Jerry West Digital Collection

Earvin "Magic" Johnson

Oral History Clips

Earvin "Magic" Johnson
Jonathan Coleman
Interview Location Tesim:
Los Angeles, California
Interview Date Tesim:
JC: Earvin, can you think just of a couple things in your mind that you and Jerry have had just the two of you, whether it's a certain conversation that sticks in your mind, the kind of thing that would be a really good scene in the book?

EJ: I think the greatest moment is when I came to retire, because I heard he really took it hard, and he said, "Come on into my office," and we both just cried like babies.             

JC: He still cries now talking about that all these years later.

EJ: He hugged me.

JC: Which he doesn't often do.

EJ: That was probably our greatest moment. Just sitting there, just the two of us.

JC: At the Forum.

EJ: Yep.

JC: Before the press conference.

EJ: Yep. Before all of that happened. The good thing about Jerry and I, we've respected each other and we've always really
mutually cared for one another. Our greatest moments never were about basketball. It was always outside of basketball. So that moment there just showed me how much he cared about me and he was supporting me and I think that will always live on as probably the most special moment that we've had that we shared because it was personal. And then I think the other times were really just doing the camps together because you know during the season...

JC: Hawaii.

EJ: Hawaii. We stayed at the Westin. Those were our headquarters. But every day I got to be with Jerry. We had...

JC: He takes those things seriously. Because I went to a Bob Huggins Adult Fantasy Camp with him in June. He was working harder than anybody there. This kid on West Virginia named Flowers, he said, "I gotta help that kid with his free throws... He doesn't know what he' s doing."

EJ: Jerry, he's a basketball man. That' s what he is and always would be. But again, thank god for him. He is everything: a coach, a basketball man, a father figure, and always give me great tips whatever it is. That was our special moment. I'll never forget that.
A&M 3884; Series 13
Author Jonathan Coleman interviewed Earvin "Magic" Johnson for the book, West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life. Johnson is a retired American professional basketball player who played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 13 seasons. In this clip, Johnson describes the most special moment he shared with Jerry West.
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Personal Names:
West, Jerry, 1938- and Johnson, Earvin, 1959-
Oral Histories