Magic Johnson and Dick Vitale paired

Dickie V and Magic Johnson? Together?


The legendary ESPN commentator and the NBA/Michigan State great will team up with Mike Tirico on ESPN’s broadcast of No. 1 Indiana at No. 12 Michigan State on Feb. 19, ESPN announced Wednesday.

Johnson has done a lot of work as an NBA studio analyst but this will be his first stint as an on-air analyst for a college basketball telecast.

Dick Vitale is, well, Dick Vitale. The broadcasting icon and former Detroit coach recruited Johnson, who eventually joined the Spartans and won a national title before his tenure as one of the greatest NBA players of all time.

"From the time I was a high school basketball player in Michigan I was captivated by Coach Vitale’s spirit and passion,” Johnson said in ESPN’s press release. “I’ve been fortunate to have developed a wonderful relationship with him -- one which is bonded by our common love of basketball. I have the utmost admiration and respect for Dickie V as a person, a basketball genius and a commentator and I can’t wait to call this game with him and Mike Tirico.”

Added Vitale via the same release: “I remember him as a kid so well. He was a basketball junkie, playing the game for hour after hour on the playgrounds. He became ‘Magic’ from his work ethic. I have always said if there was one player I wish I could’ve coached in my life it would be Earvin Magic Johnson. I am thrilled to be able to work with him and Mike Tirico. Although, I might have to remind him a few times that Indiana will be playing as well.”

It’s definitely an interesting pairing in a high-profile game.

Both Indiana and Michigan State are making serious runs at the Big Ten title. That matchup between the Hoosiers and Spartans could impact the entire championship race. The game alone will warrant a significant national buzz.

The pairing of Magic Johnson and Dick Vitale will only add to that hype. It’s going to be awesome, baby!