Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson was born in Lansing, Michigan on August 14, 1959 and is one of professional basketball’s premier guard. Magic Johnson is famous for his brilliant passing skills, all-round sublime talent and engaging personality. At 6ft 9 inches he was the tallest point guard in League history and his illuminating smile made him the most admired as well.
He became an instant legend and left people in awe of his skills even as a 15-yr-old high school player. After an Everett High School game in which he had 36 points, 16 rebounds and 16 assists, a sports writer nicknamed the young, enthusiastic ball player ‘Magic’.
As a Michigan state university sophomore, he led his team to the 1979 national title. Johnson entered the 1979 NBA Draft, passing up the final two years of his college eligibility and was chosen by the Los Angeles Lakers as the first pick overall. His exuberance as a Laker from day one sparked the forum crowds to jump to their feet. He spurred the Lakers – with his superb passing and enthusiasm – to the first of 5 NBA championships (1980, 82, 85, 87, 88).
Johnson and mentor team-mate Karim Abdul-Jabbar brought an entertaining style of play to the game, which came to be known as ‘showtime’. Johnson helped the Los Angeles Lakers to become one of the dominant professional teams of the 1980s.
Magic Johnson has career averages of 19.7 points, 72 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game. He has also won the three most valuable player awards (1987, 89-90). He leads the NBA in assists with 9,921(as of 1991).
At the start of 1991-92 season he tested positive for HIV virus and retired. He played in 1992 Olympics. A brief return to the NBA ended when some players expressed concern about health risks.