Born Earvin Johnson on August 14, 1959 in Lansing, Michigan, it seemed that “Magic” had to be his name since that’s what he exuberated on and off court. An amazing personality and player, he is also one of the most inspirational players of our time. His famous quote which says, “Everybody on a championship team doesn’t get publicity, but everyone can say he’s a champion” has proved to be very inspiring for those wanting to make it big in this sport. He is truly a unique player who changed and catapulted the sport of basketball to heights that it had never reached before, with just his skills.
Considered to be one of the greatest players, hoop fans of the future generation would wish they were in the sport during his gaming years so that they could atleast see Magic spin his highest reels. As much as he kept the world in awe with his suave looks and killer gaming abilities, he surprised the world on 7th November 1991 with his retirement announcement because he was found to be HIV positive.
He was nicknamed “Magic” by a sportswriter who did so after viewing his amazing feats of 36 points, 16 assists, and 18 rebounds while he was still playing in high school. He could single handedly pilot a team to victory by his sheer magical presence. In 1979 he led the Michigan State University to the prestigious National Collegiate Athletic Association championship with his flawless skills. It was the same season when Magic averaged 17.1 points per game and this led him to win the tournaments most outstanding player of the year.
He was chosen as the first overall pick by the LA Lakers in the 1979 NBA draft. For twelve years with the Los Angeles Lakers between 1980-1991 he played guard for the team. During this time he bagged honors like the MVP of the NBA Finals and Rookie of the year. Throughout all his games he made his fans soar with delight with his no-look passes, offense that was stylized as “Showtime” and clutch baskets.
He led the LA Lakers to four NBA titles and in 1987 when he especially found victory against ace on court adversary Larry Bird, he found his teams win and his success sweet. The Lakers and Magic were one and were unbeatable; they won against their arch rivals in six games. His game was so perfect that he even won an Abdul-Jabbar like Sky Hook contest with ease. Before retiring in 1991 he broke the NBA assists recorded and accomplished his carrier with a 10,141.
In 1992 he came back from retirement and scored 25 points, 9 assists in NBA All-Start games and led the West team to victory 153-113. This led him to win the All-Star MVP trophy, just before the contest could conclude he scored 3 successive pointers although he was being defended by Isaiah Thomas and Michael Jordan. He was part of the U.S. Olympic Dream Team and scored over his opponents with an awesome average of 43.8 points per game, this also earned him a Gold Medal during the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. Although he did announce his comeback as a pro he retired early between the NBA season of 1992-93.