Monday, 22 Jul 2024

Magic Johnson and Larry Bird to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at 2019 NBA Awards

Magic and Bird

Turner and the NBA have announced that basketball legends Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia. This prestigious award will be presented during a live broadcast on Monday, June 24th at 9 p.m. ET on TNT. The previous recipients of this award were Bill Russell in 2017 and Oscar Robertson in 2018.

Magic Johnson and Larry Bird have left an indelible mark on the NBA with their fierce rivalry, exceptional individual skills, and team success. Their contributions in the 1980s helped define the modern NBA and took the league to new heights. Each player has been recognized with three NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, nine All-NBA First Team selections, and 12 NBA All-Star appearances. They have also been enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and are esteemed members of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players. In addition, they were co-captains and teammates on the legendary gold-medal-winning Dream Team at the 1992 Summer Olympics.

The greatness of Johnson and Bird is deeply rooted in their college basketball days. The unforgettable clash between Michigan State, led by Johnson, and Indiana State, led by Bird, in the 1979 NCAA Tournament championship game remains the highest-rated game in college basketball television history. This game served as a precursor to their NBA careers, where Johnson led the Los Angeles Lakers to five championships and Bird was a catalyst for three championships with the Boston Celtics. Johnson, known for his exceptional court vision, averaged 19.5 points, 11.2 assists, and 7.2 rebounds per game throughout his 13 seasons with the Lakers. He also ranks fifth in the NBA’s all-time assists list.

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Johnson retired from the NBA in 1991 after announcing his HIV positive status. He has since become a prominent advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Johnson returned to the court for the 1992 NBA All-Star Game, where he was named the game’s MVP after an unforgettable performance. He also made a comeback during the 1995-96 season to play for the Lakers. In recognition of his illustrious career, Johnson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.

Beyond his basketball achievements, Johnson has achieved success as an entrepreneur. He currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises and is a co-owner of various sports teams, including the Los Angeles Sparks, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Football Club, and esports franchise Team Liquid. He previously held ownership shares in the Lakers from 1994-2010, a period during which the team won five NBA championships. Additionally, Johnson had a brief stint as the Lakers’ head coach and served as their President of Basketball Operations from 2017-2019. Throughout his career, he also contributed to the field of broadcasting as a part of Turner Sports.

Like Johnson, Bird spent his entire 13-year career with a single team, the Boston Celtics. Bird led the Celtics to three NBA championships and received the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP award twice. Known for his scoring prowess and playmaking abilities, Bird has career averages of 24.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game. In 1998, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Following his playing career, Bird excelled as a head coach and executive for the Indiana Pacers. He was named the NBA Coach of the Year in his first season as a coach, and under his leadership, the Pacers reached the Eastern Conference Finals for three consecutive seasons. In the 1999-2000 season, Bird led the Pacers to their first-ever NBA Finals appearance.

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Bird also held multiple positions as the Pacers’ President of Basketball Operations, winning the NBA Basketball Executive of the Year award in 2011-2012. He remains the only person in NBA history to have won the MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year awards. Bird currently serves in an advisory role with the Pacers.

FAQs

Q: Who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 NBA Awards?

A: The Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to basketball legends Magic Johnson and Larry Bird at the 2019 NBA Awards.

Q: What were Magic Johnson and Larry Bird’s contributions to the NBA?

A: Magic Johnson and Larry Bird had a significant impact on the NBA in the 1980s. Their fierce rivalry, remarkable individual skills, and team success elevated the league and helped shape the modern NBA.

Q: How many NBA championships did Magic Johnson win?

A: Magic Johnson won a total of five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Q: What are some of Larry Bird’s achievements in basketball?

A: Larry Bird led the Boston Celtics to three NBA championships and received the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP award twice. He is also one of the few players to have been named MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year in the NBA.

Summary

Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, two basketball icons, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 NBA Awards. Their contributions to the NBA are immeasurable, as they defined the league in the 1980s with their epic rivalry, individual brilliance, and team success. Johnson and Bird both excelled as players, with numerous MVP awards and All-NBA selections to their names. They also played pivotal roles in leading their respective teams to multiple NBA championships. Furthermore, Johnson and Bird’s impact extended beyond their playing careers, as they continued to contribute to the sport as coaches and executives. Their induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame solidifies their status as true legends of the game.

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