One of the class sports venues of the last 40 years is no more today, as The Spectrum in Philadelphia was demolished this morning. I'm sure fans of the 76ers and Flyers have countless memories of that old building, as they should, but that building has several local ties as well. For Lakers fans, The Spectrum will never be forgotten, for these two reasons:
Johnson's Greatest Game
It's hard to say that a player who won three MVP awards and went to nine NBA Finals in 12 years peaked as a rookie, but then again that's not necessarily a bad thing. Magic as a rookie had the greatest game of his NBA career in Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals, filling in for an injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and even jumping at center to begin the game. Magic scored 42 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and had seven assists, winning the first of his five titles as a player:
With all due respect to Vince Carter over Frederic Weis, there is no doubt that the greatest in-game dunk in NBA history was by Dr. J. In 1983 against the Lakers, Julius Erving stole the ball, then beat Michael Cooper down the court, finishing by rocking the ball back and forth before jamming it down as Cooper ran for cover. Sure, it was against the Lakers and it was an unfortunate poster opportunity for Coop, but the Erving dunk stands the test of time, and should be remembered. Just hearing Chick Hearn calling, "...rocked the baby to sleep and slam dunk." gives me chills:
Farewell, Spectrum. You will be missed.
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