During Magic Johnson first year with the Lakers, he won NBA Finals in 1980 against the Philadelphia 76ers and was MVP of the game with 42 points.

They played a run-and-gun style Showtime basketball. It helped the Lakers win 5 NBA championships.

Johnson was drafted in 1979; he was the first overall pick and graduated from Michigan State, known for its excellent basketball program. 

Before joining the NBA, his university qualified for the college teams' basketball tournament (NCAA); his team won the playoff round and went on to the championship game against Larry Bird's team.

Bird led Indiana State College, while Magic led Michigan State, and it became the most-watched basketball college game. They won the game with a score of 75-64. 

Moving on, in the first season with the Lakers, he played alongside Kareem Abdul Jabbar, where they were known as Showtime Lakers.

Magic Johnson Rookie Year Roster

Lakers squad with Kareem in the center in Jersey no. 33 alongside Magic smiling in Jersey number 32 with the owner and coach
Source : lakersnation

Magic Johnson's Rookie Year Roster included star Kareem and among the 11 players. Mark, Jamaal, Spencer, Cooper, Butch, Brad, Norm, Jim, and Marty were other basketball players.

Johnson played point guard, while Kareem played center. Kareem was a distinguished player who had won March Madness and was one of the best ever to grace the game.

These two players' combinations were unmatchable, and Cooper was an all-rounder in terms of assist, score, and defense.

 The Lakers' 1980 win was a team effort, but most of the credit goes to Johnson and Kareem. Magic scored 18.3 points per game and recorded 10.5 assists as well. 

Player NamePosition
Kareem Abdul-JabbarCenter
Magic JohnsonPoint Guard/ Power Forward
Jamaal WilkesShooting Guard
Norm NixonPoint Guard
Michael CooperSmall Forward/Shooting Guard/PG
Jim ChonesCenter/ Power Forward
Butch LeePoint Guard
Mark LandsbergerPower Forward/ Center
Spencer HaywoodCenter/ Power Forward
Brad HollandShooting Guard
Marty ByrnesSmall Forward

Jammal Wilkes 

Wilkes was another top player on the team who averaged 20 points per game in the same season. Magic often overshadowed Jammal, but he was integral to Laker's success. 

Wilkes scored 37 points when Kareem was injured; Magic nearly made  40 points triple-double after scoring 42 points in the same game. Both are among the dominant athlete of the era.

Jammal was the starter in Magic's rookie season. He had secured eight rebounds per game and had second highest average points besides Jabbar in the season. 

Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Kareem (left) and Johnson in their mid 20s with the Lakers. They are basketball history's iconic duo of all time
Source : facebook

Jabbar had already won a championship in 1971 with Milwaukee Bucks. He came to the Lakers in '75 but had difficulty winning significant games despite making playoffs. 

The addition of Johnson to the roster propelled the success of the Lakers in the 1979-80 season. They were an unstoppable duo. Magic had changed the game with his upbeat tempo, no-look passes, and fast pace. 

Kareem was an athletic marvel who matched the cadence and responded equally to the rookie's energy and strength. 

Norm Nixon

Nixon was picked in the first round of the NBA Draft in 1977. He was an elite player known for steals, point scoring, and giving a difficult time to opponents. 

In the 1980 league, he led the team alongside other elite players. Nixon was known for his dedication and hard work, he gave his optimum performance securing nearly eight assists per game and four rebounds. 

Norm scored 16.9 points per game and played through injuries and other difficulties during his time with the Lakers. 

Michael Cooper

Cooper was selected in the draft as a third-round pick but his impressive defensive prowess helped him establish his presence among the Lakers greatest team. 

In the 1980 season, he started in 16 games in the playoffs and secured nine points per game. He was the best sixth man on the team, who responded fast break and passes of Johnson. 

Jim Chones 

Chones and Cooper shared the fifth starting position, both played an average of 28 mins in the '80 NBA season. Jim was one of the best players, he gave a glorious performance in the season. 

Jim scored and rebounded seven points per game. He had fewer assists in comparison to Cooper but was able to outperform him in the rebounds. 

