Landon Buford on Magic Johnson the NBA playoffs without LeBron and Golden State

Landon Buford is precisemuzic’s newest sports correspondent. He has written for Forbes, USA Today and The Bleacher Report. We chopped it up with him recently about his thoughts on the NBA and the future of the league as it relates to a few teams and this years championship.

Talk about the absence of LeBron this playoff series. What does it mean for the league?

From a playoff sense, not having LeBron James in the postseason dance doesn’t help their bottom during this time of the year. However, as far as relevancy, He is still being talked about whether it is from his show The Shop, in the media, or for what he is posting on Instagram and Twitter.

What are your thoughts on Magic Johnson leaving the Lakers?

I think Magic saw the writing on the wall and decide to remove himself from the situation. He doesn’t really need the reported 10 million dollars per year salary he was getting paid by the Lakers. He is reported to have a net worth of $600 million and with Magic leaving he can participate in things that are limited to individuals that are employed by NBA teams.  That’s what he said he was missing out on when he was Lakers President of Basketball Operations.

Who do you have winning the championship this year?

I still have the Warriors three-peating. I don’t know if KD will return this season, but I still have them winning because of the core group of players such as Draymond Green, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Iggy. There is a possibility the DeMarcus Cousin could see the floor before the end of the Blazers series. So, we will have to see, but the Warriors are my pick to be the champs you have to beat the champs.  

Who will win the MVP?

My pick is Giannis Antetokounmpo because he was able to lead his team to the best record in the NBA. Also, I feel he is more valuable to the Bucks due to his around game on both sides of the ball in comparison to James Harden and the Rockets. Also, James Harden won the award last year and you must have a stellar season after you win the award to be crowned back to back MVPs. There have been some exceptions with Stephen Curry and Steve Nash. Some will argue Nash should only have one and Kobe or Shaq should have been award the other one. It just based on the person‘s opinion. If you swapped Harden for Antetokounmpo, I feel the Rockets would have benefited more in comparison to Bucks and Harden in my opinion.

What teams do you think will emerge next year? 

I think the Sacramento Kings are going to shock a lot of people next season. They barely missed the playoffs this season and they added veteran leadership with Harrison Barnes and Corey Brewer, who both have won championships in the past.

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