Magic Johnson could do it all, but Pat Riley wanted him to do more. Scoring in particular. Kareem Abdul Jabbar was soon to be 40 years old, so Johnson was expected to take on more of the offensive load. Magic responded by averaging a career high in points without relinquishing his role as the league leader in assists.
Flanked by James Worthy, Byron Scott, Michael Cooper and A.C. Green, Johnson led Showtime, blinding the opposition with more defense and even faster breaks. 65 wins and another Western Conference title later, they found themselves in yet another Finals matchup with their Celtic nemeses.
Unbeknownst to them, it would be the last of the classic Lakers v. Celtics duels and Johnson fittingly put the series out of reach in Game 4 with an ode to Jabbar; an arching 16 foot sky hook for a 3-1 series lead.
“You expect the sky hook,” Bird said. “You just don’t expect it to be Magic.”
Pat Riley did.