August 14 is Magic Johnson's 60th birthday. It's been a tumultuous year for Magic, who stepped down from his position as Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations in April in part because he wanted to tweet more. His reasoning was ridiculed at the time, given that, historically speaking, his tweets haven't necessarily pushed forward the zeitgeist.
I admit that I was personally beginning to doubt the purpose of Magic's Twitter feed and its seemingly outsized role in his abrupt retirement from overseeing a prestigious basketball franchise. That is, until today, his birthday, when he finished unleashing nine lists—each consisting of 60 names—that span all corridors of pop culture, from sports to film to music to... travel.
The lists have no rhyme or reason. I'm not even referring to the people and places that are included, though that's a separate discussion. Magic alphabetized many of his selections, presumably so as to not cause further controversy over the particulars of the rankings. And yet, that decision—the way the rankings are ranked—is driving me insane. The points at which he decides to transition to alphabetical order are completely arbitrary. The first film on the movie rankings list, The Godfather, is clearly not alphabetized. Fine. Whatever. No one's going to yell at him for putting The Godfather No. 1 and then alphabetizing the rest. But then at No. 31 is... The Bourne Identity? That's not in alphabetical order! Is that his 31st favorite movie of all-time?
For the TV show rankings, 21 Jump Street is at the top. Titles beginning with numbers go before titles beginning with letters, so that makes sense. But No. 2 is The Three Stooges. Does that mean 21 Jump Street is his favorite TV show ever, followed by The Three Stooges? Or just that The Three Stooges is No. 2, and he has no No. 1 choice?
Obviously, none of this matters, and my colleague Cam Wolf suggested I rank Magic's rankings in alphabetical order, which is honestly a good bit, and a chance to get my just revenge for the psychological pain he's inflicted. But I can't do that. You won, Magic. You're an evil genius, and I respect you. I'm embarrassed to say it, but this is my real ranking of Magic Johnson's rankings.
1. Magic's Top 60 Female R&B Artists
Magic was only willing to rank a top six, which again, is bewildering. But many of the names do make sense, especially his top four. I am now going to take refuge from an incoming Beyhive.
2. Magic's Top 60 Places to Travel
This is No. 2 because it's a massive flex proving he's visited at least 60 places internationally. Also, for consistency's sake, everything is alphabetized. And reading the different locales out loud reminded me of that Beach Boys song "Kokomo" where they go "Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take ya / Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama." Fun tune.
3. Magic's Top 60 Musical Groups
Magic also opted for a top six here before alphabetizing the rest. It's a perfectly acceptable top six for a 60-year-old man, headlined by Jackson 5 and Earth, Wind, and Fire.
4. Magic's Top 60 Male R&B Artists
Magic is playing some serious mind games sticking Al Green at No. 10, just before the rest of the list is clearly alphabetized. Is Al Green alphabetized or not? Charlie Wilson at No. 6, a single solitary slot beneath Luther Vandross, is so outrageous that I actually love it. I need a Magic Johnson rendition of "Charlie, Last Name, Wilson."
5. Magic's Top 60 Shows
We now know Magic is a true Law and Order fan, given that he added both the original and SVU back-to-back. Also: Judge Judy and Judge Mathis, ESPN SportsCenter, and some enjoyable glimpses into his childhood favorites.
6. Magic's Top 60 Films
This was the list that broke me. Multiple flicks are inexplicably out of place, which feels like some sort of secret message scavenger hunt challenge issued by Magic himself. What am I supposed to take from you breaking alphabetical order to put Sparkle at No. 42? Give me a sign, Magic. Please. Anything!!!
7. Magic's Top 60 Athletes Turned Entrepreneurs
I don't understand the significance of the entrepreneur part, which seems like a stipulation that added more work and brainstorming for Magic. This list is at least entirely alphabetized, and thus, it really is a coincidence that Kobe Bryant is one spot ahead of LeBron James. And still, I desperately want Lakers fans to yell at each other about it.
8. Magic's Top 60 People Who Have Helped Him in Business and Basketball
This assortment of names seems like a last-minute decision to shoutout a bunch of his famous friends. As previously mentioned, I'm all for a massive flex, but not when that flex includes Howard Schultz.
9. Magic's Top 60 Hip-Hop Artists
Magic only properly ranks the top five, and No. 3 is LL Cool J. That's better than Joe Budden, certainly, but... no.
Originally Appeared on GQ