Magic Johnson and his 1980 NBA Finals MVP by finger

Michelle Cruz Mexico City / 22.09.2022 23:44:14 The 1979-1980 NBA season is one of the most important in t

Michelle Cruz

Mexico City / 22.09.2022 23:44:14

The 1979-1980 season is one of the most important in the history of the League, as it was the one that began with Showtime: that magical team that brought the franchise back to the forefront and that found in Earvin and the two pillars of that success.

It was at 1980 NBA Finals that the Los Angeles Lakers were victorious over the Philadelphia 76ers in six games. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was injured in Game 5 and was at home when the Lakers won the championship, for which he received a call informing him that the writers and journalists chose him as the Finals MVP and that they would communicate later by phone call to make the award official.

However, David Stern, then the NBA’s executive vice president, changed plans, even though Kareem was the regular-season MVP. Aware of the potential of the rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird (of the Boston Celtics, chosen Rookie of the Year that season), Stern (who years later took over as commissioner), wanted Magic to be recognized for the awardalthough he asked the young star if he accepted the proposal.

It was in the end that Magic Johnson opted to be recognized as the 1980 Finals MVP and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar never got the call. This story has been taken up in the controversial HBO series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty and, although many wonder if it was real or a dramatic device of the series, it turns out to be true.

A few years ago, USA Today made a report based on the memoirs of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in which he confirmed that the MVP was originally going to end up with the center, but that the CBS television network pressed to change the decision, because they did not want him to a player who wasn’t in the arena to receive the award, plus Magic had delivered a spectacular performance in Game 6, with 42 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and three steals in 47 minutesall fundamental statistics for the victory of the Lakers.

Even various sources such as The Sports Rush pointed out that reporters such as Bill Livingston, of The Philadelphia Inquirer, they would have changed their votes so that Magic Johnson was recognized as the MVP of the NBA Finalsbeing the first rookie to be recognized with such an award.