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.
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.
Signed jersey worn by Magic Johnson in 1980 Finals clincher and — believe it not — photo matched to two NBA Finals games four years later — sold at @HeritageAuction early this morning for $1.5 million. pic.twitter.com/rLECyaSRnc
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 22, 2021
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.
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.