Lakers Flashback: How The Lakers Drafted Magic Johnson In 1979
In honor of Magic Johnson’s birthday, we take a look back at the five-time NBA champion’s career with the Los Angeles Lakers and how the team went about drafting him with the first overall pick in the 1979 NBA Draft.
With Magic fresh off winning an NCAA championship with Michigan State, against college and future NBA rival Larry Bird, the talented and versatile point guard entered the draft with the storied Lakers franchise targeting the promising young guard.
Although the Lakers had arguably one of the greatest players of all-time in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and a talented squad featuring players like Michael Cooper, Adrian Dantley, Jamaal Wilkes and Norm Nixon, new owner Dr. Jerry Buss was able to position the team to draft Magic with the top pick.
Here’s an in-depth look at how the Lakers were able to draft Magic with the number one overall pick in draft and change the direction of the franchise forever.