How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby mpresev on Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:27 pm

How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick? Did the Lakers have a losing record or last place in the NBA in 79? How did the draft work at that time?
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby hdtvset on Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:30 pm

From the previous trade! :jam2:
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby John3:16 on Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:33 pm

Not exact (there are arguments about how it all went down), but I'm pretty sure Goodrich was involved - going to the Jazz.
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby CaCHooKa Man on Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:37 pm

1979: The Beginning Of The Buss Era

During the offseason owner Jack Kent Cooke sold his sports empire, which included the Lakers and the Great Western Forum, to Santa Monica real estate developer Jerry Buss for $67.5 million. Buss brought in Jack McKinney as the new head coach.

When the Lakers had let Gail Goodrich go to free agency prior to the 1976-77 season, they had no idea how significant Goodrich's departure would be for the team's future. Because Goodrich signed with the New Orleans Jazz as a veteran free agent, the Jazz had to compensate the Lakers. New Orleans did so by giving Los Angeles three draft picks, including its first-round pick in 1979. When the Jazz (who moved to Utah in 1979) finished with the league's worst record in 1978-79, the Lakers found themselves holding the No. 1 overall pick in the 1979 NBA Draft.


http://www.nba.com/lakers/history/laker ... y_new.html
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby mpresev on Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:40 pm

really? wow.. The Lakers are always lucky in this situation.. Must be the Basketball Gods again.


CaCHooKa Man wrote:
1979: The Beginning Of The Buss Era

During the offseason owner Jack Kent Cooke sold his sports empire, which included the Lakers and the Great Western Forum, to Santa Monica real estate developer Jerry Buss for $67.5 million. Buss brought in Jack McKinney as the new head coach.

When the Lakers had let Gail Goodrich go to free agency prior to the 1976-77 season, they had no idea how significant Goodrich's departure would be for the team's future. Because Goodrich signed with the New Orleans Jazz as a veteran free agent, the Jazz had to compensate the Lakers. New Orleans did so by giving Los Angeles three draft picks, including its first-round pick in 1979. When the Jazz (who moved to Utah in 1979) finished with the league's worst record in 1978-79, the Lakers found themselves holding the No. 1 overall pick in the 1979 NBA Draft.


http://www.nba.com/lakers/history/laker ... y_new.html
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby GoldHammish on Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:00 pm

CaCHooKa Man wrote:
1979: The Beginning Of The Buss Era

During the offseason owner Jack Kent Cooke sold his sports empire, which included the Lakers and the Great Western Forum, to Santa Monica real estate developer Jerry Buss for $67.5 million. Buss brought in Jack McKinney as the new head coach.

When the Lakers had let Gail Goodrich go to free agency prior to the 1976-77 season, they had no idea how significant Goodrich's departure would be for the team's future. Because Goodrich signed with the New Orleans Jazz as a veteran free agent, the Jazz had to compensate the Lakers. New Orleans did so by giving Los Angeles three draft picks, including its first-round pick in 1979. When the Jazz (who moved to Utah in 1979) finished with the league's worst record in 1978-79, the Lakers found themselves holding the No. 1 overall pick in the 1979 NBA Draft.


http://www.nba.com/lakers/history/laker ... y_new.html

just curious, why did they have to compensate us?
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby Kobe Bryant 8 on Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:17 pm

By picking him first.









All kidding aside, we got very lucky in a "trade" with New Orleans. It was compensation for losing Goodrich.
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby KobeFoThree on Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:22 pm

same way we got kobe for divac :man10:
8 + 24 > 23 + 6
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby Lakerfan24R on Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:27 pm

How about how did the Lakers get the #1 pick for James Worthy in 1982.

During the 1979/80 season, the Lakers sent Don Ford and a 1980 first round draft pick to the Clevland Cavs for Butch Lee and the Cavs #1 pick in 1982.

