While most positions in sports have a few names that could be called the greatest to ever play the position, that doesn’t exist for the point guard position in basketball. And the reason for that is because basically everyone and their mother consider Earvin “Magic” Johnson to be the best PG in NBA history. The man was an absolute gem on the court and since retiring, has done a lot for his community. Here I will talk not only about his amazing career on the court, but also what he has been up to off of it.
Johnson first had aspirations to become a pro ball player in grade school and by high school, was already a dominant player. He actually got the nickname “Magic” for an amazing triple double game he had, and a reporter called him that in an article and it stuck. After a great high school career, many top schools recruited him, but he decided to remain close to home and attend Michigan State.
In college, he continued his dominant play and actually led the Spartans to an NCAA title game in his sophomore season. After that, Magic decided to take his talents to the NBA and enter the 1979 NBA draft. In said draft, the Los Angeles Lakers selected Johnson with the first overall pick and a legend was born.
Right from his rookie season, Magic Johnson was seen as a special athlete. In fact, he actually had an instrumental role in the Lakers winning a championship that year as he took home the Finals MVP, being the only rookie in history to do so. Throughout the rest of his career, he amazed crowds all over the NBA with his amazing play and retired with one of the best resumes of any player in NBA history.
Magic Johnson won three MVP awards, five NBA titles, three Finals MVPs and 12 All Star games. Johnson also holds the record for the highest number of assists per game throughout a career with an unreal 11.2. But as amazing as he was on the court, Magic has done some amazing things off of it too.
First of all, the fact that he admitted in 1991 that he was HIV-positive helped make huge changes in the stigma toward the disease and he has been an advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention ever since. In addition to this and other good work, Johnson is an incredibly successful businessman and philanthropist. He has over 100 Starbucks stores, has his hands in numerous other ventures and is even part of the team that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012. His net worth is said to be around $700 Million dollars, most of which was made off the court due to his business savvy.
But let’s not forget how most of us know Magic. We know him as the 6’9 point guard who could play any position on the court with the best of them. And the courage he showed throughout his battle with HIV makes him a true inspiration to everyone.