Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

March 23, 1994: Magic Johnson talks to the news media after being named new Lakers head coach. Photo taken on color negative film, then scanned into Macintosh computer; caption added in Photoshop and print made. In 1994 the Los Angeles Times still used photographic prints in its production of the newspaper.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

March 26, 1994: New Lakers head coach Magic Johnson watches Sedale Threatt run a play during a 3-1/2 hour practice. Behind Johnson is Nick Van Exel. This photo was published in the March 27, 1994, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

March 26, 1994: New Lakers head coach Magic Johnson watches free throw drill during a 3-1/2 hour practice. This photo was published in the March 27, 1994, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

March 27, 1994: New Lakers head coach Magic Johnson during his coaching debut at the Fourm. The Lakers beat the Bucks 110-101. This photo was published in the March 28, 1994 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Vince Compagnone / Los Angeles Times

March 27, 1994: New Lakers head coach Magic Johnson gives instructions to guard Sedale Threatt before putting him into game against the Milwaukee Bucks. This photo was published in the March 28, 1994, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Vince Compagnone / Los Angeles Times

March 27, 1994: New Lakers head coach Magic Johnson during his coaching debut at the Forum. The Lakers beat the Bucks 110-101. This photo was published in the March 28, 1994, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Vince Compagnone / Los Angeles Times

April 8, 1994: Lakers head coach Magic Johnson looks on during a game against the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers lost, 112-99. James Worthy is at left. This photo was published in the April 10, 1994, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Steve Dykes / Los Angeles Times

April 12, 1994: Lakers coach Magic Johnson is perplexed by his team's performance against the Golden State Warriors, eventually losing 128-117. This photo was published in the April 16, 1994, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Vince Compagnone / Los Angeles Times

Oct. 18, 1994: No longer coaching, Magic Johnson spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of students at Laguna Beach High School. After his anti-drug, safe-sex message he was mobbed by the kids, all of whom wanted an autograph. A Laguna Beach basketball player gave Magic a team sweat shirt from the school. This photo was published in the Oct. 19, 1994, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Nov. 10, 1994: Former Lakers coach Magic Johnson, left, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar, right, join James Worthy during Worthy's retirement announcement at the start of the 1994-95 season. This photo was published in the Nov. 11, 1994, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

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Coach Magic Johnson

With the 1993-94 Lakers stuck in neutral, owner Dr. Jerry Buss tried to shake up the team. Coach Randy Pfund was let go and Magic Johnson brought in. On March 27, 1994, Johnson’s first game as coach, the Lakers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 110-101.

In the Los Angeles Times online database All Things Lakers, Steve Galluzzo writes:

With the 1993-94 season spiraling down the drain, the Lakers called on a bit of Magic to spark a playoff run. It appeared to work at first when the team reeled off five wins in six games. Johnson realized this was a new generation of player and the more time he put in, the more his players tuned him out. The Lakers ended the season on a 10-game skid and Johnson tendered his resignation.

The following season, he made a comeback on the court at the age of 36 and averaged 14.6 points, 6.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds at power forward.

Magic Johnson, the businessman, has done very well. Today he’s part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The above 10-photo gallery is all color. In 1994, the Los Angeles Times photography department was just entering the digital age. Photographers used color film. The negatives were scanned into Macintosh computers and early versions of Photoshop were used for color correction. Prints were still made — printed from the computer. The first image in this photo gallery has the original caption — generated in Photoshop — still attached.

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