I believe the Cavs and Clippers had the worst records and their was a coin flip to determine who would get the number pick. Here's an interesting story. I believe this is true...I found it on some website:

Jerry Buss (Lakers owner) actually wanted to get Ralph Sampson in 1982. Sampson had just completed his junior year at Virginia, and there was much debate on whether he would stay for his senior year.

The Lakers and Clippers (owner Donald Sterling, a friend of Buss') would have the coin flip for the first pick in the 82 draft. Sampson had indicated that he would stay in school unless he could be guaranteed he'd be drafted by the Lakers (he liked the Lakers and Kareem).

At a poker game one night, Buss made Sterling an offer he felt the Clipper's owner couldn't refuse.

"Let's flip a coin now" said Buss... "if I win, I can guarantee Sampson a spot on the Lakers, and he'll skip his senior year. When that happens, you get to draft James Worthy".

"If we DON'T flip now, Sampson will probably return to school (since he won't be guaranteed a spot on the Lakers), in which case, you'll only have a 50 per cent chance of getting Worthy (i.e. if the Clippers end up winning the actual league coin toss).

"If we flip now, you can't lose...you get Worthy, no matter what. But if we don't flip now, you only have a 50% chance of getting Worthy".

Buss tried to sweeten the deal by saying that if Sterling agreed to the early flip, Buss would set up an organization to help sell Clipper season tickets, and he would personally guarantee Sterling one million dollars a year for the next five years in season ticket sales (keep in mind that a million dollars was a lot more in 1982 than it is now).

Sterling didn't believe that Sampson had his heart set on playing with the Lakers, and thought he wouldn't mind playing for the Clippers.

So there would be no early flip.

Sure enough Sampson, not willing to take a 50% chance on winding up in San Diego (where the Clippers were then based), stayed in school The Lakers won the league's coin toss and took Worthy. The Clippers drafted second and took Terry Cummings of Depaul, whom Sterling says they would have taken even if they'd drafted first. But the Clippers subsequently traded Cummings (who did end up winning the Rookie of the Year award for 1983).

Pretty amazing stuff.
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby gcclaker on Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:13 pm

^I recall James Worthy during his number retirement ceremony telling the fans how thankful he was that the Clippers did not draft him then proceeded to bow down to the Laker logo at midcourt to give it a smooch. I'll never forget that humourous moment from 42.
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby noobiew on Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:40 pm

Lakers 1# draft pick in NBA history

1958 - Elgin Baylor
1979 - Magic Johnson
1982 - James Worthy

All were proven NBA HOF's
Michael Jordan : "My Chicago team are the all-time greatest"
Magic Johnson : "Put me with Kareem, James Worthy, Cooper and Byron Scott, and we'd dominate your Bulls team"
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby John3:16 on Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:54 pm

Funny story about Magic getting drafted. Jack Kent Cooke was trying to decide between Magic and Sidney Moncrief. Majority in the front office picked Moncrief. Cooke said he was going against popular opinion and taking Magic. Then he saw Chick Hearn and said, "you have a vote. Who do you pick?" Chick said Moncrief. Cooke said, "we're taking Magic." Chick said, "why did you ask me?" Cooke said, "well, you had a vote. Might as well use it."

:man10: :man10: :man10:

and then he sold the Lakers and the Forum to Buss. :jam2:
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby dj vitus on Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:07 pm

gcclaker wrote:^I recall James Worthy during his number retirement ceremony telling the fans how thankful he was that the Clippers did not draft him then proceeded to bow down to the Laker logo at midcourt to give it a smooch. I'll never forget that humourous moment from 42.

Kinda reminds me of how Larry Bird was almost a Clipper had they opted for Boston's #6 pick instead of #8. Can you imagine Bird and Magic on the same NBA team? :man4:
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby Ducasse1 on Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:38 pm

John3:16 wrote:Funny story about Magic getting drafted. Jack Kent Cooke was trying to decide between Magic and Sidney Moncrief. Majority in the front office picked Moncrief. Cooke said he was going against popular opinion and taking Magic. Then he saw Chick Hearn and said, "you have a vote. Who do you pick?" Chick said Moncrief. Cooke said, "we're taking Magic." Chick said, "why did you ask me?" Cooke said, "well, you had a vote. Might as well use it."


