Michigan State's Earvin "Magic" Johnson is introduced to the Los Angeles media by Lakers executive Jerry West on May 16, 1979. The Lakers announced that they had reached an agreement with Johnson and he would become the first pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Johnson, a 6-foot-9 point guard, left Michigan State following his sophomore season, when he led the Spartans to the NCAA championship.
Magic beats Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics for a rebound in the first professional meeting between the two superstars on Dec. 28, 1979, at the Forum. The Lakers won the game, 123-105, as Magic outscored Bird, 23-16. Nine months earlier, Magic's Michigan State team defeated Bird's Indiana State team for the NCAA title.
Magic and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar celebrate after the Lakers eliminate the defending NBA champion Seattle SuperSonics with a 111-105 victory in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals on April 30, 1980, at the Forum. Magic scored 20 points and had 10 assists despite playing with a 101-degree temperature. Abdul-Jabbar won his sixth most valuable player award for leading the Lakers to a 60-22 regular-season record.
Magic tries to get the ball from Maurice Cheeks of the Philadelphia 76ers during the first game of the NBA Finals on May 4, 1980. The Lakers won the game at the Forum, 109-102, as Magic had 16 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.
agic attempts a shot over the 76ers' Darryl Dawkins in Game 6 of the NBA FInals at Philadelphia on May 16, 1980. With Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sidelined because of an ankle injury, Magic has a game for the ages, playing every position and scoring 42 points to go with 15 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and a blocked shot. The Lakers won the game, 123-107, and captured their first NBA title.
Magic hobbles across the Michigan State campus on Dec. 1, 1980, after meeting with reporters to discuss his left knee injury suffered on Nov. 18. A torn ligament forced him to miss 45 games of his second season with the Lakers.
Magic is greeted by teammate Jim Brewer upon his return to the Lakers' lineup on Feb. 27, 1981, at the Forum against the New Jersey Nets. The Lakers were 28-17 with Magic sidelined. They finished the season second in the Pacific Division with a 54-28 record.
Magic and Michael Cooper walk back to the locker room after being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Houston Rockets on April 5, 1981, at the Forum. The Lakers lost the best-of-three series, 2-1, dropping both games at home to a Houston team that went 40-42 in the regular season. In the deciding game, Magic shot an airball from 10 feet with five seconds left and the Lakers down one point. The Rockets won, 89-86, as Magic missed 12 of 14 shots.
A visibly upset Magic reacts to being called for a foul in Game 3 of the 1983 NBA Finals against the 76ers. The Lakers lost the May 29 game at Forum, 111-94, and were swept in four games by Philadelphia, which earned some revenge for losing to the Lakers in the 1980 and 1982 finals.
Magic fouls Rick Robey of the Phoenix Suns during Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on May 15, 1984, at the Forum. Magic set an NBA playoff record with 24 assists in the Lakers' 118-102 victory. The Lakers reached the NBA Finals, but lost in seven games to the Boston Celtics.
Magic has words with Boston's Danny Ainge, as Larry Bird tries to hold Magic back during Game 1 of the NBA Finals on May 27, 1985, at Boston Garden. The Lakers were on the wrong end of a 148-114 score in a game forever known as the Memorial Day Massacre. But the Lakers rebounded from that game and won four of the next five to win their third NBA championship in six years. It was also the first time the Lakers beat the Celtics in the finals after eight series losses.
It's Showtime. Magic fires a no-look pass against the Chicago Bulls on Dec. 1, 1985.
Are you kidding me? Magic is restrained by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar after being called for a technical foul in a 1985 game. Long before Shaq and Kobe, Magic and Kareem formed a legendary combination for the Lakers, leading them to five championships in the 1980s.
Magic puts up a shot against Boston's Larry Bird in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 11, 1987. The Celtics, facing elimination, won the game, 123-108, to send the series back to Los Angeles. Magic had 29 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds in the loss. Two nights earlier in Game 4, Magic's "junior junior" sky hook with two seconds left beat the Celtics, 107-106.
