I just saw that the first championship of the Showtime era was 31 years ago today. I remember it like yesterday. Do you remember what you were doing the night Magic
reigned down on the NBA?
I was 16 and trying to get my dad to stay up and watch the tape-delayed broadcast. Back then the games were shown at 11:30 pm on CBS, even the finals. Crazy!
My dad wouldn't stay up saying, "no way the Lakers
win without Kareem". Logical, but I had a feeling. I said you gotta believe in Magic! When he stepped up for the jump ball, I got goose bumps. I remember the announcers saying this Laker line-up could run up and down and that the Sixers may not be able to adjust. Showtime jumped to an early big lead. But that Sixer team had the Doctor, who many felt was as valuable as Kareem, Dawkins and C.Jones 2 good,big men, B.Jones (white Coop), Cheeks, Hollins, Bibby, a great veteran team. The Lakers couldn't stay ahead could they?
At some point Magic hit a double clutch little runner over Dawkins and you just knew it was on! He got fouled, was pumping his fist and SCOWLING! Awesome! Jamaal Wilkes, forever un-heralded, dropped like 37 points. He got so many back door lay-ups it was incredible. Brad Holland, a UCLA boy, had a huge game off the bench. People forget they won going away with stormin Norman Nixon having a very poor shooting game, though he controlled the pace well. And of course the greatest performance to this day in a playoff game, Magic!
He dominated like has never been seen, and given the context (replacing the MVP, a rookie, on the road, playing out of position) it will never be overshadowed. When they scored the first dozen or so points out of halftime,and rolled to the end, Magic hugging everyone in sight, I knew that Magic, the Lakers and hoop would be my great sports love. Hasn't stopped to this day.