I can't believe the Lakers front office and Chick wanted Moncrief over Magic after Magic led his team to the NCAA title and put up 17.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 7.9 assists in his college career. What a disaster that would have been. Moncrief didn't go until the #5 spot in the draft too, so it's not like Moncrief was a consensus #1 or #2 choice. He was a good player but he couldn't touch the impact Magic had for the Lakers. Way to go Jack Kent Cooke. Sometimes the owners know more than the paid professionals.
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby gcclaker on Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:18 am

John3:16 wrote:Funny story about Magic getting drafted. Jack Kent Cooke was trying to decide between Magic and Sidney Moncrief. Majority in the front office picked Moncrief. Cooke said he was going against popular opinion and taking Magic. Then he saw Chick Hearn and said, "You have a vote. Who do you pick?" Chick said Moncrief. Cooke said, "We're taking Magic." Chick said, "Why did you ask me?" Cooke said, "Well, you had a vote. Might as well use it."
:man10: :man10: :man10:
and then he sold the Lakers and the Forum to Buss. :jam2:


^True story. Well, when Abdul-Jabbar was looking for a trade from Milwaukee to either New York or Los Angeles, Walton was also available. The majority also leaned toward the Big Red Head where Hearn voted for Walton because he was younger. Cooke picked The Captain telling his rep to bring #33 to L.A. or don't bother coming back.

On topic, there was the hilarious story with Cooke, Hearn and Johnson involving either exotic sand dabs or hamburgers for lunch. Johnson let an incredulous Cooke know that he didn't think the sand dabs were tasty and wanted a hamburger instead. Cooke tried to sell Johnson that they were the most expensive sand dabs in the city but the urban teenager respectfully asked the aging owner to get hamburgers instead.

All three stories [including John 3:16's] were in the Laker book "Winnin' Times" penned by local sportswriters Scott Ostler and Steve Springer. I still own it to this day.
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby Mando323 on Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:42 am

A lot of cool info in this thread. Great read, guys.
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby Ducasse1 on Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:14 am

gcclaker wrote:
John3:16 wrote:Well, when Abdul-Jabbar was looking for a trade from Milwaukee to either New York or Los Angeles, Walton was also available. The majority also leaned toward the Big Red Head where Hearn voted for Walton because he was younger.


Chick voted for Moncrief over Magic and Walton over Kareem? Thank God he left the asst general manager position to go to the broadcast booth.
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby mpresev on Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:27 am

Ducasse1 wrote:
gcclaker wrote:
John3:16 wrote:Well, when Abdul-Jabbar was looking for a trade from Milwaukee to either New York or Los Angeles, Walton was also available. The majority also leaned toward the Big Red Head where Hearn voted for Walton because he was younger.


Chick voted for Moncrief over Magic and Walton over Kareem? Thank God he left the asst general manager position to go to the broadcast booth.



I never heard of Moncrief even when I started watching basketball in 87. Good call Kent.
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby mpresev on Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:33 am

Kobe Bryant 8 wrote:By picking him first.

All kidding aside, we got very lucky in a "trade" with New Orleans. It was compensation for losing Goodrich.



Here's where I don't see the logic behind the Jazz's mentality. Why compensate #1 pick for Goodrich? DIdn't they see Magic win the NCAA Chip? Did they even realize he was a PG at 6,9? You never ever ever trade your #1 pick... #1 picks can change your franchise.

