mobile app bar

“Magic Johnson’s signed 1980 Finals jersey sold for whopping $1.5M”: The Lakers legend was crowned Finals MVP in his rookie year

Arjun Julka

"Magic Johnson's signed 1980 Finals jersey sold for whopping $1.5M": The Lakers legend was crowned Finals MVP in his rookie year

NBA legend Magic Johnson’s signed 1980 Finals Lakers jersey gets sold for a record price of $1.5M at an auction.

Winning an NBA championship in the rookie year is something rarely heard of unless you’re Magic Johnson. The 1st pick in the 1979 NBA Draft, Johnson was selected by the LA Lakers.

Arguably one of the best point guards the NBA has ever seen. In only his first year with the franchise, Johnson was selected to play as a starter for the All-Star game.

The LA Lakers had a great season, winning an impressive 60 games during the regular season and team forward Kareem Abdul Jabbar being crowned league MVP.

This was followed by a great post-season as the Lakers would clinch a berth in the NBA Finals after 7-years. Johnson averaged 18.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 7.3 APG, and 2.4 SPG on a 53.0% shooting from the field and was named NBA All-Rookie Team.

Also read: ‘Kobe Bryant is the greatest Laker of all time’: When Magic Johnson explained why the Black Mamba was better than himself, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the rest

According to a report in Lakers Daily, the jersey that Johnson wore during Game Six of the 1980 NBA Finals was sold for a whopping $1.5M.

Breaking down the 1980 NBA Finals

The 1980 NBA Finals took place between the Philadelphia 76ers and the LA Lakers. The Showtime Lakers were the favorite entering the series.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar led the Lakers to a victory in Game One, scoring 33-points, while rookie Johnson had a triple-double in his Finals debut. The Lakers would lose Game Two and tie the series.

However, the Lakers would win Games Three, Five, and Six and be crowned NBA champions after a gap of 8-years. The leading scorer on the Lakers roaster was MVP Kareem Abdul Jabbar, averaging 33.4 PPG, 13.6 RPG, and 4.6 BPG on a 54.9% shooting from the field.

Tragedy struck the Lakers in Game Four of the Finals when their leading scorer Jabbar suffered an ankle injury that would have him listed out for a crucial Game Six.

Nonetheless, a 20-year Johnson took matters into his own hands and would have one of the greatest performances in a winning clinching Game Six. The 21-year old Johnson torched a 40-point performance with 15 rebounds and 7 assists on a 60.9% shooting from the field.

Such was his performance that he was crowned Finals MVP. Johnson is the only rookie to win the NBA Finals MVP award. He also became one of four players to win NCAA and NBA championships in consecutive years.

Also read: “Magic Johnson could have played alongside Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal!”: NBA Reddit reminisces Laker great’s return to the NBA

Johnson had one of the rare iconic seasons a rookie can have. He truly was a generational talent. Thus his jersey being sold for an exorbitant price is evidence of how truly great he was.

About the author

Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka


Arjun Julka is a NBA author at The SportsRush. Basketball isn’t just a sport for this 26-year-old, who hails from Mumbai. He began watching the sport after stumbling upon a court in his society, helping him identify an undiscovered passion for the game of hoops. Now an ardent fan, Arjun supports Stephen Curry and the Warriors but also enjoys watching Giannis Antetokounmpo own the paint. When it comes to the GOAT debate, the TSR author feels LeBron James is yet to receive a lot of his due but cannot deny marveling at Michael Jordan’s resume.

Read more from Arjun Julka

Share this article