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UPDATED, Sunday 3/3/13: #MagicMillion: ESPN’s Magic Johnson offers $1 million to the winner of next year’s dunk contest

Magic Johnson on Kia NBA Countdown earlier tonight
Magic Johnson on Kia NBA Countdown earlier tonight

UPDATE, Sunday 3/3/13 1:25 p.m. ET.

On Sunday’s edition of KIA NBA Countdown on ABC, Magic Johnson expanded upon Friday night’s comments (below) regarding LeBron James and the dunk contest. Additionally, Lisa Salters (through Michael Wilbon) relayed a message from James.

More from today’s Countodwn can be found here.

Tune-in Reminder:
Today on ABC: Miami Heat at New York Knicks (1 p.m. ET); Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Clippers (3:30 p.m.).
Tonight on ESPN: Chicago Bulls at Indiana Pacers (8 p.m.)

Magic Johnson on LeBron “owning” NBA All-Star/$1 million Slam Dunk Contest offer
Johnson: What I would like him to do is own NBA All-Star weekend, like [Michael] Jordan did. He’s only owned the All-Star game itself. Come in on Saturday (of All-Star) like you do on Sunday and own that event the way MJ did it.

LeBron James’ response to Magic’s offer (from reporter Lisa Salters)
“Tell Magic I’ll get back to him.”

Bill Simmons: “I’m starting to think LeBron James is a genius. In the past five weeks he’s shooting 65 percent from the field and he’s turned his pre-game dunks into an event.”

During the Knicks-Heat game, analyst Jeff Van Gundy said: “Tell Magic to give me $100,000 to convince LeBron to take his $1 million.”

KIA NBA Countdown next airs Friday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.


On the heels of a week that saw LeBron James both dunking and shaking, ESPN’s Magic Johnson upped the ante by luring LeBron to next year’s dunk contest by offering the winner $1 million. The Hall of Famer made his comments during Friday night’s KIA NBA Countdown.

Johnson on LeBron participating in the 2014 NBA Slam Dunk contest:

“Please LeBron, get in the dunk contest. I’m going to put up a million dollars. A million dollars to LeBron. Please get in the dunk contest. I go every year. I want to see you out there. A million to the winner.”

The offer came as viewers and the studio team saw James do an over-the-back, off-the-backboard dunk during pre-game warm-ups.

ESPN’s Bill Simmons later raised the stakes further with a tweet offering an additional $200.

According to the Associated Press, The NBA currently pays $100,000 to the dunk contest’s winner and $50,000 to the runner-up.

Countdown Coordinating Producer Amina Hussein confirmed Magic is serious about the offer: “He’s serious,” Hussein told Front Row as the crew watched the conclusion of Grizzlies-Heat, in the 10 p.m. ET hour. “He legitimately just wants the slam dunk contest to be great again.”

Equally serious, according to Hussein, are Rose and Simmons.

“Jalen and Bill keep saying they will chip in $200 a piece!” she said.

So now we’re up to $1,000,400 if you’re keeping score at home.

James and Miami won the game 98-91 and he finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists. And more than a million reasons to consider dunking in NOLA in 2014.

KIA NBA Countdown airs again Sunday, March 3, at 12:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

More from tonight’s Countdown here.

Additional coverage of the #MagicMillion: here, here, here, here and here.

Ben Cafardo and Kristen Hudak contributed to this post which was updated several times beyond original post

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