Mark Landsberger

Landsberger is the sixth man who played sixteen games in playoffs in the 32nd season of the Lakers. He secured three points and averaged four rebounds while only playing for twelve minutes per game.

Brad Holland

Holland only played nine games; he only played for three to four minutes, where he averaged one point per game. 

Spencer Haywood

Haywood was a veteran of the California-based NBA team. He had better playing time; he played for thirteen minutes in eleven games and averaged 5 points and more than two assists in the Magic's debut season with the Lakers. 

Marty Byrnes

Marty played small forward, created open lanes and got back to defend and secure rebounds for their team.

He only played for four games and averaged 1.5 points per game. 

Magic Johnson Coach Rookie Year

McKinney considered first coach to introduce fast break offense in the Laker's dynasty
Source : twitter

Magic Johnson coach rookie year was Jack McKinney and Paul Westhead. McKinney assumed the responsibility for the first thirteen games after being hired by the new owner Jerry Buss. 

He was the new coach of the team. Buss wanted Jack to make the Lakers game enjoyable to increase viewership and attendance. 

Jack added a run-and-gun offense. He then appointed Johnson as point guard instead of Norm Nixon, considered one of the best PGs in the league at the time. 

Similarly, Johnson and Kareem evolved the running offense to run and gun style, with fast breaks and no-look passes that helped their team to have the most conference finals appearances.

Paul Westhead

McKinney was replaced after he suffered a severe bike injury and was admitted to the hospital. Westhead was the assistant of McKinney; he served as interim-head coach throughout the season. 

The first season of run-and-gun tactics led the team to win the NBA championship. Westhead also carefully utilized the sixth player, Cooper and Chones, during the playoff. 

On the other hand, Westhead was fired by the owner; he did not have a good relationship with Johnson. Initially, Johnson wanted to implement fast break adding all five players to his arsenal. 

Regardless, Paul was focused on isolation play which cost the Lakers the playoffs against Houston Rockets. 

It is alleged that Johnson orchestrated the firing of Paul, but the owner had also decided to remove him from the coaching staff, which led to Magic's effort to no avail.

Besides, Westhead achieved 111 wins and 50 losses during his time with the Lakers and was replaced by highest paid gm Pat Riley, who went on to win five championships with Johnson. 

Magic Johnson Rookie Year Stats

Johnson one of the greatest of all time built showtime dynasty alongside Kareem in the 80s era
Source : youtube

Magic Johnson Rookie Year stats were 18 points per game and more than seven rebounds in his debut season after appearing in 82 games. Johnson recorded more than 1678.8 points during the season.

Stats CategoryPoints

Johnson had an unbelievable debut season, where he led the team to the championship, which is only done by a few players in their career. 

Magic played 77 games in the 1979 season and sixteen games, eventually leading to the NBA finals championship in the '80. He recorded 562.1 assists and another 150.4 in the playoffs.

Mainly being an offensive player, he recorded 38.5 blocks in a season and 6.4 total imperative saves for the team. 

Moreover, Magic had 592.9 rebounds in the '79 season and 168 in the playoffs. His stats were only surpassed by Kareem, but he had more assists than the Hall of Famer.  

Did Magic Johnson Win Rookie Of The Year?

Larry and Magic have been rivals in the court since day one, they have competed each other in college as well. However, off the court, the duo have a great relationship
Source : instagram

Despite winning the ring that year, Magic Johnson did not win the Rookie of the Year. His arch-rival Larry Bird was honored with the award; he took his team to the Eastern Conference finals.

Johnson and Larry played against each other in the NCAA tournament. 23-year-old Larry was instrumental to the team's growth. He took 29 wins and 53 loss teams in the '78 season to 61 wins and 21 losses, reaching the Conference finals. 

No doubt, what Johnson achieved in his debut year was unimaginable, but Larry's accomplishment was nothing to be scoffed at. Despite not having a solid roster, he went toe to toe with the big clubs in his rookie season. 

In contrast, Johnson had the help of Kareem, Wilkes, Nixon, and Cooper. Overall, Magic set a benchmark and changed the game, he popularized a run-and-gun style with a heavy emphasis on offense to win five championships.