Magic Johnson's Top Five Teammates in Lakers' '80s Dynasty



by FAIZAN CHAUDHARY

Magic Johnson's Top Five Teammates in Lakers' '80s Dynasty
© Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages

In a chronicle of basketball's luminary tales, Magic Johnson's prowess stands tall, venerated as one of the NBA's unrivaled legends. Alongside Steph Curry, these maestros are celebrated for transforming the point guard position.

The fervent contention between Johnson's LA Lakers and Larry Bird's Boston Celtics remains unparalleled, becoming an epoch in NBA annals. The "Showtime Lakers," driven by Johnson, clinched five titles, with crucial aid from other Laker luminaries.

Johnson's accomplishments are jaw-dropping: the youngest to snag the NBA Finals MVP – a feat he achieved during his rookie season in 1979-80. Fondly dubbed "Junior," he boasts three regular-season MVP titles and five championship rings.

However, it would be remiss to solely laud Johnson; his success was symbiotic with his gifted teammates. A deep dive reveals Magic Johnson's five crucial teammates:

5. Jamaal Wilkes:

When Magic made his 1979 Lakers' debut, Wilkes, an established All-Star and NBA champion, was already in the spotlight, having shifted from Golden State to LA.

Prior to James Worthy’s emergence, Wilkes was LA's premier small forward, massively contributing to the 1980 and 1983 titles. While Johnson clinched the Finals MVP both times, Wilkes was undeniably instrumental.

4. Byron Scott:

Often overlooked, Scott was a linchpin in the Lakers' "Showtime" epoch.

Initially drafted by the San Diego Clippers in 1983, he was later traded to the Lakers. Alongside Johnson, Scott – with his agility and sniping shots – became indispensable, securing three titles (1984, 1987, 1988) during Johnson’s era.

3. Michael Cooper:

An undercelebrated gem, Cooper fortified the Lakers’ defenses during their five-title streak in the '80s. His skirmishes with Larry Bird are legendary, arguably obstructing more Celtics' title triumphs.

Cooper's dedication to the Lakers spanned his entire career, securing the 1986-87 NBA Defensive Player of the Year and making eight All-NBA Defense teams.

2. James Worthy:

A vital cog in the Lakers' trinity, Worthy seamlessly synced with Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Drafted first in 1982, “Big Game James” soon earned seven All-Star titles and the 1987-88 NBA Finals MVP. His dunks punctuated the “Showtime Lakers” blitzkrieg attacks that left adversaries gasping.

1.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:

Kareem's accolades are peerless, making an indomitable case for the NBA's GOAT. Though the Lakers once clinched a title sans the “Captain,” imagining their five-title legacy without him is quixotic.

The '80s saw the Johnson to Abdul-Jabbar duo reigning supreme, forming the bedrock of Pat Riley’s iconic teams. The '80s Lakers' saga remains incomplete without Abdul-Jabbar's commanding presence. In wrapping, while Magic Johnson's brilliance was a beacon, the LA Lakers' '80s dynasty was sculpted by an ensemble of these extraordinary talents.

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