On this day, Laker legend Magic Johnson was honored with the NBA Most Valuable Player award after he averaged 23.9 points per game, along with a league best 12.2 assists per game. This was Johnson’s first of his three career MVP awards, and was the first guard to win it since Oscar Robertson did it in 1964 while playing for the Cincinnati Royals.
Johnson’s acceptance speech wasn’t as emotionally charged as this years MVP winner, Kevin Durant, but still just as meaningful. Instead of shedding tears, the crowd at The Forum stood on their feet and loudly applauded the great Laker to show their appreciation. Plus, Magic had a game to play against the Seattle Supersonics in the Western Conference Finals, so he couldn’t afford to lose his focus.
That year, the Lakers had a .793 winning percentage to go along with their 65-17 record. This is the second best winning season in Laker history, and the seventh best in NBA history. However, Johnson did not stop there, as he also lead his Laker team to a championship over their hated rivals, the Boston Celtics, a few weeks later.
If that wasn’t enough, he was also named Finals MVP after converting one of the most famous junior sky-hooks in NBA history. The 1986-1987 season was certainly an electrifying one as the Showtime Lakers gave their fans a lot to cheer for, and May 19th was surely one of their many memorable ones.