Throwback Thursday: Magic Johnson

VIDEO: Magic Johnson’s top 10 career clutch moments

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: Magic Johnson gets drafted

When the Lakers moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles before the 1960-61 season, the team had every reason to believe its tradition of championship runs and NBA titles would continue in its new digs. To be sure, the Lakers were successful in California, sporting superstars like Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Gail Goodrich and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Yet for all that star power, the Lakers were 1-8 in their Finals appearances from 1961-73. When the team acquired Abdul-Jabbar before the 1975-76 season, it was thought he could get the team back on the championship track, but he never even led L.A. to a Finals by himself. The 1978-79 team made it to the Western Conference semifinals and entered the offseason with some hope. It held the rights to the Utah’s first-round pick in the 1979 Draft as compensation for the Jazz signing Goodrich as a free agent a few summers earlier.

That pick ended being the No. 1 overall choice and with it the Lakers selected Earvin “Magic” Johnson. From there, L.A.’s championship ways were restored as he led the Lakers to nine Finals (and five championships) during his storied L.A. career.

On this date in 1979, Johnson was selected No. 1 overall in the 1979 Draft and in honor of that, we look back on his career:

Gallery: Magic Johnson’s career

What are your favorite O’Neal memories? Leave your comments below!

The time Shawn Marion and the Suns pranked people

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The end of the NBA Finals last week was also the end of Shawn Marion‘s 16-season NBA career. Marion, who won a title with Dallas in 2011, played for a few teams during all those years, including a final season this year with Cleveland. But as a youngster, Marion was a member of some high-octane teams in Phoenix. And in this video below, watch as a rookie Marion pranks patrons riding on his pedicab…

VIDEO: Marion Prank

Sweet shooting runs in the Curry family

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We already know Stephen Curry is one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, and that Steph is the son of Dell Curry, another of the NBA’s greatest shooters. But maybe great shooting isn’t only genetic, perhaps there’s something to the “Curry” surname. Check out Stephen’s wife, Ayesha, here knocking down an NBA three-pointer, while 9 months pregnant, no less…

Dennis Schröder mixes soccer and hoops

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schröder is a native of Germany, where despite the best efforts of NBA players like Dirk Nowitzki and Schröder, soccer remains king. After all, Germany won the 2014 World Cup. So leave it to Schröder to figure out a way to combine soccer and hoops in this Instagram video, where he shouts out German National Team member Jerome Boateng

Yo @jeromeboateng !!! What You got next 😎😎 #SchrodersSwagTeam #DS17 #FG #FlexGanG #TheGoldenPatch #NiceWithIt

A video posted by Dennis Schröder (@dennismike93) on

Which team’s new uniform do you like best?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The NBA Draft is tomorrow, which means NBA teams have the opportunity to change their fortunes quickly. Another way teams can change their futures? With new uniforms. Today the Atlanta Hawks announced their new brand identity, making them the fourth NBA team this offseason to debut new uniforms/logos. Below we present all four, with your chance to vote for your favorite new look at the bottom…







UPDATE: New third jersey in Charlotte!

LeBron shows off impressive (vocal) range

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — We all knew LeBron James had great range, but who knew that also extended to his vocal cords? Last night on “Conan,” director Judd Apatow brought along a clip from his new movie Trainwrecked, which features LeBron. And as we see in the clip, LeBron shows off some impressive versatility, and an ability to go high or low…

VIDEO: LeBron Apatow

Matthew Dellavedova: The Movie


ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the surprise stories of the NBA Finals was that of reserve Cavs guard Matthew Dellavedova. As the Cavs suffered injuries and their roster options were winnowed down, the man they call Delly stepped up and played some big minutes for the Cavs. Considering Dellavedova was undrafted out of college, the Australian’s rise to prominence in the NBA Finals was almost like something out of a movie.

So why not make a movie out of it? Well, that’s exactly what’s happening, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. As the paper writes…

The fictional story, based on Dellavedova’s rise, will follow the tale of three young Australian basketballers who are drafted to play basketball for a US college.

Role Models executive producer Jason Shuman has signed on to the project, which is being called Final Four, while The Bodhi Tree’s Robert ‘Bobby’ Galinsky will act as screenwriter and executive producer.

Galinsky said the work would either be made into a feature film or a Friday Night Lights-style series.

True Detective’s Woody Harrelson and Hotel Rwanda’s Nick Nolte have both been approached to play the boys’ coach.

The idea was conceived three years ago by young Werribee actor Josh Howlett, who was inspired by Dellavedova’s story after he was plucked from the Australian Institute of Sport to play US college basketball.

Galinsky said Howlett approached him about the project years ago when the Australian basketballer was relatively unknown. His Cleveland Cavaliers singlet is now one of the NBA’s best-sellers.

Can we get my man Rick Fox a part in this thing? Holler at us, Hollywood…

Draymond Green breaks out WWE championship belt

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERRasheed Wallace is responsible for many different things, but one of the best may have been making WWE-style championship belts for the Detroit Pistons after they won a title in 2004. Sheed often wore his belt to games the next season, to show people that the champ was here…

INDIANAPOLIS - MAY 13:  Rasheed Wallace of the Detroit Pistons arrives with his championship belt prior to the start of Game three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2005 NBA Playoffs on May 13, 2005 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2005 NBAE  (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

The newest NBA champ is Draymond Green, who took to Instagram to show off his new title belt, which looks as though it came directly from the WWE. Now we need Draymond to wear it to games next season…

Touggghhhhh @wwe world champions #dubnation

A photo posted by Draymond Green (@money23green) on

Steph Curry playing with Muggsy Bogues two decades ago

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One of the fun things about Stephen Curry being the son of former NBA player Dell Curry, is that we occasionally come across pictures or video of a young Steph Curry, hanging around the NBA as a kid. Such as this Instagram video someone on Reddit uncovered, featuring a young Curry being carried around the Charlotte Hornets locker room by former point guard Muggsy Bogues

(via r/NBA)

Andre Iguodala’s son made him an NBA championship trophy

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s been a pretty good week for Andre Iguodala. First his team, the Golden State Warriors, won the NBA Championship. Seconds later, Iguodala was named the NBA Finals MVP. Then, while celebrating Father’s Day this weekend, Andre got a gift from his son that, in retrospect, makes the kid seem pretty prescient…