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    "That was, still today, my greatest game in the NBA." --Magic Johnson

    1980 Earvin "Magic" Johnson NBA Finals Clinching Game Six Worn & Signed Los Angeles Lakers Jersey with Multiple Years' Subsequent Wear!

    "Be not afraid of greatness," wrote William Shakespeare. "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them." It has always been that final variation that has most firmly gripped the hearts of the sporting world-the mind-boggling improbability of "The Miracle on Ice," Muhammad Ali's long march through Hell in "The Thrilla in Manila," Kirk Gibson's hobbled home run trot to close out Game One of the 1988 World Series.

    And when the most prolific scorer in the history of the National Basketball Association (and the 1979-80 NBA MVP) sprained his ankle so badly in Game Five of the 1980 NBA Finals that Abdul-Jabbar wasn't even allowed to make the trip to Philadelphia to face Dr. J and his dangerous Sixers for Game Six, it was a twenty-year old rookie named Earvin "Magic" Johnson who carried the weight of greatness upon his shoulders, supplying a performance Johnson has often characterized as the best of his Hall of Fame career, and which many basketball pundits claim to be the single finest in the history of the sport by any player.

    Any top collector entering the competition for ownership of this paramount relic of the professional hardcourt will know the story well. Johnson would start the game at center and play all five positions during his forty-seven minutes of action, posting forty-two points, fifteen rebounds and seven assists to lead the Lakers to their first NBA Championship since 1972. Johnson remains to this day both the youngest player ever to be named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, and the only rookie to claim the honor.

    "Big fella," Johnson addressed Kareem during the post-game interview, "I did it for you. I know your ankle hurts, but I want you to get up and dance."

    Presented is one of the most significant game worn jerseys that Heritage Auctions has ever been privileged to offer to the collecting community, the road purple mesh jersey that Magic donned in that consummate performance at The Spectrum in Philadelphia on May 16, 1980 to clinch the first of five NBA Championships he'd supply to the City of Angels. The garment is definitively linked to that peerless masterpiece through multiple photo matches by the experts at Resolution and MeiGray, unquestionably the most well-documented and important Magic exemplar that exists.

    Though the garment's participation in the greatest individual performance in professional basketball history would be enough to secure its position in the upper reaches of the collecting pantheon, the enormous game wear tells a much longer story. Further photo matches from Resolution include probables for Games Three and Four of the 1980 Finals and conclusive matches to Games One and Five of the 1984 Finals, Johnson's first high-stakes professional showdown with his close friend and rival Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics. There are also matches to undated images versus the Celtics and the Bullets and two Sports Illustrated covers: May 26, 1980 and June 4, 1984.

    The style is one of the most iconic in the NBA wardrobe, yellow-on-white tackle twill announcing "Lakers 32" on the chest of the purple mesh shell, with "Johnson 32" similarly applied to verso. A sweat-faded "Tiernan" label at lower center front tail is just as soft as the identifiers. Blue sharpie signature on rear numerals rates 9/10, and is enhanced by a "Good Luck" salutation. Photo match LOA from MeiGray. LOA from Resolution Photomatching. LOA from Heritage Auctions. Full LOA from Beckett Authentication Services. Full LOA from PSA/DNA.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2021
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 64
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 11,765

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