MAGIC JOHNSON WAS a genius basketball player. He ran the point, buried outside shots, involved his teammates, made baby sky hooks.

(He also played center on one memorable,

title-clinching night in 1980 against the

Sixers, but, well, you probably know that.)

We bring up Magic because when we see

the Suns' Steve Nash, we see similar genius

in a different package.

Nash is only 6-3; Magic was 6-9. Nash cleverly dribbles, stutter-steps, penetrates, dishes and makes everything look so choreographed. When that doesn't work, he steps back and drills threes.

Yesterday, Nash had 23

assists - one short of the NBA playoff record - in the Suns' 113-100 win over the Lakers.

This isn't meant to compare Magic and Nash. It's meant to celebrate their excellence. Magic was the greatest. Nash is a delight to watch.

Is it over yet?

In the time it took the first round of the NFL draft to end on Saturday, you could have gotten on a plane in Philadelphia, flown to Los Angeles, rented a jazzy, foreign car and driven halfway

to Malibu, via the Pacific Coast Highway.

That's if you had a life, a well-heeled life,

admittedly. If not, you could have spent the 6 hours, 8 minutes glued to the television

waiting for the first round to be completed. Not the entire draft, just the 32-pick first round.

We didn't mean it, really

The most fascinating aspect of the draft to us, by far, is that Andy Reid felt compelled to make a "not to worry" call to his leader and quarterback Donovan McNabb after the Eagles drafted a quarterback with their first pick.

We're curious: Did Reid make a similar call to safety Brian Dawkins after the Eagles

selected safety C.J. Gaddis? *

- Chuck Bausman