The Life of Earvin “Magic” Johnson
Biography and Life of Magic Johnson
Earvin Johnson was born on August 14, 1959 in Lansing, Michigan and was named Earvin Johnson Jr. His father was a worker of the General Motors car plant, and then he became night watchman. His mother was in charge of a school cafeteria. He was the sixth of ten children. Magic Johnson confesses that his mother "inherited his dazzling smile and a cheerful nature" and his father "firmness". When his father had free time, he used to sit with Earvin and watch the television to watch the basketball games. Magic Johnson got up at 7:30 in the morning to play basketball. He learned to play basketball in the streets of Michigan. He captained the team from Everett High School in the conquest of the Michigan State Championship (Frank, 1994). He was nicknamed "Magic" when he scored 36 points, grabbed 18 rebounds and 16 assists in one game. A sportswriter coined the nickname. His first coach in the NBA, Paul Westhead Los Angeles Lakers, once said that the nickname was perfect for that "delivers the ball from behind his back, say hello to the girls, have fun, but also ruthless and breaks under the board crushing rivals, perhaps that's why Magic, because now you see it and now it suddenly disappears." In 1977 he enrolled at the University of Michigan, choosing the option for school based in East Lansing, because "I prefer the weak" he commented. The same day, he emerged form part of the basketball team at the University of Michigan sold out 9,886 seats in the stadium Jenison. In front of the "Spartans" of the University of Michigan, Magic Johnson led the team to compete in the Big Ten Championship and NCAA tournament, which was not held at the University for 19 straight years. In the 1978-1979 season, he averaged 17, 5 points, 7, 3 rebounds and 8, 4 assists per game and returned to lead his college in the NCAA tournament (Frank, 1994).
In the 1978-1979 season at the University of Michigan won the NCAA tournament final at Indiana University, where he played Larry Bird. The final score was 75-64. In 1979 Magic Johnson was voted 'Player of the NCAA' and signed for Los Angeles Lakers. In the first season in the NBA, Magic Johnson was named to the All-Star team that played the All Stars. It was the first rookie who deserved the honor in 11 years. At the end of the 1979-1980 season, he was voted 'Player of the Final'. In 13 years of college, Magic Johnson helped the Los Angeles Lakers reached the NBA finals 9 times, of which, the team won 5 games. During the regular season, he also won three awards for Most Valuable Player in the NBA. In 1981, he signed with the Lakers for 25 years and $ 25 million, which was then the most substantial and prolonged, contract of sports’ history. On April 15, 1991 Oscar Robertson beat Magic in assists. On November 7, 1991, in a press conference at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California, where he had shown so often in the shirt of the Lakers, Magic Johnson announced he was retiring from the sport because he was carrying the AIDS virus. “Life goes on for me; I'll be a happy man. When you're between a rock and a hard place, you have to do is go out dancing.” (Frank, 1994, pp.21)
My Perspective on Johnson’s Impact on the NBA
Earvin Johnson is a renowned basketball player, who became one the of most prominent sports personality in the world. He was a guard for the famous Los Angeles Lakers. His peers describe him as probably the greatest in the history of NBA, alongside Michael Jordan. He was an All-American and, in 1979, led his team to the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship. He has been named most valuable player at three different occasions, and was a leader in assists for not less than 4 times. He also became the All-time assist leader in NBA. Magic Johnson, as he became to known, left the game in 1991 when he tested positive for HIV.