Magic Johnson: His Most Underrated Season
When it comes to the legendary point guards of the NBA, Magic Johnson is a permanent fixture in the conversation. Not only does he have a case for being considered the greatest point guard of all-time, but he is also one of the greatest Los Angeles Lakers of all-time. An impressive feat considering the plethora of legends who have played in the purple and gold. With all of this in mind, it makes sense to go over Magic Johnson’s most underrated season of his career in this ongoing series. Without further adieu, let’s delve into the most overlooked year of Johnson’s legendary career.
Magic Johnson and His Most Overlooked Season
Magic Johnson: His 1988-89 Campaign
Johnson’s 1988-89 season was insane. It is crazy to think out of all his great years, this one tends to get overlooked the most. During this season, the team would make it to the NBA Finals, however, be swept by the “Bad Boy,” Detroit Pistons. Regardless, the Lakers were still the best in the West and Magic Johnson had a big part in it.
The team would finish the regular season with a win-loss record of 57-25, good enough for first in the Pacific Division. They would even go undefeated in the postseason until the NBA Finals where they were outmatched by Detroit. While Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was starting to show signs of age, Johnson was still able to lead the way along with Kareem and James Worthy. The clear-cut leader of this particular team was Magic Johnson and many NBA peers will admit this fact.
Magic’s 1988-89 Numbers
As alluded to already, the 12-time All-Star had a terrific 1988-89 season despite the team losing in the NBA Finals. During this particular season, Johnson would tally 22.5 points, 12.8 assists, and 7.9 rebounds per game. On top of this, he would also come away with a field goal percentage of 50.9 percent. This would couple with an effective field goal percentage of 53.5 percent. The cherry on top is that Johnson would also a career-best 91.1 percent from the free-throw line.
Magic’s advanced numbers are also impressive. During the 1988-89 campaign, he would come away with an offensive rating of 125. This would be the second-highest total in this category of his career. He also would come away with an impressive player efficiency rating of 26.9 to go along with a win-share of 16.1. Johnson would also average an impressive true shooting percentage of 62.5 percent during the 1988-89 campaign which would go a long way towards the Lakers’ success in that season. Magic Johnson is arguably the best point guard of all-time and his 1988-89 season is criminally overlooked.