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The Magic Johnson Map Guide to Los Angeles

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In Maps to the Stars, Curbed LA maps the lives of the most notable figures in Los Angeles history through the places that were important to them.

The worst season in Lakers history comes to a merciful end tomorrow night. It's been a long, demoralizing slog, but with any luck, it won't get any worse—Jordan Clarkson is good, Julius Randle will be back, and Los Angeles should have a top five draft pick. Good times are on the horizon (as long as the Lakers keep that draft pick), so what better way to celebrate than by looking back at arguably the greatest, inarguably the most beloved Laker of all time? No, not Swaggy PMagic Johnson.

Magic took the NBA by storm in 1979, winning a title and a Finals MVP in his rookie season (still the only player to have ever done so). The Lakers won again in 1982, under sleek, slick Pat Riley, and when they drafted James Worthy first overall in the following draft, Showtime was born. With a brilliant coach, an all-time great center in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and a bunch of guys who could run and jump and defend (Byron Scott, Jamaal Wilkes, Michael Cooper, AC Green, Mychal Thompson, Kurt Rambis), Magic commanded the league's most dynamic offense, dishing no-look passes at a hundred miles an hour.

The Showtime Lakers were all flashbulbs and smiles and success, the perfect product for the decadent eighties. Magic ultimately won five NBA championships and three MVPs while notching more than 17,000 points and 10,000 assists (fifth of all-time). HIV forced him into premature retirement, in 1991; since then, he's gotten involved in some wildly successful jobs (investor, real estate developer, basketball analyst, HIV-beater) and some unsuccessful ones (head coach, talk show host). Today, Magic owns stakes in the Dodgers and Sparks, and is working to bring a new professional soccer franchise to Los Angeles. He's not only a great Laker, but a great Angeleno. —Ian Grant


· Maps to the Stars [Curbed LA]

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Laker Dorms

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Magic spent his first four years in LA in an apartment somewhere on Green Valley Circle. Dr. Jerry Buss owned the building and put a number of Lakers up for discounted rates.

The Forum

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Where all the on-court magic happened.

The Forum Club

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Where all the off-court magic happened.

Pickfair

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Buss bought and renovated Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks's storied estate in Beverly Hills, and it served as site of the wildest parties of the Showtime era.

STAPLES Center

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A statue of Magic stands outside Staples, where the Los Angeles Sparks (partially owned by Magic) play their home games.

Magic Johnson TGI Friday's

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Magic has invested in number of companies since retiring, including TGI Friday's. This one proudly bears his name, and holds a solid two-star rating on Yelp.

Equinox

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Magic shoots around—where else?—at the West LA Equinox.

Villa Aloro

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Magic's favorite Italian restaurant. Apparently he's a sucker for sea bass.

Van Nuys Airport (VNY)

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Magic keeps his private plane in Van Nuys.

Magic and his wife Connie live in tony, gated Beverly Park, hence his son Earvin III's appearance on E's Rich Kids of Beverly Hills. Sample quote: "Yachting is my favorite pastime."

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Laker Dorms

Magic spent his first four years in LA in an apartment somewhere on Green Valley Circle. Dr. Jerry Buss owned the building and put a number of Lakers up for discounted rates.

The Forum

Where all the on-court magic happened.

The Forum Club

Where all the off-court magic happened.

Pickfair

Buss bought and renovated Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks's storied estate in Beverly Hills, and it served as site of the wildest parties of the Showtime era.

STAPLES Center

A statue of Magic stands outside Staples, where the Los Angeles Sparks (partially owned by Magic) play their home games.

Magic Johnson TGI Friday's

Magic has invested in number of companies since retiring, including TGI Friday's. This one proudly bears his name, and holds a solid two-star rating on Yelp.

Equinox

Magic shoots around—where else?—at the West LA Equinox.

Villa Aloro

Magic's favorite Italian restaurant. Apparently he's a sucker for sea bass.

Van Nuys Airport (VNY)

Magic keeps his private plane in Van Nuys.

Home

Magic and his wife Connie live in tony, gated Beverly Park, hence his son Earvin III's appearance on E's Rich Kids of Beverly Hills. Sample quote: "Yachting is my favorite pastime."