Happy birthday to Earvin “Magic” Johnson!
On August 14, 1959, Magic Johnson was born in Lansing, Michigan. Growing up as a huge fan of players like Bill Russell and Earl Monroe, Johnson quickly became enamored with the game of basketball. At age 15, while playing for Everett High School, Johnson dropped a triple-double, scoring 36 points, 18 rebounds, and 16 assists. This extraordinary showing earned him the nickname of “Magic,” coined by Fred Stabley, Jr. of the Lansing State Journal.
Before long, Magic found himself playing for Michigan State University. In 1978, he led the Spartans to the NCAA Elite Eight, where they fell short to Kentucky. But the following year, Magic powered Michigan State to the NCAA Championship, after defeating the Larry Bird-led Indiana State in the finals.
Later in 1979, Magic Johnson was selected first overall in the NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. During his NBA career, he would rack up countless achievements, including 5 NBA Championships, 3 NBA Finals MVPs, 3 NBA MVPs, and 12 All-Star Game selections.
Much like his long-time rival Larry Bird, Magic Johnson is best known for wearing the Converse Weapon. This classic style was prominent during the ’86-87 NBA season and featured technology such as the Y-Bar Ankle Support System and a padded ankle collar for support. It’s dated tech isn’t recommended for serious use today, but the Converse Weapon remains one of the most famous models of its era.
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