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Happy birthday Magic Johnson. Here’s 15 minutes of ridiculous plays from him (VIDEO).

Aug 14, 2013, 1:17 PM EDT

I’m putting my bias out up front — Magic Johnson is my favorite basketball player of all time. He broke the mold (a 6’9″ point guard with those handles?) who transformed the game and helped transform attitudes in society (regarding HIV/AIDS). He played smart basketball and did it with a flourish. There was nobody like him.

Ervin “Magic” Johnson turns 54 today — no small miracle in its own right. Happy birthday to one of the greatest of all time.

As a treat, here is 15 minutes of just him making ridiculous plays. Enjoy.

  1. 1historian - Aug 14, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    This guy was born to play basketball and he made it an art form.

    I hate L.A.

    • j0esixpack - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:55 PM

      There’s a bunch of players in the debate of the greatest of all time and that includes Magic

      But he stands alone as the most entertaining player of all time – he redefined his position and redefined the game, paving the way for Michael Jordan

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Aug 15, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      Agree. But now imagine if there was ever a player who was as good a passer as Magic, was just as smart, and had just as much control over the flow of the game; but was also a dominating scorer, great rebounder, and the best defender in the league, able to shut down all-stars at all 5 positions sometimes in the same game.

      Whew. Now THAT would be a guy born to play basketball and made it an art form.

  2. dezglobal - Aug 14, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    Wish i could’ve watched him play.

    • fanofevilempire - Aug 14, 2013 at 5:31 PM

      happy b-day Magic.

      greatest nba point guards

      2.Everybody else.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 14, 2013 at 11:57 PM

      Magic is my favorite player of all time. I was lucky enough that the first NBA Game that I attended in person was a Lakers/Nuggets game during Magic’s comeback in 1996, when he was playing PF. Even way past his prime, playing a different role, he still commanded the floor. Truly a great basketball player.

  3. spthegr8 - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    The GREATEST Pg of ALL-TIME!!!!! & 2nd place isn’t even close!!!!

    • kb2408 - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:42 PM

      I agree, Magic is the greatest pg ever. But Isiah was a close second. The biggest difference: about 7 inches.

      • dezglobal - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        and 3 more rings

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:42 PM

        Isiah certainly wasn’t close to Magic. He had a few extremely productive years and then fell off while still keeping his shot attempts up.

    • rexgrossman8 - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      greatest laker of all time.

    • kb2408 - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:55 PM

      @dezglobal, based on that argument Derek Fisher is also a better pg than Isaiah. Sometimes you have to get past the “rings argument”, and use your eyes. I’m one of the biggest Magic, and LAKERS, fans ever. But if you ever saw Isaiah play you know he was as good as any pg ever. The LAKERS had more talent than the Pistons. Maybe you don’t remember but the Pistons very easily could’ve won three titles in a row, had Isaiah not been playing on one leg in game seven against my LAKERS.

  4. kb2408 - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    The most unique player the NBA has ever seen and “arguably” the greatest. I became a LAKERS fan in 1979 because that’s where Magic got drafted. Had he gone anywhere else I probably would’ve become a fan of that team. I was hooked from the moment I saw him play in the 78 NCAA Championship.

    • nolanwiffle - Aug 14, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      1978 was Kentucky vs. Duke….

      • kb2408 - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        Ok, 79. My bad. Anyway, “most” people got my point.

  5. dls612 - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    I know the passes wuz sweet ,but man what a quick release!

  6. whitey11177 - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    While I wasn’t impressed with a lot of his no look passes I was impressed with his bounce passes, his quick thinking and athleticism. I was raised on 90’s basketball and I watched an old Lakers game one time on ESPN Classics and the thing that stuck out about Magic was on almost every play he led a fast break. It didn’t matter how many defenders there were, he’d get the ball and run down the court like there was only one defender. They were always on the attack it seems. No wonder they did so well in the 80’s. 5 championships & 8 Finals appearances is unheard of. The Heat would have to go to 5 out of the next 6 NBA Finals and win 3 of them to put it into context.

  7. 1972wasalongtimeago - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Everyone loves Magic. No player was ever like him.

    But imagine if there was ever a player who was as good a passer as Magic, was just as smart, and was just as much of a leader; but was also a dominating scorer, great rebounder, and could play smothering/shut down defense against the best point guards AND best power players.

    Wow, you’d really be talking something there wouldn’t you?

