Ranking Magic Johnson's 5 Titles
Magic Johnson is without a doubt one of the top 10 players of all time, and, if we are being honest, only the uninformed would try and argue to keep him outside of the top 5. He is the best Laker of all-time unless the longevity of Kobe's career sways you towards the Mamba.
Magic immediately came into the NBA as a 20 year old rookie and proved to be the perfect complement to the best player in the game, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar. Throughout the course of his career, Magic went from perfect second banana to unquestioned leading man, helping the Lakers to nine Finals appearances in his career while winning five times. He played with flair and exuberance that helped drag the NBA out of the doldrums of the 1970s and captured a city and nation in ways few players have in any sport.
Magic was exactly what his nickname said, a magician on the court who dominated with tempo and passing, slowly adding in more and more scoring as his career went on.
#5 1981-82 season defeated Philadelphia 4-2 in the Finals
This was a year of some early turmoil for Lakers, as Magic led a small coup against head coach Paul Westhead, resulting in coach Westhead's ouster after only 11 games. Westhead was replaced with Pat Riley and what commenced was one of the best runs of a player-and-coach in NBA history.
Riley helped stabilize the team morale and refocus a very talented team on the ultimate prize. With the likes of Kareem, Jamaal Wilkes, Magic, and Norm Nixon leading the way, the Lakers were stock full of talent who could defend and score with high efficiency. Nixon allowed Magic the easier defensive assignment and both guards along with Wilkes knew they could always funnel the ball handler to the waiting Kareem. With this said, this team was only an average defense and really made their bones on the offensive end.
The Lakers top four all averaged over 17.6 points per game, with no one shooting below 49%. They were the second-best offense in the league, as Magic and Nixon set the table for everyone, averaging 9.5 and 8.0 assists respectively. While only the 4th best team based on win projection during the regular season, the Lakers ripped through the two rounds of the Western Playoffs before facing off the formidable 76ers in the Finals. The Lakers used an extremely balanced attack, six players averaged over 13 points per game, to knock off the 76ers 4-2.