We’ve seen in sports how one athlete can seem to plug an entire franchise into a light socket.
One such occurrence came in 1979. The Los Angeles Lakers drafted Magic Johnson. There’s a great story about Johnson’s first game that set the tone for his career and that first season. The Lakers won their opening game on a hook shot by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at the buzzer. They beat the San Diego Clippers, which generally doesn’t arouse thoughts of a postgame parade. But Magic was so taken by the moment that he ran and jumped into the arms of a stunned Abdul-Jabbar.
The story goes that Abdul-Jabbar — not the most excitable player in league history — then told Johnson, “You do realize we have 81 more games, don’t you?” But that moment set the tone for the Lakers’ season. They won the NBA title that year.