After watching episode 10 of Winning Time, fans wanted to know who actually won the 1980 NBA Finals MVP, Magic Johnson or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?
HBO’s Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty returned for the season finale on Sunday night (8 May).
Episode 10 sees the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1980 NBA Finals, with team owner Jerry Buss and rookie Magic Johnson trying to win the Lakers their first championship since 1972.
After the episode aired, there was a bit of confusion about who won the 1980 NBA Finals MVP. Let’s clear things up.
Did Magic Johnson or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar win the 1980 NBA Finals MVP?
In the episode we see the Lakers win Game 6 of the Finals, 123-107. However, there was some confusion about who actually won the Finals MVP that year.
Initially, it is said that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is going to be Finals MVP. However, because Kareem isn’t there (he was out with an ankle injury) Commissioner David Stern tells Magic Johnson that he could take the award instead.
Kareem was expected to accept the award over phone as he wasn’t at the arena, but Stern reportedly wanted Magic to receive the recognition in order to hype up his rivalry with Larry Bird.
Apparently, this is mostly true. According to former sports columnist and author Bill Livingston in Kareem’s 1990 autobiography, he and others changed their votes from Abdul-Jabbar to Johnson because CBS didn’t want to present an award to an empty seat.
Enough people changed their votes so that Magic Johnson won the Finals MVP based on a 4-3 count over Kareem.
So in the end, Magic Johnson did win the 1980 NBA Finals MVP, but many felt that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the rightful winner after initially receiving the right amount of votes and dominating the first five games.
However, Magic’s Game 6, where he scored 42 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and three steals, is what people mostly remember.
Will there be a Winning Time season 2?
Yes, last month, HBO announced that it had renewed “Winning Time” for a second season.
“It’s been a thrill to bring ‘Winning Time’ to life with [executive producers] Adam McKay, Max Borenstein, our phenomenal producing team, and this incredible cast,” said Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO programming. “This series not only tells the riveting story of the Lakers’ rise, but is also a look back at a transformative era in basketball, celebrity, and the city of Los Angeles.
“We can’t wait to see how this team will tell the next chapter of this dynasty.”
As of now there is no release date for the second season.
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