  8. akronhatesyoulechoke - Aug 14, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Some fools think LeBron is better. What a joke!

  9. paleihe - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Man, I miss Chick Hearn.

    Stu: “Are we going to commercial?”
    Chick: “No, we’re gonna keep it here. Anyone wants us to go to a commercial now are gonna have to go around my dead body.”

  10. felisberto - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Magic Jonhnson Second best PG in the NBA history.
    5 Great PG of NBA History
    1 Jeremy Lin
    2 Magic Jonhnson
    3Isahiah Thomas
    4 John Stockton
    5 Tony Parker

    • heat256 - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:38 PM

      Congrats. You are officially proven the stupidest person on the internet. Wear your crown with pride.

      • mydoghasfleez - Aug 16, 2013 at 3:10 AM


    • kb2408 - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:47 PM

      To quote Rick James, “cocaine is a heckuva drug.” Just say no, my friend.

    • fanofevilempire - Aug 14, 2013 at 5:34 PM

      would Kareem be able to play with Lin?

    • southbeachtalent - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:07 PM

      that was great..

  11. kb2408 - Aug 14, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    @adamsjohn, “a few productive seasons”? Dude, you need to go back over Isaiah’s career stats. He was a 1st ballot HOF’er, top 50 player ever, two time NBA champ and 1st or 2nd team all NBA five times. Not bad for a guy that was barely six feet tall.

    • aircorwin - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:08 AM

      but not second greatest PG as well. Even Stockton was a better PG than Isiah. He was more of a scoring guard. You’d have to put him behind Oscar, Cousy, Stockton, and maybe even Nash and Kidd.

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 16, 2013 at 1:38 AM

      “extremely productive” was the phrase I used. And it remains true. When we’re comparing PGs to Magic, Thomas doesn’t measure up. It’s not an insult to say he wasn’t close to being as good. And who cares that he was only 6 feet tall? It’s the NBA. Being tall helps. It helped Magic grab all those rebounds and make passes other PGs weren’t capable of making.

  12. tombstone7 - Aug 14, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    You have the question backwards, ” Would Jeremy Lin be able to play with Kareem?

  13. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    I really missed out, being born in the 80’s. My favorite players to watch over the past decade are LeBron & Nash because they’re such great passers and efficient scorers. But great vision/passing is the rarer NBA skill so that’s what I love to watch on a nightly basis. So if I was old enough to watch basketball in the 80’s I would have lost my mind for Bird & Magic.

  14. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    ‘When The Game Was Ours’ is a must read for NBA fanatics. Magic vs. Bird is the penultimate sports rivalry.

  15. chicagofan - Aug 15, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    This video confirms Magic is the undisputed best PG in history! WOW!

  16. 00maltliquor - Aug 15, 2013 at 2:16 AM

    Ridiculous. My cheeks hurt from smiling from ear to ear for 15 minutes.


    For being a Laker, for your dedication to the Lakers, the fans and the city, for giving me a huge part of my game with the passing I apparently stole from you, for the ringzzz, etc. etc. etc.!

  17. aircorwin - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:02 AM

    Magic Johnson is your favorite player, but you don’t even know how to spell his real name. 😉 It’s EARVIN, man.

  18. anhdazman - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:03 AM

    I was fortunate enough to watch Magic run the “Showtime” show in LA. Those classic battles vs Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics.

    Even towards the end of the great Dr. J legacy. Just incredible team play and it all started with Magic. You just don’t see a player that has that talent and instincts in a 6’9 PG. He knew where everyone was on the court. His special sense of seeing the play 2 seconds before it happened.

    Happy Birthday Magic. Thank you for sharing your greatness with us.

    BTW, it killed me to see him do this to my GSW, but this man belongs on the Basketball Mt. Rushmore.

  19. BigBeachBall - Aug 15, 2013 at 5:43 AM

    who’s the closest active player? rubio? rondo?

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 16, 2013 at 1:40 AM

      Paul… easily

    • mydoghasfleez - Aug 16, 2013 at 3:11 AM


  20. 1historian - Aug 15, 2013 at 7:25 AM

    Magic was an artist on the basketball court and he elevated the game of everyone around him (wearing the same uniform) and I wish they hadn’t shown that sky-hook that beat the Celts in game 4 of the 1987 finals but of course they had to and/but

    I still Hate L.A.

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