Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Julius Erving said it best when he described Magic as “The only player ever who can absolutely dominate a game while only taking three shots”. Earvin and Boston Celtic legend Larry Bird turned the game of Basketball around from a sport almost bankrupt to a sport on the worlds centre stage. Johnson helped the Los Angeles Lakers become one of the most dominating Basketball teams in the 1980’s. he is considered to be one of the best point guards and playmakers ever to enter the league. The nickname ‘Magic’ came in a high school game in which Earvin scored 36 points, 18 rebounds and 16 assists. Johnson defied the usual physical attributes a Point Guard has, he was 6, 9 tall and sometimes played at Centre because of his height.

Magic led the Lakers to five NBA championships (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988) he formed a formidable partnership with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Earvin was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) on three occasions (1987, 1989, 1990). He was NBA finals MVP in 1982, 1987 and as a rookie in 1980.

Sadly in 1991 he shocked the Basketball world by announcing that he had tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS, he retired from the Lakers. However he still had hope and fought the disease with his 10,000 watt smile still shining bright.

After his initial retirement from the NBA on November 7th 1991. Magic’s immense popularity saw him still being voted as a starting player into the 1992 All Star game. He played in the game and he earned the MVP honours for that game. Following this Earvin took part in the 1992 USA gold winning Olympic basketball team in Barcelona. The original team to be dubbed the ‘Dream Team’ arguably the greatest team ever assembled. With his second and final retirement Magic entered the NBA Hall of Fame, the elite 50 greatest players.

Magic ranked among the Lakers all-time leaders in nearly all statistical categories, averaging 19.5 points, 11.2 assists and 7.2 rebounds in 906 season matches. Magic became a TV sports commentator staying in the world of Basketball. In the fall of the 1993-1994 season Earvin became head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. At the end of the season he resigned his position blaming personal reasons and frustration over player attitudes.

Michael Jordan may be the greatest player that ever played the sport of Basketball, but Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson is one of my favourite players in the league. He could comfortably play two very different positions and he could score lots of points if needed, however the great thing was his unselfishness, he could dominate the game of basketball without taking a single shot and when he took a shot it was a huge, important one. I also admire the way Earvin rose from his problem (AIDS) and continued to dominate the sport until Jordan’s arrival. No matter what Magic came out of everything smiling…unless it was losing.


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