August 15, 2012 in Professional
SLAM Magazine recently published an article by Ryan Jones online about Lansing native Magic Johnson that originally appeared in their print publication in 2001. It’s a great reflection on Magic’s career and worth a read:
I remember the flak that came when Magic and Kareem struggled to coexist in their early years together (an impetuous young guard and a larger-than-life big man clashing over team dominance in Southern California—sound familiar, young Laker fans?). I remember the ’84 Finals, a seven-game series that Boston stole from L.A., and Magic caught the blame then, too. A couple of ill-timed turnovers, a shot-clock violation and a couple of costly missed free throws, spread out over three games—all Laker losses—left him buried under criticism. I remember the newspapers using words like “choked” and “failed.” And I remember being in the car with my father, hearing him use similar words as we listened to the radio call of Game 7, when Magic coughed up the ball—twice—in the final 90 seconds of the nine-point, series-ending loss.
I remember, and yet I barely remember at all. Funny how a ton of success will help you forget a few ounces of failure. And that’s how it should be. Those seeking the ill legacy don’t have to be perfect all the time; really good most of the time will suffice. Magic was, better and more often than just about anyone else, and that should be the legacy. That’s what I want to remember.