The Magic Man

Darius Soriano —  November 18, 2011

Some things you just can’t stop watching. The wizadry is simply too captivating. That’s how I feel about this Magic Johnson reel that started circling the internet yesterday. The passing, the hook shots, the buzzer beaters, and Chick Hearn providing the commentary for every single play. I hope you enjoy it as much as me. (h/t to Andrew Ungvari for pointing this out to me)

Darius Soriano

Posts Twitter Facebook

to The Magic Man

  1. Great video. Thanks for sharing it.


  2. Thank you for this.

    In addition to just being a fun ride, it emphasized to me just how unfair it was for the Lakers to have Magic.

    The play about 7:08-7:12 with one of his patented throw-it-to-Worthy-right-under-the-hoop plays is classic.

    The other team defended it about as well as it can be defended, but Magic found the one space through which the pass ***had to*** go, and Worthy could catch anything thrown his way.

    That must have been so frustrating for the other team


  3. Almost made me go Kobe-who? with all those buzzer beaters.


  4. Those teams had such great on-court chemistry.

    I wonder what Magic’s peripheral vision is compared to what is average.

    When discussing the greats, Kareem is always associated with his skyhook; fans who never saw him play don’t realize what great mobility he had for a center.

    And the incomparable Chick:
    “Sprewell went for it like a carp going after a worm.”

    “Anyone who wants to go to a commercial now is going to have to go around my dead body.”


  5. Awesome.

    I’ve written this before, but one thing people always forget about the Showtime Lakers (the Worthy-era version) is how huge they were.

    Everyone talks about the length of the current Lakers – and it’s great to be able to start a couple of 7-footers – but having a 6’9″ point guard AND small forward who were deadly on the fast break and in the post? Sheesh.


  6. This is my ideal of how basketball should always be played. Made my day. Thrice already!


  7. Magic and Chick are why I love basketball. What I took from this video more than anything, is that Kareem ran the floor and hustled at his age (over 40). Yet, some players refuse to run the floor even though they are much younger. This team hustled, Magic made a tight pass under the basket for a score and then hustled back down the floor to protect the defensive basket. No, Magic was not a great defensive player, but this play exemplified his willingness to ‘hustle’ something less glorified players in today’s league refuse to do consistently.

    Great memories!


  8. That was 15 minutes of awesome 🙂


  9. Totally agree about the Kareem comments. Even young centers in their 20s today could not do what Kareem did.


  10. I loved the cameo by Eddie Jones as well. As much as I loved Showtime, I was only 6 when Magic first joined the Lakers, and I was only 17 when he announced he had HIV.

    The Lake Show Lakers probably had a greater impact on me as a fan, and I loved the constant hustle by Eddie, the impetuousness of Van Exel, and the lightning quick offensive rebound/turnaround putbacks by Ceballos.

    I rooted for Elden Campbell, despite his small hands and inability to hold onto the ball, and always respected Vlade’s flopp..errr.. willingness to take a charge. Those teams are just imprinted on my psyche in a way that the Showtime teams did not.

    Magic’s teams did not graft themselves into my brain in quite the same way, but I remember many of the plays in that video because Magic himself etched a special place in even my youngest memories of the Lakers. Kareem was special too, but as much as I remember about Worthy, Scott, Rambis, Green and Coop they are more of a blur to me. Magic though was the real deal.


  11. Simply Magical!


  12. Magic was great, and also had a fair number flaws on court. But his court vision – oh my . . . off all the charts, no one ever saw the game, in traffic, anything close to the way he did.

    Had to chuckle at the comment above about Kareem running the court . . . err, _some_times he did ! 🙂 (Kareem was great, but definitely conserved that energy . . . but for 40+ years worth, fair enough).

    Why no Don Ford love for those Magic years???!!!! 🙂


  13. Magic should be the all time NBA point guard despite the fact Chick Hearn announcing what he does makes him seem even better then he was.

    I realize how lucky I was born when I was and that I got to grow up with the Lakers in the 70s and 80s. Even at a young age I knew Chick Hearn was special.

    I am still not sure what was better, Chick Hearn announcing Laker games or Vin Scully making my time alone as a kid listening to the radio so relaxing.


  14. My favorite memory of Magic Johnson was on almost nondescript play in a meaningless exhibition game.

    It way the year that Sam Perkins first came to the Lakers (90-91?). During an exhibition game, the Lakers forced a turnover and got out on a fast break.

    For some reason, instead of running wide on the wing to give Magic space, Perkins ran straight up the middle of the floor.

    Magic saw the traffic jam that Perkins’ brain-fart was creating, so he slowed up a bit and lobbed the ball ahead.

    The pass went over the defenders, over Perkins, and bounced off the floor with perfect backspin to settle in Perkins’ midsection.

    Perkins was so stunned to see the ball right where it needed to be that he fumbled it out of bounds.

    That was Magic. A no-account game, a brain-dead teammate, and he still was always looking for ways to make the right play.


  15. Is there another player in sports whose personality is so clearly expressed through his style of play? Maybe Pele.

    I loved this collection – thank you – but in these NBA-less days, it’s a little bittersweet, kind of like running into an ex-girlfriend…


  16. Don Ford,
    Obviously you only saw Kareem as the 80’s wore on.

    I followed Kareem from his freshman year at UCLA and he was a truely amazing athlete. His footwork was always way ahead of his time and there has never been a deadlier shot than the skyhook.

    However, he had the same problem that Jamal Wilkes had – they both made the game look so easy that people never would give them the proper credit for what they were doing.


  17. No, Kareem did not run the floor on every single play because most times it was unnecessary. When a fast break is ran correctly the ball is in the middle of the court with two wing players running wide and one trailer behind the ball in the middle. Moreover, one man (Kareem) is supposed to hang back just in case their is a turnover, that man would be the defensive anchor until the other players could recover. No team runs the fast break correctly, generally all five offensive players are across the half court line, congesting the lanes and creating a defensive liability.


  18. Hey, hey… I’m the creator of this vid (yes, really). I’m glad you all enjoyed it. I had the 80s-heads especially in mind when working on this one. I still have my earliest draft of this vid uploaded in private at YT. Date is July 5, 2009. Took me that damn long to get around to completion. Anyway, thanks for the views and to anyone who left a nice comment or “thank you”.

    nonplayerzealot4 @ youtube
    non-player zealot @


  19. Simply put that’s basketball porn! Thanks for rekindling show time for me. And in keeping with our core values…Buck Foston!


  20. Thanks, NPZ,

    a real labor of love.


  21. #19. I second drrayeye’s comment. That was a great reel…one of the best I’ve ever seen of Magic.

    Also, a new post is up.