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The legacy of NBA legend Magic Johnson

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Johnson Magic
The legacy of NBA legend Magic Johnson. Photo/ USA Basketball.
  • Very few NBA players can be compared to Earvin Magic Johnson in terms of success achieved while playing in the NBA. 
  • The Los Angeles Lakers legend played professional basketball for 13 seasons and was famous for his agility, speed and powerful arms. 
  • Besides winning the NBA five times, Johnson also boasts three NBA MVP Awards, three NBA Finals MVPs and nine NBA First Team selections, among other achievements. 

Very few NBA players can be compared to Earvin Magic Johnson in terms of success achieved while playing in the NBA.

Magic Johnson is widely regarded as one of the greatest NBA players the world has ever seen. Despite being 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m), Johnson did magic playing as a point guard. He is often compared to the Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry.

The Los Angeles Lakers legend played professional basketball for 13 seasons and was famous for his agility, speed and powerful arms.

Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson. Photo/ NBA.com.

Johnson is credited for introducing Showtime, a fast-paced basketball style consisting of spinning feeds, pin-point alley-oops from halfcourt and no-look passes.

Besides winning the NBA five times, Johnson also boasts three NBA MVP Awards, three NBA Finals MVPs and nine NBA First Team selections, among other achievements.

Magic Johnson was included in the 1996 list of the 50 Greatest Players in the History of the NBA. He was selected to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021.

The NBA legend played 905 games, managing 17,707 points, 10,141 assists and 6,559 rebounds. This translates to 19.5 points per game, 11.2 assists in every game and 7.2 rebounds per game.

Despite retiring in 1996, some of Magic Johnson’s records have stood up to date. The 63-year-old holds the record for most assists in a Finals game (24), most career assists in the All-Star Game (127) and most assists in a single All-Star game.

Johnson also shares the record for assists in a single-game playoff (24). He could control the whole game and win for his team without scoring.

During his playing days, Johnson had an intense rivalry with Larry Bird. The rivalry was at its peak between 1984 and 1987 when Los Angeles and Bolton met in three out of four NBA Finals.

Magic Johnson shares the NBA Lifetime Achievement Award with Larry Bird. He received the award during the 2019 NBA Awards.

Early Life 

Magic Johnson’s parents loved basketball, and as a result, he also developed an interest in the sport.

Johnson played basketball at Everett High School, where he once recorded a triple-double of 36 points, 18 rebounds and 16 assists in a single game.

It was the astonishing performance that earned Johnson the name ‘Magic’. Johnson continued playing basketball at Michigan State University after graduating from high school.

Career

Magic Johnson

Earvin Magic Johnson. Photo/ USA Basketball.

The Los Angeles Lakers drafted Magic Johnson first overall in 1979. He proved to be one of the best players in his first seasons with the Lakers.

And as a result, the NBA franchise offered him a whooping 25-year, $25 million contract. This was the highest-paying contract in sports history by then.

Johnson played a massive role during the 1984-85 NBA regular season, leading the Lakers to the NBA Finals. The Lakers won the Finals, which they played against Bolton Celtics.

Johnson’s impressive performance continued until he was diagnosed with HIV in 1991. He made it known publicly that he had contracted the virus and subsequently retired from basketball.

He came back and played in the 1992 All-Star Game but was forced to retire again following protests from NBA players.

Johnson took over as the Lakers coach towards the end of the 1993-94 season and won several games. However, he resigned as the Lakers manager after the team lost ten games consecutively.

The legendary point guard then made another return to the NBA as a player in 1996. He played 32 games, then retired for good.

Outside The NBA 

Magic Johnson is an outspoken HIV activist and the founder of the Magic Johnson Foundation. The organization is dedicated to combating HIV/AIDS.

Magic Johnson started a music record label in the later 1990s. The music was initially called Magic 32 Records but was later renamed Magic Johnson Music after Johnson signed a joint venture with MCA in 2000.

The NBA legend heads Magic Johnson Enterprises, a company which has an estimated net worth of $700 million. Johnson is an investor in aXiomatic eSports.

He is also a motivational speaker.

Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson. Photo/ Front Office Sports.

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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