Learn About the Incredible Career of Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson, by name of Earvin Johnson, Jr., led the National Basketball Association (NBA) Los Angeles Lakers to five championships. 

During his 13-year NBA career, Johnson accomplished almost everything a player could dream of. He was a member of five teams in the Championship and he won the MVP Award and the Finals MVP Award three times each. Not to mention, he was an All-Star up to 12 times and a nine-time All-NBA First Team member. 

He surpassed record career assists from Robertson, a mark he later gave up on John Stockton. He played at the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992 and went home with a gold medal for the original Dream Team. Do you want to know more about Magic Johnson? Check out this blog now! 

Learn About the Incredible Career of Magic Johnson
Image Source: NBA Youtube Channel 

Humble Beginnings

Born on August 14, 1959, Johnson grew up with nine brothers and sisters in Lansing, Michigan. His father worked at a Motors plant while his mother was a school custodian. Like any ordinary teen, young Johnson spent his time singing with his buddies on street corners and of course, playing basketball.  “Junior,” or “June Bug,” as he was called by his neighbors, was always on the court as early as 7:30.

Earvin Johnson was first called “Magic” at Everett High School when he was still a rising star. A sportswriter who had just seen the prepster notch 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 16 assists had given him the nickname. 

Johnson wanted to go to college near his home, so he enrolled in East Lansing at Michigan State. He showed impressive potential as a freshman, leading the Spartans to a record 25-5 and the Big Ten Conference’s title. 

In his Sophomore year, Johnson directed his own team to the national title in 1979 and won against Larry Bird’s Indiana State squad in perhaps the most anticipated (and most-watched) NCAA championship game ever played.

Johnson Entered the NBA Draft

Johnson then entered the NBA draft in 1979; he was first selected overall by the Los Angeles Lakers and immediately slotted to the starting point guard spot. Magic promptly averaged 18 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per season outing, lifting the Larry O’Brien Trophy and claiming the NBA Finals’ MVP crown.

One of the most remarkable characteristics people thought of when they heard the name Magic Johnson was his brilliant passing abilities. He blinded fans and stunned opponents with a no-look pass through triple teams from the fastbreak, pinpoint alley-oops, and overhand bullets below the basket. He shot when defenders were expecting him to pass. He passed when they were expecting him to shoot.

Johnson achieved his most tremendous success in the professional ranks when he guided the Lakers from the 1980, 1982, 1985 Championships, as well the 1987 to 1988 Championships. 

Johnson played all five positions remarkably to secure the Lakers’ Championship in the sixth and title-clinching game of the 1979–80 NBA finals, helping him become the first rookie to win the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.

Early Retirement

Johnson stunned the world at the 1991-92 campaign when he announced that he was HIV Positive and was retiring from the NBA. But that season, he made a triumphant appearance at the All-Star Game, earning the MVP award for the game and leading the West to a 153-113 victory.

Johnson went on to write a book about safe sex in 1992 as part of a campaign to promote AIDS awareness, an effort for which he received the league’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award. 

He runs several businesses as he started as a player, works for NBC as a TV commentator, is considering buying an NBA franchise and he is third-highest on the list for the richest players of all time. He replaced Randy Pfund as the Lakers’ head coach with 16 games left to play in the 1993–94 season. But after the playoffs, he then announced that he would not be returning as a coach for the following season.

June 1994, when he purchased a Lakers share and became a part-owner.

All-time Legend

Johnson was selected into the NBA’s all-time 50th Anniversary Team in 1996-97. 

In 2017, The Lakers hired Johnson as the team’s chair of basketball operations. Before the 2018-19 season’s final game for the Los Angeles Lakers, Magic Johnson stunned the team and the NBA world in general by stepping down from his post. 

Learn About the Incredible Career of Magic Johnson
Image Source: Rookie Wire USA Today 

Conclusion

While he no longer fills that role for the Lakers, Johnson has many thriving business interests in the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles FC and ownership stakes.