Magic is considered by most to be the greatest point guard in history.
Magic was groomed from the beginning. Born and raised in Lansing among 10 children, Magic’s parents were among the working class. Magic’s mother was a janitor in a high school during the day and would go home and clean and prepare for her household. Earvin Senior would work as a garbage collector by day and at the General Motor automotive factory at night where he never missed a day in 30 years.
• Magic practiced basketball every morning before and all day on weekends
• In game 6 of the NBA Finals against the 76ers, Magic played all five positions.
• In 1991 Magic Johnson tested positive for HIV and retired immediately afterward
Although the neighborhood children would ridicule Magic because his father for being a “garbage man”, Magic learned a sound work ethic that he followed his whole life. Magic practiced basketball on mornings before school and all day during the weekend. His goal was to be an NBA basketball player and a businessman. If US gambling laws allowed it, waging on Magic from high school would have been “a sure thing.”
Magic is created in high school and travels to Michigan State University
Wanting to enter the famous nationally recognized Sexton High school team, he had to go to Everett High School due to the widespread “busing” of minorities to other schools to increase racial integration in U.S. schools. There, Magic went to the racially divided high school where he learned to adjust and thrived by working for the staff and administrator as a negotiator in times of conflict.
It was there, he was given the name Magic and used it and garnered incredible amount of attention to his ability and stylistic mannerisms and appearances. Winning the state champions for Everett, Magic decided to enroll at Michigan State University. It was there, Magic first saw Larry Bird on the cover of a Sports Illustrated Magazine. They would finally meet at a special collegiate all-star tournament called Team USA where Magic and Bird were on the same team.
Bird dominated and Magic made his presence known as the two were delivering to each other an array of no look passes, behind the back passes, steals, perimeter shots and dunks. Bird would continue his low profile, as Magic would prosper in the limelight. As a freshman, Magic had an average of 17 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game leading his team to a record of 25-6 losing to Kentucky in the NCAA semi-finals.
However on March 26, 1979, he would meet Bird and Indiana State in the NCAA final winning it 75-64 in the highest rated television college basketball game ever making US gambling news. Magic, after his sophomore year, would enter the NBA draft as a number one pick. The popularity of the NBA was at a low as basketball became less team-oriented and more individualistic. The even larger presence of Black American players created less interest. Sponsorship for the NBA was also at an all-time low.
Magic and Bird are designated to become saviors of the NBA
Magic and Bird were designated to save the league from the bowels of its own indulgence. Magic, drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers where he averaged 18 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game. In game six of the NBA Finals against Philadelphia, Magic had to play all five positions, scored 42 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists leading the Lakers to a championship where he earned NBA Finals MVP as well as Rookie of the year. The following year, Magic would start to earn USD 1 million a year.
Magic gave the franchise energy from the first time he walked on the court. Everyone in LA wanted to be near him and have that magic rub off on them. An knee injury forced Magic to miss 45 games and didn’t return to the playoffs where they were defeated in the 1st round. The next year, with similar numbers as his rookie year, reached the finals against Bird and the Celtics and lost in what was the highest rated game in NBA history at that time.
The next year was an experience of déjà vu as LA and Boston would face each other again, but this time the Lakers won the Final. Lightning would prove to strike twice as Lakers and Celtics would enter a third-straight final. The Lakers would win again and Magic was awarded yet again Finals MVP honors. No longer playing against Bird in his career, Magic moved on to return to the finals a fourth-consecutive time playing and defeating the Detroit Pistons.
In the 1988-1989 season Magic averaged 22.5 points, 12.8 assists and 7.9 rebounds per game. Although they reached the NBA Finals, a hamstring injury to Magic forced him out and Detroit would win the first of their two consecutive championships. The following year, Magic with similar number, but with Kareem Abdul Jabber, lost in the conference finals to Phoenix.
Magic nears retirement and sees the future in Michael Jordan
Finally able to reach another NBA Final in 1991, Magic witness the onslaught by Michael Jordan and an official “changing of the guard.” Before the start of the next season, Magic Johnson tested positive for HIV and retired immediately afterward. At the end of the season, fans voted for Magic to play as an NBA All-star. Despite opposition by some of his old teammates and other players in the league, Magic played with 25 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds.
Magic would later play for the 1992 Summer Olympic with the historical “Dream Team.” A gold medal time so dominant, it proved hard to win money through online sportsbooks in the US.. Magic would attempt a comeback during the 1995-1996 season with an average of 14.6 points, 6.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds leading the team to a 53-29 record but losing in conference finals to Houston. Magic finally decided to retire and didn’t return to the game.