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Sports Then and Now




30 Years Ago: Magic Johnson is the Center of Attention

Posted on May 16, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Magic Johnson led the Lakers to the first five titles in the 1980s 30 years ago.

Though he was already known as a glamorous player and NCAA Champion, Magic Johnson’s legacy as an NBA all-time great had its cornerstone in an NBA Finals game played 30 years ago today.

Leading the Philadelphia 76ers three games to two in the NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers were still in a somewhat challenging position as the team headed to Philly without the services of their MVP center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who had been injured in game five and stayed home in Los Angeles to nurse his injured ankle.

The 20-year-old Johnson took up the slack scoring 42 points with 15 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Lakers to to a dominating 123-107 victory.

After that victory, Johnson’s reputation as the leader of “Showtime” was secure and he went on to lead the Lakers to four additional titles during the decade.

Enjoy some of the great moments from the sixth game of the 1980 NBA Finals:


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