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Magic Doesn't Totally Rule Out Playing

March 24, 1994|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER

The possibility of Magic Johnson again playing for the Lakers, a notion that excites fans and frustrates management, arose again Wednesday, with Johnson again refusing to say he will never return to the court.

"I'll probably be down there (the sidelines) and want to tear off the suit," Johnson said when asked about the possibility of becoming a player-coach. "Of course. . . . Once I step out there on Sunday (his first game), it's going to be crazy, I'm going to be crazy, excited. I know if it gets tight, a minute to go, I'm going to look and say, 'Man, go get that (No.) 32 jersey.' Of course. That will never leave. I love basketball, and I enjoy winning. It's hard for me to sit here and say I won't be tempted. Of course I will."

Johnson even said: "If Michael (Jordan) comes back and plays, I'll play."

When questions about Johnson playing again first came up at a Forum news conference, General Manager Jerry West shook his head with a look of disgust.

"His playing days are over," West said. "It's almost gotten to the point of being annoying to keep hearing about it."

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