Ervin “Magic Johnson”, one of the best players in NBA history, and probably the best nickname of all time.
It’s time to remember everything that Magic did and represents for Los Angeles and the Lakers.
Magic was the face of “Showtime”, not only a nickname for the Laker team from 1980 to 1991, but “Showtime” represented a style of playing. Throughout the Showtime era, the Lakers managed to play in 9 finals in 12 years. This is something almost unthinkable in this new era in the NBA.
Magic is a 3 time MVP, 12-time All-Star, he made 10 All-NBA teams, 5 time NBA Champion, and 3 time NBA Finals MVP’s. He has the greatest assists per game average at 11.2. Those accomplishments talk from themselves, so it’s time to remember some stories that reflect how great Magic was.
In his rookie season, the Lakers managed to get to the NBA Finals. With Kareem hurt for the 6th game in Philadelphia, Magic played at Center! He managed to score 42 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals while shooting 61% from the field. Also, he did this by playing 47 minutes! This is one of the greatest games played by anyone in NBA history. That performance made him the first -and only- rookie to win a Finals MVP. In his third season in the NBA the Lakers played Philadelphia again in the finals, and again beat them in six games as Magic posted a triple-double in the closeout game to win his second championship and Finals MVP in just three seasons in the league.
After a bad loss against the Celtics in 1984, Magic and the Lakers came back the next year and beat them in Boston. This was the first time a Laker team had beaten the Celtics, so it was a historic moment for the franchise. But the best moment for Magic in the rivalry against the Celtics was in 1987, where he averaged 26 points, 13 assists, and 8 rebounds. In that series, Magic had one of the most iconic shots in NBA history. In Game 4 in Boston Magic hit the “junior sky hook” over two defenders, winning the game and taking a 3-1 series lead. He, of course, managed to win his 3rd Finals MVP. This was the last time he faced Larry Bird and the Celtics in the finals, with a 2-1 record against them.
He had one last Hollywood-esque moment when he played in the All-Star game in 1992. This was a unique moment in NBA history as Magic had retired early that season after contracting HIV, but even without playing that season, Magic was voted by fans to play in the All-Star game. He not only played in the game, but he won the MVP after recording 25 points, 9 assists, and 5 rebounds.
Magic is a unique player, his size, playmaking ability, charisma, passing, and especially his magic, will never be replicated.
That’s why Magic Johnson is one of the greatest players in NBA history.
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