The traditional Magic Johnson’s Midsummer Night’s Magic Charity Game was played on August 10th, 1986 in Edwin W. Pauley Pavilion (UCLA gym) in Los Angeles. Spectacular yearly charity event included a celebrity basketball game and a black tie dinner. The proceeds were used to support the United Negro College Fund.
For the first time since 1978, greatest NBA rivals of that era, Magic Johnson (Lakers) and Larry Bird (Celtics), joined forces starring for the Blue team. Both would perform admirably in the contest characterized by loosely played defenses – Magic had 26, whilst 1985-86 NBA Most Valuable Player Larry Bird added 21 points for the Blue Team.
The host of the event, Magic Johnson would also prove his worth as the NBA’s leading assist man (with 12.6 assists per game over the course of the 1985-86 season) with the countless no-look dimes to the cutting Mark Aguirre (Mavericks) and Herb Williams (Pacers), mainly on the fastbreak.
The halftime slam dunk showdown was, as expected, really something to see and remember for the ages.
With Magic serving as the announcer of the event, his L.A. Lakers teammates Michael Cooper and Byron Scoot immediately proved to have some serious hoops.
It was 1986 NBA All-Star slam dunk champion Spud Webb who amazed all with his ‘space jams’ after the ball bounced high above the Pauley Pavilion floor, while his Hawks teammate (and 1986 NBA All-Star slam dunk competition runner-up) Dominique Wilkins concluded the halftime spectacle with a stunning 360-degree slam dunk.
It was the White team, which featured 1985 and 1986 NBA All-Star game MVPs Isiah Thomas (Pistons) and Ralph Sampson (Rockets), which prevailed and won the close game by 170-166.
Murray A. a.k.a. Marjan Crnogaj is BN contributor and the author of the book ‘Drazen – The Years of the Dragon’ which can be found here.