Magic Johnson is the greatest point guard in NBA history and one of the greatest players of all time. Johnson has won five championships in nine finals appearances across 12 seasons. However, he was forced to take early retirement due to his HIV diagnosis.
Johnson’s game-winning hook shot in Game 4 of the 1987 finals against the rival Boston Celtics remains one of the most iconic moments in history. With NBA Top Shot set to release digital collectables from that 1986-1987 season, Magic let it be known that he needs his iconic shot included.
Magic Johnson took to Twitter to share his excitement.
Magic Johnson dominated the 1986-1987 season and may have been the best of his career. Johnson averaged a career high in points and led the league in assists, while picking up his first of three NBA MVPs.
Entering the postseason, Magic’s LA Lakers and Larry Bird’s Boston Celtics had both beaten each other once in the NBA Finals. When the two teams met for the rubber match in 1987, the Lakers took a 2-1 series lead entering Game 4.
Trailing 106-105 in the final moments of the game, Johnson received an inbound pass. Many expected him to give the ball to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. Instead, Magic used Kareem’s signature sky hook to give the Lakers a 107-106 lead with two seconds left.
The score would stand and the Lakers would take a commanding 3-1 series lead en route to another championship and the third Finals MVP of Magic’s career.
Magic Johnson and the greatest of all-time conversation
Magic Johnson and his teammate, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, are often overlooked in conversations pertaining to the greatest of all-time. While they are generally recognized as the greatest point guard and center of all-time, both tend to be criminally underrated.
Johnson would likely have at least six rings, if not for his illness that forced an early retirement. Abdul-Jabbar was able to win six rings while making ten finals appearances, as well as winning the most MVP awards in league history.
Michael Jordan is commonly referred to as the greatest of all-time. However, it is arguable that Kareem’s resume is better, while Magic’s on-court style of play and off-court personality saved the NBA.
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