May 16 marks the Los Angeles Lakers win in Game 5 against the Philadelphia 76ers during the 1980 NBA Finals. The win was bittersweet because Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (the league’s Most Valuable Player in 1979-80) suffered a debilitating sprained ankle in this pivotal game. He didn’t even make it to Game 6. Magic Johnson started at center even though he had been the team’s point guard during his rookie season.
He finished that game with 42 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and one block. He was just 20 years old at the time, scoring nine points in the final minutes of the game to secure a 123-107 win. Brings me right back!