magic johnson

Magic Johnson is returning to ESPN’s NBA Countdown, beginning on Christmas Day, the network announced Monday.

Johnson will be part of ESPN’s studio coverage for the network’s five Christmas broadcasts, then will settle into a role as a studio analyst for NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC, beginning Jan. 21 2017. That show will also feature Mike Wilbon and Sage Steele.

“I’m so excited to be working with my ESPN family again on NBA Countdown Saturday nights,” Johnson said in a press release. “Michael, Sage and I are going to have a lot of fun this season while we cover the greatest sport in the world. Basketball has been so good to me, and I can’t wait to once again share my love and passion for the game with the fans and my ESPN colleagues.”

Johnson appeared as an analyst on NBA Countdown from 2008-13, working alongside Wilbon for the last three years. He left ESPN under somewhat mysterious circumstances, with some reports blaming co-analyst Bill Simmons for forcing him out, which Simmons has vehemently denied. Simmons, of course, has since departed ESPN.

Since leaving ESPN, Johnson has gone on with his merry life, serving as figurehead owner of the Dodgers, presiding over his business empire and tweeting ridiculous things sometimes to keep us on our toes. Apparently he felt the need to spice up his Saturday nights with some studio analysis.

The analyst chairs on NBA Countdown sometimes feel like the Defense Against the Dark Arts professorship at Hogwarts, so we’ll see how long Magic (and Wilbon) last this time.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

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