Video: Magic Johnson, Pat Riley Discuss What Made Showtime Lakers So Special

Video: Magic Johnson, Pat Riley Discuss What Made Showtime Lakers So Special

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Pat Riley, Magic Johnson, Lakers
American Express Teamed Up with Magic Johnson and Pat Riley Photos by Andrew Bernstein

The Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s, nicknamed “Showtime,” were perhaps the most fun team to watch in NBA history as they won five championships in a nine-year span.

Led by head coach Pat Riley, the Showtime Lakers had a number of stars including Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Byron Scott and Michael Cooper. Not only did they have stars, but Riley was able to get them all to play together as one, which led to some of the most unselfish, beautiful basketball ever played.

Riley and Johnson recently reunited at an American Express event in Los Angeles, and the pair talked about what made the Showtime Lakers so special, via Johnson’s official Twitter account:

Riley, Johnson and the Lakers won NBA championships in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988, so as they mentioned in the video, a lot of champagne bottles were popped. The Lakers were a true dynasty in the 1980s as in addition to the five championships they won; they also lost in the NBA Finals three times meaning they reached the finals in eight of the 10 years.

Johnson is still with the Lakers organization today as in February he took over as the president of basketball operations, overseeing the Lakers entire front office.

Riley currently holds the same position for the Miami Heat, as he was responsible for bringing the Heat team that won back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013 led by LeBron James playing a similar brand of basketball that Riley and Johnson patented with the Showtime Lakers.