Los Angeles Lakers: 5 times Magic Johnson sacrificed himself

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(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers

Earvin “Magic” Johnson is a cult figure in Los Angeles. So beloved he might easily run for governor of California.

A legend of basketball and an ambassador of the league, he has done so much for the game of basketball and for the world. Los Angeles Lakers fans, in particular, worship him as one of the greatest Lakers of all time, having brought five championship and great success to the franchise owned for the last 40 years by the Buss family.

Magic is widely considered to be one of the best point guards in the history of the league. He was the leader of the Lakers since he entered the league in 1979 and won the Finals MVP. In his tenure in Los Angeles until his retirement for the HIV virus, he averaged 19.7 points, 11.4 assists and 7.3 rebounds, conducting the team to nine finals appearances through the 80s and the beginning of the 90s.

Furthermore, when he made a comeback during the 1995-96 season, after four seasons away from the pros, at 36 years old and playing the power forward, he averaged 14.6 points, 6.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds. A true legend.

Even after his final retirement, he remained a central figure for the Los Angeles Lakers, thanks to his bond to the owning Buss family. Besides a short stint as head coach between the two retirements, he later became a minority owner and finally President of Basketball Operations. He is a prominent personality in Los Angeles sports, as much as he was as a player.

Johnson is a self-made man, who rose from son of a worker of General Motors in Michigan to become a basketball superstar and an accomplished businessman. From Earvin to Magic to Magic Johnson Enterprises.

Obviously, the way to such accomplishments is not an easy one with only success and victories to celebrate. There is plenty of hard moments, obstacles, setbacks. What we can safely say is that Magic has always faced those adversities with courage and determination and has overcome most of them.

There has been tough times in which Earvin had to take a step back, decide to sacrifice something of himself or go against what he would have preferred to do for the benefit of the Lakers and of the NBA. Such was his greatness, he knew the best course of action and did not shy away from acting accordingly.

We take a look at five times that Magic Johnson sacrificed himself for the sake of the Los Angeles Lakers and/or the NBA.

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