I didn't become a fan until '95, so personally, I'm in the same boat that this feels like the biggest Laker loss to me, esp if he doesn't come back.
Before that, I did hear about Magic, and that definitely had a huge impact on me, at least in terms of humanity. And it probably would have been bigger had I followed the Showtime Era.
But regardless, I don't want to make comparisons... Out of the history of the game, and as much as I've watched and have been a part of, this has got to be the biggest loss for me.
"Why are they blocking out all the good stuff? They let Sarah Jessica Parker's face on TV and she looks like a foot!!"