It's party time with the Lakers. Just like on the court, Magic is the leader in the locker room as the Lakers celebrate another NBA championship after a 106-93 victory over Boston in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on June 14, 1987, at the Forum. Magic scored 16 points and had 19 assists in the clincher and was named the Finals' MVP for the third time. It capped what was the greatest season of his career. Asked by Coach Pat Riley to take more of an offensive burden, Magic scored a career-high 23.9 points along with a league-high 12.2 assists a game. He was named the regular season MVP for the first time.
Another season, another version of Showtime. Magic, driving to the basket against the Utah Jazz on Jan. 26, 1988, leads the Lakers to a 60-22 record and another berth in the NBA Finals.
Before another playoff run, Magic has time to enjoy the All-Star Game with Michael Jordan on February 7, 1988, in Chicago. Jordan's 40 points led the East to a 138-133 victory and earned him MVP honors. Magic wasn't too bad, either, with 17 points and 19 assists.
Magic and Lakers Coach Pat Riley are pumped about a 117-110 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Feb. 21, 1988, at the Forum. In June, the Lakers won their fifth and final title of the decade, beating the Pistons in seven games in the NBA Finals.
Magic and the Pistons' Isiah Thomas exchange their usual pre-game kiss before a game at The Palace of Auburn Hills on November 26, 1988. It was the first meeting between the teams since the Finals five months earlier.
A painful end to the bid for a three-peat. Magic can't hide his anguish after pulling a hamstring during Game 2 of the NBA Finals on June 8, 1989, in Detroit. The Lakers lost the game, 108-105, and were swept in four games by the Pistons. Magic played only five minutes in Game 3 and sat out Game 4 with the injury. Lakers guard Byron Scott injured his hamstring before Game 1 and missed the series.
Magic sheds a tear after breaking the NBA's career assist record on April 15, 1991, at the Forum. His ninth assist that night against the Dallas Mavericks gave him 9,888, surpassing Oscar Robertson. The record assist came on a 17-foot shot by Terry Teagle. Magic had 19 assists in the game, but also 11 turnovers. "I've never been so nervous before a game," he said afterward. "Before the game. In the game. I don't think I've been this nervous since I played my first game at San Diego and tripped over my warmups."
It's the clash of the titans. Magic battles Michael Jordan in the 1991 NBA Finals.
Magic and the Lakers had too much to handle in the 1991 NBA Finals, losing to the Bulls in five games. It was Magic's ninth and final appearance in the championship round. Jordan and the Bulls went on to win six titles in the 1990s.
Magic is brought to tears during a ceremony in which his uniform is retired on Feb. 16, 1992, at the Forum. On Nov. 7, 1991, Magic announced his retirement from basketball because he had tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Despite not playing in the regular season, Magic was voted a starter to the West squad for the All-Star game in Orlando. He won the MVP award for that game. The Lakers, without their superstar, went 43-39 and lost in the first round of the playoffs.
Magic tips in a basket with help from teammate Charles Barkley during the U.S. national team's gold medal game against Croatia at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. The original Dream Team won its games by an average of 44 points, including the 117-85 victory in the final.
Magic was always considered a coach on the court and in 1994 he actually became the Lakers coach, replacing Randy Pfund for the final 16 games of the season. His coaching career got off to a great start, as he guided former teammate James Worthy (42) and the rest of the Lakers to five wins in six games.
But the fun of being a coach didn't last long. The Lakers lost their final 10 games with Magic as coach and missed the playoffs. Magic's coaching career was over after 16 games. "I take losses too hard," he said. "I hurt. I take it home with me."
Magic shoots baskets alone at Loyola Marymount on Jan. 29, 1996, after announcing his return to the Lakers as a player. Magic had to sell back his 5% ownership in the team to Jerry Buss, but he didn't seem to mind. "It's definitely happy time," he said. "Probably it rates right up there with getting married to having my kids to winning all those championships, the Olympics. It ranks right up there."
Magic puts on his familiar No. 32 jersey on Jan. 30, 1996, in preparation for his first game with the Lakers since Game 5 of the NBA Finals in 1991.
Magic shows he hasn't lost his excitement for playing. In his first game back in 1996, against the Golden State Warriors at the Forum, he scores 19 points with 10 assists and eight rebounds. He splits 27 minutes between power forward and point power forward in a 128-118 victory. Magic played 32 games that season and averaged 14.6 points, 6.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds.
Can't post the other ones :/