Monday, 15 Jul 2024

NBA Top Moments: 1980s

NBA Top Moments: 1980s

The NBA has a rich history filled with unforgettable moments. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the top moments that defined the 1980s in the NBA. From incredible plays to record-breaking achievements, this decade was full of excitement and memorable performances.

The Bird And Magic Show (1980s)

  • 1980: Doctor hangs one on the Lakers
    In Game 4 of the 1980 NBA Finals, Julius Erving amazed everyone with an incredible reverse layup against the Los Angeles Lakers.

  • 1980: Magic becomes the center of attention
    Magic Johnson, the Lakers’ 20-year-old, 6-foot-9 point guard, stepped up in Game 6 of the NBA Finals as the center and led the team to victory.

  • 1981: A must-see hustle play from Bird
    Larry Bird pulled off a heads-up move in Game 1 of the NBA Finals that Celtics president Red Auerbach described as “the greatest play I’ve ever seen.”

  • 1984: Abdul-Jabbar becomes NBA’s No. 1 scorer
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar made history on April 5, 1984, by becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer with his iconic sky-hook.

  • 1984: Henderson’s steal saves Celtics
    Gerald Henderson’s steal in the NBA Finals helped secure a crucial victory for the Boston Celtics.

  • 1985: Aging Abdul-Jabbar finds youth in The Finals
    At the age of 38, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar showcased his skills and led the Lakers to an NBA championship against the Boston Celtics.

  • 1986: Sampson stuns Lakers with buzzer-beater
    Ralph Sampson’s last-second shot ended the Los Angeles Lakers’ season, a memorable moment for the Houston Rockets.

  • 1986: ‘God disguised as Michael Jordan’
    Larry Bird famously described Michael Jordan’s NBA playoff-record 63-point performance against the Celtics as a divine intervention.

  • 1987: Bird picks Pistons’ pockets
    Larry Bird’s steal in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Detroit Pistons set up the game-winning layup for Dennis Johnson.

  • 1987: Magic’s ‘junior, junior sky-hook’ sinks Celtics
    Magic Johnson emulated Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s signature move, sinking a sweet sky hook to secure a crucial win in the NBA Finals.

  • 1988: Jordan and Wilkins battle for dunk title
    Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan engaged in an epic showdown during the 1988 Slam Dunk contest for the title of the best dunker.

  • 1988: Wilkins, Bird square off in memorable Game 7
    Dominique Wilkins and Larry Bird engaged in a scoring shootout during Game 7 of the 1988 Eastern Conference semifinals, creating an unforgettable game.

  • 1988: Heroic Thomas hobbles to a Finals record
    Isiah Thomas overcame an ankle injury to score a record 25 points in the third quarter of Game 6 in the 1988 NBA Finals against the Lakers.

  • 1988: Riley guarantees a championship repeat
    Coach Pat Riley fulfilled his promise as the Lakers won back-to-back championships in 1987 and 1988.

  • 1989: Jordan’s shot at the buzzer puts away Cleveland
    Michael Jordan’s game-winning jumper in the playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers is widely known as “The Shot.”

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These moments not only shaped the history of the NBA but also captivated fans around the world. The 1980s were a golden era for basketball, and these memorable moments will forever be etched in our minds.


Q: What are some of the top moments in NBA history?
A: Some of the top moments in NBA history include Julius Erving’s reverse layup in the 1980 NBA Finals, Larry Bird’s steal against the Pistons in the 1987 Eastern Conference finals, and Michael Jordan’s game-winning shot against the Cavaliers in 1989.

Q: Who is the all-time leading scorer in NBA history?
A: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the all-time leading scorer in NBA history, with a career total of 38,387 points.

Q: Which player had the most impact on the NBA in the 1980s?
A: Magic Johnson and Larry Bird had the most significant impact on the NBA in the 1980s. Their rivalry and exceptional skills elevated the league’s popularity and competitiveness.


The NBA in the 1980s was an era filled with incredible moments that shaped the history of the sport. From Julius Erving’s reverse layup to Magic Johnson’s versatility and Larry Bird’s clutch plays, these top moments defined the excitement and competitiveness of the decade. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, and Isiah Thomas also left their mark with record-breaking performances and memorable plays. The 1980s were a golden age for basketball, and these moments continue to inspire and captivate fans today. To relive these unforgettable moments, visit and immerse yourself in the rich history of the NBA.

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