The Washington Times - January 19, 2008, 03:04PM
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Lakers

\ But if there is one figure in American sports who should NOT be making the argument that you can’t rely on a rookie, it is Magic Johnson.\

\ Anyone out there remember Magic’s own rookie season (1979-80) in the NBA?\

\ I do. \

\ After being selected as an All-Star game starter, he went on to lead the Lakers to the NBA finals against Dr. J’s Phildadelphia 76ers. With a 3-2 lead in the series, the Lakers’ great center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was sidelined with a sprained ankle. \ \ \ Lakers coach Paul Westhead boldly decided to start Magic, a 6-9 point guard, at center for game 6. In that game — in Philly — the rookie scored 42 points, snagged 15 rebounds, dished out 7 assists and topped it all off with 3 steals. \ \ \ The Lakers won the game (123-107) and the NBA championship. The rookie was named the NBA Fnals MVP. His game 6 tour de force is widely acclaimed as among the greatest individual performances in league history.\

\ — Daniel Wattenberg, arts and entertainment editor, The Washington Times