Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Arsenio Hall teamed up to create a memorable moment at the 1990 ‘Midsummer night’s Magic’.
Basketball legends have always been revered and viewed in a positive light by society for a long time. The NBA’s cream has always done it’s part in furthering social justice and charitable causes that deserve more attention.
Magic Johnson was one of the NBA’s forerunners for this kind of charity done by sportspersons. One of his innumerable charitable works include the playing of a basketball game in the NBA offseason.
Magic instituted a charity event called ‘A Midsummer Night’s Magic’ in the year 1985. He’d invite some eminent NBA contemporaries to play an exhibition pickup basketball game.
The proceeds from these events would eventually be forwarded to the United Negro College Fund. The Lakers legend held this event each year until 2005, when he was long removed from a playing career.
Isiah Thomas, Michael Jordan and Arsenio Hall created some comedic moments at the 1990 classic
Given that the offseason is a time when fans could interact with NBA players much more freely, basketball events like this help to keep attention on the sport.
Thus, a ton of NBA stars would elect to play in this charity game, which would usually be high-scoring. It would be mostly a no-defense game – the 1988 classic had a final score of 203-202.
The 1990 edition of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Magic’ happened to also feature 2 of Magic’s greatest opponents – Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan. And this duo was pitted against each other – Isiah for the white team, and MJ for the red.
Michael Jordan succeeded in knocking the ball away from Isiah as the latter tried to dribble up the court. He then set off on a fast break, albeit at a much more leisurely pace than during the season.
That was the signal for Isiah to pull him down, concede a shooting foul and save himself some embarrassment. And that’s exactly what the Pistons legend did.
Arsenio Hall, who was sitting in the stands, began feigning incredulity at Isiah’s intentional foul. He walked up to the point guard legend and acting all worked up in jest.
The scene ends with Thomas getting wrapped up by a ton of players and spectators around the arena. The game was a great watch all in all, but this incident was the comic relief everyone was there for.