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NBA: All-time starting 5 of the 1980's

  • A look at the best starting five in the 80s
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 05 Jul 2018, 18:58 IST
Larry Bird and Magic Johnson both make this list but what about the other three positions?
Larry Bird and Magic Johnson both make this list but what about the other three positions?

The 80s were known as the beginning of the "Golden Era" of basketball. This decade saw the first two global superstars being produced by the sport - Larry Bird and Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Bird played for the Boston Celtics while Magic played for the "Showtime" Los Angeles Lakers. The two teams led by their talismans dominated the decade.

Between the two, they won eight of the ten championships during the decade. The Lakers won five times while Boston won thrice. The other two teams that managed to sneak in a title run during the decade were the Philadelphia 76ers (1983) and the Detroit Pistons (1989).

This decade also saw the debuts of some of the greatest players to ever grace the floor such as Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone and John Stockton.

The 80's truly changed the way the game was played and watched as well. The NBA hit its record viewership during the decade and haven't looked back since. Bird and Magic were the first two basketball players to appear in a shoe commercial.

We were also introduced to the All-Star weekend and the salary cap as well. The 80s truly paved the way for our current stars to earn the millions of dollars that they do these days.

So let's take a look at the starting five of the decade:

Point Guard - Earvin Magic Johnson (Los Angeles Lakers)

Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson

Widely regarded as the best point guard to ever grace the floor, Earvin Johnson was the definition of flashy. His fast-paced run-and-gun style of basketball took the world by storm. It also helped that he was 6'9", which made him an impossible matchup for pretty much any guard in the league.


When he was drafted in 1979, the Lakers knew they had a star. They just didn't know how big a star he was going to be and in such short time. He took over the league overnight with the bounce pass being his trademark.

Magic became the only rookie to win Finals MVP in 1980 and never looked back. He led the Lakers to an astonishing eight Finals in the decade. The combination of Magic along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy was just too much for other teams to handle. He won the title on five occasions and won finals MVP three times.

Added to this he was named regular season MVP in 1987, 1989 and 1990. He was also named an All-Star nine out of ten times in the decade.

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Published 21 Dec 2017, 10:34 IST
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