36 Years Ago Today Magic Johnson Made His NBA Debut

Since his debut, the press and crowds loved him. Over three decades ago today, Magic struck the NBA rocking Converse.

Earvin “Magic” Johnson debuted as a rookie on the Los Angeles Lakers. Fresh from Michigan State University, his opening night game was against the then San Diego Clippers and it was tit-for-tat until the buzzer beater sky hook from Kareem got the Lakers the win, 103-102. World B. Free scored an amazing 46 points, had five assists, and four steals in that game. Magic Johnson scored 26 points but celebrated at the end of the game like it was a Championship, jumping on and hugging Kareem who scored 29 points. Here’s the recap of Magic’s opening night.

In his thirteen years in the NBA as a player, Magic Johnson would go on to become one of the best the NBA had ever seen. He scored 17,707 points in his career, averaging 19.5 ppg, grabbed 6,559 rebounds (7.2 rpg), and had 10,141 assists (11.2 apg). Magic’s career highlights and awards are lengthy:

  • 5× NBA champion (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987–1988)
  • 3× NBA Finals MVP (1980, 1982, 1987)
  • 3× NBA Most Valuable Player (1987, 1989–1990)
  • 12× NBA All-Star (1980, 1982–1992)
  • 2× NBA All-Star Game MVP (1990, 1992)
  • 9× All-NBA First Team (1983–1991)
  • All-NBA Second Team (1982)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (1980)
  • 4× NBA assists leader (1983–1984, 1986–1987)
  • 2× NBA steals leader (1981–1982)
  • J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (1992)
  • NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
  • No. 32 retired by Los Angeles Lakers
  • NCAA champion (1979)
  • NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (1979)
  • Consensus first-team All-American (1979)
  • No. 33 retired by Michigan State

Earvin Johnson was undoubtedly one of the best to ever grace the hardwood and he has helped the world with his fame. Here’s to you Magic.

magic johnson debut

Noah Goldowitz, otherwise known as @TheShoeRestorer on Instagram, is a long time sneaker fanatic and vintage sneaker lover with a deep passion for all things sneaker related.