Number 2 – Magic Johnson
For Johnson’s recap, we decided to look at the running hook shot he hit over Kevin McHale with 2 seconds left in Game 4 of the 1987 NBA Finals.
Here is an excerpt from ‘The Greatest Lakers of All-Time: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar‘:
They come back and the Celtics decide they are going to live and die with their star Small Forward, Bird. They bring it up the floor and Bird ends up throwing up a contested right short corner fade-away. It bounces off the rim as Thompson retrieves the rebound, 44 seconds left. Johnson brings the ball up the floor and sets up shop at the right-wing, letting his teammates initiate the play. Cooper sets a screen deep in the paint, allowing Abdul-Jabbar to catch-and-slam a wide-open ally-oop. The Lakers take their first lead since the first 3 minutes of the game, 104-103, 29 seconds left. K.C. Jones calls for time.
They’ll come back out as Boston has advanced the inbound into the frontcourt. Dennis Johnson will start with the ball, and he runs a pick-and-roll with Parish as they get the switch. He delivers the ball into Parish as he is doubled in the post. Parish bounces it back out to the open Johnson who is then doubled himself. Johnson gives it to an open Ainge as LA chase the ball around the floor. Bird is open in the left corner as the ball is projected towards him, he puts up the 3 and laces the net as it drops through. The Garden erupts as the Lakers call a timeout. 106-104 to Boston, 12 seconds left.
Cooper inbounds the ball when the teams come back. He gives it to Magic on the left wing who immediately floats the rock to Abdul-Jabber in the left high post. He backs down Parish and tries to put up a hook shot but is fouled, he’ll shoot 2 at the line, a chance to tie the game. The Boston crowd wave everything they can in an effort to distract the NBA’s All-Time leading scorer. He hits the first but misses the second as the ball is knocked out of bounds on the rebound. Lakers ball. The camera shows Riley checking with his bench that he has a timeout left. Confirmation given, he calls his final timeout. 7 seconds left, 106-105.
To read on, make sure to go and check out the original article.
In Magic’s time with the purple and gold he a earned an All-Rookie Team selection, 2 NBA steals titles, 4 NBA assist titles, 12 NBA All-Star Selections, 2 NBA All-Star MVPs, an All-NBA Second Team selection, 9 All-NBA First Team selections, 3 NBA MVPs, 5 NBA Championships, 3 NBA Finals MVPs, and later an induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
In 1992 the franchise made it so no other Laker would wear number 32 again. Hanging his jersey in the rafters of The Forum, and now the Staples Center. Becoming the 5th player to have his number retired by the Los Angeles Lakers. All these achievements more than cement his number 2 place as a true Laker great!