This Day In Lakers History: Magic Johnson Named 1987 NBA MVP
Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA MVP
Andrew D. Bernstein-NBAE via Getty Images

On May 19, 1987, former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Magic Johnson was named MVP, winning the award for the first time in his career. Johnson went on to earn MVP honors again in 1989 and 1990.

Johnson received 65 of 78 first-place votes and a total of 788 points in balloting. En route to becoming just the second player in NBA history to score more than 3,000 points in a single season, Michael Jordan placed second in voting with 449 points (10 first-place votes).

He was followed by Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird, who received just one first-place vote and 271 overall points. Johnson winning the MVP Award snapped Bird’s string of three consecutive seasons taking home the honor.

“I’d like to thank Larry Bird for having a slightly off year, and I want to strangle Michael Jordan for putting all the pressure on me,” Johnson joked in his acceptance speech during a news conference.

Johnson averaged a career-high 23.9 points and led the NBA in assists (12.2), while also contributing 6.3 rebounds per game. His efforts helped guide the Lakers to the best overall record at 65-17.

While the 1987 MVP Award was the first for Johnson, he’d previously been named MVP of the NBA Finals in 1980 and 1982. He completed a banner season by earning a third Finals MVP Award in 1987, as the Lakers defeated the Celtics in six games.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Kyle Kuzma: Lakers ‘Never’ Focused On Clippers

All season long, analysts and fans alike pitted the two Los Angeles teams against each other and for good reason…

Lakers Rumors: Tensions Between ‘Defiant’ Russell Westbrook And L.A. Make It ‘Impossible’ For Guard To Return Next Season

The marriage between the Los Angeles Lakers and Russell Westbrook has long seemed headed toward divorce…

This Day In Lakers History: Kobe Bryant Officially Acquired From Hornets

On July 11, 1996, the Los Angeles Lakers officially completed a trade with the Charlotte Hornets to acquire Kobe Bryant…

Anthony Davis: Lakers Are ‘Way Behind’ In Preparation After Preseason Loss To Nets

Even though there was plenty of excitement surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers going into their preseason opener…