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The last time I complained about my performance on the football field, I was in the fourth grade. I was not yet a fourth grader when I was on the field, but I was feeling sorry for myself for not being able to perform at my best. I was also in the fourth grade when I started crying after a bad play in practice. I was not yet a fourth grader when the tears came, but I was already acting like a snotty child.
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Sports, as stated in the classic television opening, require everyone to experience both the pleasure of success and the pain of loss. Even if the later half of the equation is unavoidable, it may still be a source of misery. Simply inquire of Magic Johnson about the subject.
Magic Johnson and his Los Angeles Lakers colleagues lost at the last hurdle in 1984, after winning five NBA titles throughout his career. In the hours after that loss, the guard found himself gazing directly into the eye of the storm, deliberately inflicting pain on himself.
During the 1984 NBA Finals, Magic Johnson and his Lakers were unable to seal the deal.
Magic Johnson and Larry Bird memorably squared battle on college basketball’s greatest stage in 1979, with the Michigan State guard winning. The two players renewed their battle at the top of the professional ranks a little over five years later.
Both the Celtics and the Lakers dominated their respective conferences during the 1983-84 regular season. Boston finished 62-20 to win the top slot in the East, while Los Angeles won 54 games to take the top spot in the West. Both teams breezed through the playoffs, paving the way for a historic NBA Finals.
The Lakers comfortably won Game 1 and seemed to be on their way to a 2-0 lead, but a costly turnover and an ill-timed timeout let Boston even the series. After reclaiming the lead in Hollywood with a victory in Game 3, Johnson was unable to clinch the deal in the next game. The series was tied at two games each when it returned to the east coast at that time.
The teams split the following two games, sending the 1984 NBA Finals to a seventh session, as befitting a series between two star-studded teams. Cedric Maxwell came through in the final match to bring the title back to Boston. Larry Legend had finally avenged himself on Magic Johnson.
I’m in Boston, and I’m having a bad night.
Against the Boston Celtics, Magic Johnson dribbles the ball up the floor. | Focus on Sport/Getty Images
Watching the opposing team celebrate their win is one of the most heartbreaking aspects of losing a title. Magic Johnson, on the other hand, had more pain ahead of him when he exited the stadium.
“He could have closed the blinds and turned up the television volume. Instead, Magic Johnson acted on his twisted need to watch the celebration that was developing around him, gazing blankly out of his hotel window, transfixed on the sea of green below,” according to an extract from Boston.com’s When the Game Was Ours. “Thousands of supporters crowded the streets, many dressed in shamrock-colored T-shirts, causing a joyful traffic jam in the already congested metropolis. Car horns blared, fireworks exploded, and grown men danced Irish jigs in celebration of the Celtics’ 1984 NBA Championship win against the Lakers in Game 7.”
Although the incident was clearly painful, the Lakers player saw it as a kind of atonement.
Magic stated, “It was chaos.” “I had to force myself to watch it. It made me feel even worse, but I earned my misery.”
Mark Aguirre and Isiah Thomas, according to the report, kept the guard company. Magic couldn’t move on when they got dinner, turned off the TV, and attempted to speak about anything other than basketball. Johnson thought, “We should have won that series.” “I’ve always taken pleasure in doing things in a hurry. “How did it happen?”
The other two guys eventually chose to depart. Johnson was finally able to let go of all the anguish that had been pent up within him at that point.
“I sobbed like a baby when they eventually left,” Magic confessed.
In the end, Magic Johnson was able to bounce back from that humiliating loss.
Magic Johnson had previously won an NBA title in 1980, but it didn’t make his loss in 1984 any easier. But, in the end, it’s fair to conclude that the Lakers star has recovered.
Los Angeles and Boston were again in the championship game at the end of the next season. The back-and-forth series went to seven games once again, but this time the Lakers prevailed. The two teams would meet again in the NBA Finals in 1987, with Johnson’s squad winning yet another championship.
In 1988, Magic added another ring to his collection, giving him a total of five titles in his career. Despite the fact that the guard’s HIV diagnosis caused him to retire early, he still has one of basketball’s best credentials. Johnson earned three regular-season MVP Awards and averaged 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 11.2 assists across 13 seasons, in addition to his five championships and three NBA Finals MVP Awards.
Most elite athletes will tell you that it’s almost difficult to fully forget a humiliating loss. Winning four more titles, on the other hand, is certainly a nice way to turn the page.
Basketball-Reference provided the statistics.
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The first time I saw this quote, I thought it was very fitting. I felt the same way after days of being bullied by a team member. We all think we’re tough because we can handle it, but how do we know if we’re really tough enough? You know what’s tough? When you’re the new kid on the block. It can be really challenging to make friends and fit in, and it can be even harder when you know you’re not tough enough to handle it.. Read more about my job makes me depressed and anxious and let us know what you think.
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