‘That’s where the game changed’: When Michael Jordan credited THIS player for taking the NBA to the next level

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The TV series, “They Call Me Magic” dropped in 2022. It narrates the early days of the Lakers legend, Magic Johnson’s NBA journey, from high school to college and the big leagues. Interestingly, Magic was inspired by Michael Jordan’s “The Last Dance” in 2020 to come up with his series, ‘They Call Me Magic.’

In the first episode of ‘They Call Me Magic’ called ‘JuneBug,’ Michael Jordan hailed Magic Johnson for transforming NBA. Although NBA fans credit Jordan for changing the game, MJ pointed to Magic’s contribution to the league as the real game-changer.

“Everybody gives credit to Michael Jordan for changing the NBA, but when Magic Johnson came in, that’s where the game changed,” said MJ.

Magic Johnson was surprised and touched that it came from the GOAT himself.

His reaction? Johnson was laughing and almost tearing up, especially when Jordan acknowledged that Magic played a huge role in turning the league around. Magic even recalled Jordan being the toughest guy on and off the court – smoking, drinking, and gambling like a champ. Magic admitted if he tried that, he’d be scoring zero, with no assists, just dragging.

Jordan had a 15-season run in the NBA, including 1996-97, 1997-98, 2001-02, and 2002-03. On the other hand, Magic rocked the league for 13 seasons, from 1979 to 1991, and then a little comeback in 1996

“The Last Dance” – Docuseries Chronicling the Ascent Of Michael Jordan

“The Last Dance” released in 2020 is all about Michael Jordan’s career. It zoomed in on his last season with the Chicago Bulls in 1997-98. It’s got exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with NBA legends like Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr, and Phil Jackson.

ALSO READ: When Michael Jordan Shared How Muhammad Ali Inspired Him To Take a Step ‘Towards Curing Racism in This World’

Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson’s Statistics

1. Magic Johnson

1995-96

Team: Lakers
GP (Games Played): 32
Min (Minutes per Game): 29.9
Pts (Points per Game): 14.6
FG% (Field Goal Percentage): 46.6%
3pt% (3-Point Percentage): 37.9%
Reb (Rebounds per Game): 5.7
Ast (Assists per Game): 6.9
Stl (Steals per Game): 0.8

1990-91

Team: Lakers
GP: 79
Min: 37.1
Pts: 19.4
FG%: 47.7%
3pt%: 32.0%
Reb: 7.0
Ast: 12.5
Stl: 1.3

1989-90

Team: Lakers
GP: 79
Min: 37.2
Pts: 22.3
FG%: 48.0%
3pt%: 38.4%
Reb: 6.6
Ast: 11.5
Stl: 1.7

1988-89

Team: Lakers
GP: 77
Min: 37.5
Pts: 22.5
FG%: 50.9%
3pt%: 31.4%
Reb: 7.9

Ast: 12.8
Stl: 1.8

1987-88

Team: Lakers
GP: 72
Min: 36.6
Pts: 19.6
FG%: 49.2%
3pt%: 19.6%
Reb: 6.2
Ast: 11.9
Stl: 1.6

1986-87

Team: Lakers
GP: 80
Min: 36.3
Pts: 23.9
FG%: 52.2%
3pt%: 20.5%
Reb: 6.3
Ast: 12.2
Stl: 1.7

1985-86

Team: Lakers
GP: 72
Min: 35.8
Pts: 18.8
FG%: 52.6%
3pt%: 23.3%
Reb: 5.9
Ast: 12.6
Stl: 1.6

1984-85

Team: Lakers
GP: 77
Min: 36.1
Pts: 18.3
FG%: 56.1%
3pt%: 18.9%
Reb: 6.2
Ast: 12.6
Stl: 1.5

1983-84

Team: Lakers
GP: 67
Min: 38.3
Pts: 17.6
FG%: 56.5%
3pt%: 20.7%
Reb: 7.3
Ast: 13.1
Stl: 2.2

1982-83

Team: Lakers
GP: 79
Min: 36.8
Pts: 16.8
FG%: 54.8%
3pt%: 0.0%
Reb: 8.6
Ast: 10.5
Stl: 2.2

