Los Angeles Lakers Live Stream
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Michael about his favorite player of the Los Angeles Lakers:
Earvin "Magic" Johnson was drafted number one overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979, for good reason. Magic had led both his high school and college teams to championships. He averaged 17.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game, numbers that exemplify the well-rounded game that he would bring to the NBA.
Johnson joined an already-talented Lakers team that had Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, the NBA's all-time scoring leader, playing center. The year before Magic was drafted, the Lakers had made it to the Conference Semifinals before losing to the Seattle Supersonics. Magic averaged 18.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.3 assists in his first season, which helped the Lakers achieve a 60-22 record. In the NBA Finals, the Lakers faced the Philadelphia 76ers and star center Julius "Dr. J" Erving. The Lakers were leading the series 3-2, but Abdul-Jabaar injured his ankle and the Lakers were forced to play game 6 without him. Coach Paul Westhead decided to play Johnson at center. This was quite a change from his normal forward/guard position, but he excelled, scoring 42 points to go along with 15 rebounds and 7 assists as the Lakers won the game 123-107 and the NBA Championship 4-2. Johnson won the NBA Finals MVP.
vIn 1982-1983, the Lakers would again reach the NBA Finals after a stellar season by Johnson. He averaged 18.6 points, 9.6 assists, and 9.5 rebounds during the regular season. The Lakers played the 76ers again in the Finals, and Johnson secured the NBA Finals MVP for a second time when he scored a triple double in game 6 to defeat the 76ers 4-2 in the series.
Johnson would win three more championships in the 1980s and would also win a gold medal in the Olympics in 1992 with the famed "Dream Team." Johnson would be named the NBA's Most Valuable Player 3 times and was a 12 time NBA all-star. Johnson's career would be cut short when he was diagnosed with HIV in 1991. He would retire holding several NBA records, including highest assists per game. His number 32 was retired by the Lakers in 1992, and he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2002.