Is Magic Johnson the all-time greatest Laker? He was a walking triple-double, who could play every position on the floor, and play it well. He is arguably the greatest passer of all-time and had an electrifying personality that could force a smile from on even the greenest of Celtic fans. He was a three time MVP and five time champion who loved the game as much as humanly possible. Although his career was cut short by quite a few years due to his tragic contraction of HIV, Magic was not only one of the greatest Lakers of all time, but he was one of the greatest individuals to ever step foot on the hardwood.
A 6’9 point guard, Magic was unlike any other player we have ever seen. He could rebound like a center, pass like a guard, score the ball, play defense–whatever it was, Magic could do it. His electrifying personality seemed to electrify his game, which was very compatible with the Lakers Showtime offense of the 80’s. He’d catch an outlet pass from Kareem, push the ball up court and find a streaking Worthy, Cooper or Scott for the easiest basket of their lives. If he had to score he would, but he found just as much enjoyment (if not more) in seeing his teammates score a bucket off a beautiful Magic Johnson pass (that term should be trademarked).
When he came into the league as a rookie in 1980, Magic hit the ground running as he, along with regular season MVP Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, led the Lakers to the NBA Finals and eventually an NBA championship. What was even more remarkable, was that prior to game six of the finals, Kareem injured his ankle and had to sit out what could possibly be the deciding game. Magic stood in at center and had one of the best games of his career, totaling 42 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists in the Lakers 123-107 championship-deciding victory. He was named the Finals MVP of the series and is the only rookie in NBA history to ever record that feat. From then on is history, as the era known as Showtime was begun and no player could have fit the bill of point guard better than the electrifying 6’9 point guard out of Michigan State.
Whether or not Magic and his five NBA championships and three MVP’s has translated him as the greatest Laker player ever is up in the air. With Kobe Bryant moving at his current pace, it’ll be tough to decide who truly is the better Laker great. Nonetheless, Magic has remained a part of this franchise since his early retirement in 1991, acting as a coach and now a part-owner of the Lakers organization. Drafting him, although an easy choice, was one of the best moves this franchise has ever made, as his sparky personality ignited Showtime in LA. httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxBM3dTPc_k
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