7 Worst All-Star Game snubs in Los Angeles Lakers history

Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles Lakers
Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles Lakers / James Drake/GettyImages
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No. 6: Norm Nixon, 1978-79

Norm Nixon is a complicated player in Los Angeles Lakers history, no less so because of his portrayal in modern times on "Winning Time" as a talented but mercurial player standing in the way of Magic Johnson's ascension. That reality is true; Nixon and Magic struggled to coexist on the Lakers.

Before Magic Johnson was even in the NBA, however, Norm Nixon was killing it as the point guard in La La Land. After finishing fifth in Rookie of the Year voting in 1977-78, the following season he came into his own running the show for the Lakers. Nixon averaged 17.1 points, 9.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game for a team that was heading for the playoffs.

The advanced metrics praise Nixon's impact that season as well, as he ranked 11th in Win Shares with 9.6 (teammate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was first with 14.4) and 17th in VORP. He wouldn't always have such a season; he wasn't a perennial All-Star, making just two appearances in 1982 and 1985. He was a second-year player and not playing for a title contender that season. The snub is understandable.

But it was certainly a snub. Nixon's body of work was better than that of other guards who made the All-Star Team that season. Otis Birdsong was essentially just a pure scorer for the KC Kings, while Dennis Johnson was more of a role player for the Seattle SuperSonics. Norm Nixon should have made the All-Star Game in 1978-79.