37 Years Ago Today, Magic Johnson’s Junior Sky Hook Made NBA History


In the annals of NBA history, there are moments that define a player’s legacy and forever remain etched in the memories of fans. For Magic Johnson, one such moment came during the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. It was in Game 4 of the 1987 Finals when Johnson unleashed his iconic Junior Sky Hook, solidifying his status as a basketball legend. 

The stage was set at Boston Garden 37 years ago today, a venue synonymous with fierce rivalries and historic battles. The Lakers, led by Magic Johnson, were determined to avenge their previous Finals losses to the Celtics. As the game entered its closing seconds, with the score tied, the Lakers looked to their leader for a game-changing play.

With just seconds remaining, Magic Johnson received a pass near the left side of the key. He faced off against Celtics forward Kevin McHale, a formidable defender known for his length and shot-blocking ability. Undeterred, Johnson used his exceptional size and skill to create separation. With a quick spin towards the baseline, he launched his patented Junior Sky Hook.

The shot seemed to defy gravity as it floated towards the rim, seemingly hanging in the air for an eternity. As the ball dropped gracefully through the net, the crowd erupted, and Johnson’s teammates mobbed him in celebration. The Lakers went on to win the game, shifting the momentum of the series and ultimately clinching the championship in six games.


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