1981-82

Team: Lakers
GP: 78
Min: 38.3
Pts: 18.6
FG%: 53.7%
3pt%: 20.7%
Reb: 9.6
Ast: 9.5
Stl: 2.7

1980-81

Team: Lakers
GP: 37
Min: 37.1
Pts: 21.6
FG%: 53.2%
3pt%: 17.6%
Reb: 8.6
Ast: 8.6
Stl: 3.4

1979-80

Team: Lakers
GP: 77
Min: 36.3
Pts: 18.0
FG%: 53.0%
3pt%: N/A
Reb: 7.7
Ast: 7.3
Stl: 2.4

2. Michael Jordan:

2002-03 Season (Wizards):

Games Played (GP): 82
Minutes per Game (Min): 37.0
Points per Game (Pts): 20.0
Field Goal Percentage (FG%): 44.5%
3-Point Percentage (3pt%): 29.1%
Rebounds per Game (Reb): 6.1
Assists per Game (Ast): 3.8
Steals per Game (Stl): 1.5

2001-02 Season (Wizards):

GP: 60
Min: 34.9
Pts: 22.9
FG%: 41.6%
3pt%: 18.9%
Reb: 5.7
Ast: 5.2
Stl: 1.4

1997-98 Season (Bulls):

GP: 82
Min: 38.8
Pts: 28.7


FG%: 46.5%
3pt%: 23.8%
Reb: 5.8
Ast: 3.5
Stl: 1.7

1996-97 Season (Bulls):

GP: 82
Min: 37.9
Pts: 29.6
FG%: 48.6%
3pt%: 37.4%
Reb: 5.9
Ast: 4.3
Stl: 1.7

1995-96 Season (Bulls):

GP: 82
Min: 37.7
Pts: 30.4
FG%: 49.5%
3pt%: 42.7%
Reb: 6.6
Ast: 4.3
Stl: 2.2

1994-95 Season (Bulls):

GP: 17
Min: 39.3
Pts: 26.9
FG%: 41.1%
3pt%: 50.0%
Reb: 6.9
Ast: 5.3
Stl: 1.8

1992-93 Season (Bulls):

GP: 78
Min: 39.3
Pts: 32.6
FG%: 49.5%
3pt%: 35.2%
Reb: 6.7
Ast: 5.5
Stl: 2.8

1991-92 Season (Bulls):

GP: 80
Min: 38.8
Pts: 30.0
FG%: 51.9%
3pt%: 27.0%
Reb: 6.4
Ast: 6.1
Stl: 2.3

1990-91 Season (Bulls):

GP: 82
Min: 37.0
Pts: 31.5
FG%: 53.9%
3pt%: 31.2%
Reb: 6.0
Ast: 5.5
Stl: 2.7

1989-90 Season (Bulls):

GP: 82
Min: 39.0
Pts: 33.6
FG%: 52.6%
3pt%: 37.6%
Reb: 6.9
Ast: 6.3
Stl: 2.8

1988-89 Season (Bulls):

GP: 81
Min: 40.2
Pts: 32.5
FG%: 53.8%
3pt%: 27.6%
Reb: 8.0
Ast: 8.0
Stl: 2.9

1987-88 Season (Bulls):

GP: 82
Min: 40.4
Pts: 35.0
FG%: 53.5%
3pt%: 13.2%
Reb: 5.5
Ast: 5.9
Stl: 3.2

1986-87 Season (Bulls):

GP: 82
Min: 40.0
Pts: 37.1
FG%: 48.2%
3pt%: 18.2%
Reb: 5.2
Ast: 4.6
Stl: 2.9

1985-86 Season (Bulls):

GP: 18
Min: 25.1
Pts: 22.7
FG%: 45.7%
3pt%: 16.7%
Reb: 3.6
Ast: 2.9
Stl: 2.1

1984-85 Season (Bulls):

GP: 82
Min: 38.3
Pts: 28.2
FG%: 51.5%
3pt%: Not provided
Reb: 6.5
Ast: 5.9
Stl: 2.4

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