Also when Charlotte traded pick for Vlade, didn't they see that Kobe was really good? Or were they just too impatient with a 17 yr old player.. Or maybe they didn't think he was good enough.. But Jerry WEst saw the potential though.. Or was there an agreement prior? and Charlotte didn't know if Kobe was going to get picked? Someone?
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby Chopper on Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:44 am

wow, i know hindsight is 20/20 but Magic was a media darling even before going to the NBA. How could any owner turn that kind of talent and marketability down for someone no one has heard of?
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby Lakerjones on Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:53 am

Lakerfan24 - incredible story about Buss and Sterling and the fate of Sampson and Worthy. Where did you hear that one?
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby GNC on Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:05 am

Lakerjones wrote:Lakerfan24 - incredible story about Buss and Sterling and the fate of Sampson and Worthy. Where did you hear that one?


i was going to say that was an awesome story. :jam2:
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby John3:16 on Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:13 am

mpresev wrote:I never heard of Moncrief even when I started watching basketball in 87. Good call Kent.


Moncrief could play. GREAT defensive player with a nice offensive game too. A few all star games and borderline hall of fame player. Definitely not in Magic's class, but no shame in how his career turned out.
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby gcclaker on Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:45 am

mpresev wrote:I never heard of Moncrief even when I started watching basketball in 87. Good call Kent.


Moncrief was a stud player at Arkansas where he made a name for himself during the 1978 NCAA Tournament along with Marvin Delph and Ron Brewer [whose son plays for Utah currently]. The trio dubbed themselves "The Three Basketeers". He was known among the pro scouts as a solid player with no weaknesses. Moncrief landed in Milwaukee where he had a great career. Johnson had more ink but Moncrief was a superb player. Jordan mentioned him as THE best defender he ever played against. Considering the source, that says a lot what Moncrief was. Unfortunately, as the seasons wore on Moncrief's knees deteroriated. He was a complete player as a guard.
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Re: How did we get Magic Johnson at #1 pick?

Postby chickhearn on Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:32 pm

mpresev wrote:
Kobe Bryant 8 wrote:By picking him first.

All kidding aside, we got very lucky in a "trade" with New Orleans. It was compensation for losing Goodrich.



Here's where I don't see the logic behind the Jazz's mentality. Why compensate #1 pick for Goodrich? DIdn't they see Magic win the NCAA Chip? Did they even realize he was a PG at 6,9? You never ever ever trade your #1 pick... #1 picks can change your franchise.

Also when Charlotte traded pick for Vlade, didn't they see that Kobe was really good? Or were they just too impatient with a 17 yr old player.. Or maybe they didn't think he was good enough.. But Jerry WEst saw the potential though.. Or was there an agreement prior? and Charlotte didn't know if Kobe was going to get picked? Someone?


The league rules at the time demanded compensation (a trade or monetary or whatever) for the acquisition of veteran FAs. The Jazz had no choice. There was also no such thing as protected picks back then. What they gave LA were future 1st ROUND picks. When it came time to ante up, the Jazz had finished w/ the worst record in the league and the Lakers went into the coin flip w/ the Bulls as a result. Bulls got David Greenwood 2nd, mediocre bigman. Why a coin flip? Because there was also no draft lottery until 1985. They flipped a coin for the top 2 picks and the rest were determined by order of finish.

Another tidbit is that the Jazz were in such terrible financial shape in 1982 that they had to sell the 3rd pick in the draft (Dominique Wilkins) to Atlanta for John Long and a million bucks. Their owner prior to Larry Miller wanted to move them to Las Vegas from the beginning (which is why he had them playing games at UNLV -- think Kareem breaking Wilt's record at UNLV...). He assumed that the league would eventually let him move them there, but it never happened and it still hasn't.

The Hornets didn't want Kobe, they drafted him for the Lakers. Their suits were on all the sports shows explicitly saying they liked Kobe's potential, but didn't need a guard and couldn't wait for him to pan out. Why did they want Divac? Zo Mourning forced them to trade him in 95/96 to Miami -- Charlotte got Glen Rice back as the main piece. Then they filled in their center gap w/ Vlade. They were a decent team for a couple of years, but learned that you're risking a lot by completing yourself by POSITION when you have the chance to land a potential superstar. That's what Portland did when they drafted Bowie over Jordan because they already had Clyde.
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