat on the water in your hotel also? Yes, they did everything. JIMMY KIMMEL: They did everything? They pulled the fire alarm at 3 o'clock in the morning. Would that make you more motivated to win? - Oh, yeah. - Oh, it would, yeah. We wanted to just kill them. We wanted to beat them so bad. And we did. JIMMY KIMMEL: And you did. Most of the time. All right, we're going to take a break. When we come back, I want to talk to you about our
vacationstogether. That's right. And I want-- I have some things to ask you about. OK.
Johnsonis here with us. We'll get more with
Magicafter this. We are back with Earvin
Johnson, who is-- owns the Dodgers, owns the Sparks, co-owns, of course, the LA Football Club. Has that been fun for you doing that? Oh, it's been great. I mean, we had the best record in MLS last season. And we lost in the playoffs, but we're building something special. I think we're going to win a championship here soon. I love women's basketball, just like
Kobeloved women's basketball, and I love being the owner of the Sparks. We have some-- Candace Parker is a...
tremendous hall of fame player. JIMMY KIMMEL: Yeah, one of the all-time greats. Exactly. And really, you're easily the most important man in Los Angeles sports. You were a huge part of bringing LeBron James to the
Lakers, and now you're not working with the
Lakers. Right. So even there you are having a major impact. It's Taco Tuesday, by the way. I know. LeBron hasn't invited me over for those Taco Tuesdays yet. JIMMY KIMMEL: He has? Oh, he hasn't? But we'll wait. We'll wait till he win the championship first, and then we'll go over to his house. I feel like he's so taco crazy that he doesn't want to share any of them with anyone else. I've never seen anyone this excited about Mexican food. Oh, well. Well, you have to remember he was playing in Cleveland. JIMMY KIMMEL: Uh huh, yeah, not the best for Mexican food, yeah. - Exactly. And then Miami. JIMMY KIMMEL: Uh huh. Not the best. JIMMY KIMMEL: Yeah. And so he come here, he get the best. Speaking of the best. You had-- every year you go on a vacation in Europe. You cruise on a yacht around Italy, Sam Jackson always comes with you. Right. Who else always comes with you on that trip? Well, it just depends. John and Vicki Palmer. We have, you know, Anthony Anderson. A lot of people came out this summer. JIMMY KIMMEL: Yes. To hang with us and celebrate our 60th birthday, both Cookie and I. I'm glad you mentioned Anthony. And Charlie Wilson performed that year. Charlie Wilson was...
amazing. Who else performed that year? Earth, Wind and Fire. JIMMY KIMMEL: Wow! Jeffrey Osborne, Chaka Khan. JIMMY KIMMEL: Ah, the best! You know, yes, yes, yes. I mean, really, like, that's who I would have at my 60th birthday. Yes, yes. So, on that note, I have not just asked but implored you, repeatedly, to let me come on this vacation with you. That's right. So, this summer, I started looking at your Instagram. OK. Checking it out. MAGIC JOHNSON: All right. And I was like, aw, there they are again. MAGIC JOHNSON: There's my beautiful wife. JIMMY KIMMEL: Your beautiful wife. And so, I decided that I would put myself and my beautiful wife on the trip. I like that! And then-- and then as you continued to post photos, I continued to put myself in the photos. LL Cool J right next to him. There we go. We've got-- MAGIC JOHNSON: Oh, yeah. JIMMY KIMMEL: There's me back there. And then-- there are many, many more. But yeah, I'm here on a bicycle with you and Cookie. Now, Anthony Anderson, he texted me and he's like, where-- are you here? What's going on? And no, not just him, a lot of people thought you were really there. Many people in my life. My relatives thought I was there. They're like, oh, this is the greatest! You finally got on vacation with
Magic! I was like, no I didn't, I'm at home right now. Well, we're waiting on you. JIMMY KIMMEL: You're waiting on me? You have an open invitation. Do I really? Yeah, but the...
problem with you-- JIMMY KIMMEL: (LAUGHING) There's always a 'yeah, but'. Yeah, yeah, yeah. JIMMY KIMMEL: What is the problem with me? Because you work every night. No, I'll-- in the summertime I'll come. Here's what I'll do, I'll tie-- I'll have a dinghy and I'll tie a rope on the back of your yacht. And I'll just follow along behind it. And then when it's time, I'll come on and we'll, you know-- You check with your wife-- JIMMY KIMMEL: Uh huh. And you can come on. And you won't-- now, I know I'm forcing myself on you, but-- - You're good. Like, are you going to go home to Cookie tonight and go, oh no, I got bad news about our trip. I got very bad news. No, what's great is she's going to be watching. So, she get to see it herself. So, right now she's canceling. She's calling the travel agent and canceling the yacht. Exactly.
Jimmy's coming, cancel it. Suddenly
Magichas the flu. But we'll take your wife, we'll just leave you at home. OK, all right. That's fine. You know what, I could use some alone time. So, all right, so you got a lot going on. You've got the Dodgers. Will you go to spring training? Will that happen? Yeah, I go to spring training, watch a couple games. Do the teams get jealous of how much time you will spend with each of the many clubs you have? No, no because I think they understand. You know, listen, we're all here in Los Angeles, they want to do...
well. You know, this city loves the Dodgers. JIMMY KIMMEL: Uh huh. They're starting to love LAFC. Our soc-- we sell out every game. JIMMY KIMMEL: Yeah. And then the Sparks have their fan base. So, I think everybody understands LA just wants a winner. They want guys who come out and play the game the right way, and women. JIMMY KIMMEL: Yep. And so, hopefully, the