The Showtime Lakers Reunited For Their First Practice Session Since 1989
— 22 September 2022

The Showtime Lakers Reunited For Their First Practice Session Since 1989

— 22 September 2022

Perhaps it was the release of HBO’s Winning Time, Hulu’s Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers, as well as Apple TV+’s They Call Me Magic this year… Perhaps it was because it’s the 75th anniversary of the Los Angeles Lakers (and they’re tired of watching the franchise lose)… Or perhaps the guys just thought it was about time they got the band back together. Whatever the case, the original “Showtime Lakers” of the 1980s recently assembled for a reunion practice in Hawaii and it was bloody spectacular.

You simply cannot tell the story of the NBA without mentioning this team. Walking away with five titles from eight trips to the NBA Finals, they’re one of the greatest and most beloved dynasties in basketball history. Known for playing the game at breakneck speed and earning every the style point the 80s had to offer, few can honestly claim to rival them.

Granted, as the footage below clearly demonstrates, it’s been a fair few years. Iconic head coach Pat Riley – who was also in attendance for the Showtime reunion – was known to work these players ridiculously hard during their practices back in the day, but this latest session was said to be more of a “walk around” featuring their most iconic plays.

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Byron Scott, Michael Cooper, Kurt Rambis, and all of their teammates from the era were in attendance for the reunion of the Showtime Lakers; and all donning specially designed white T-shirts with a gold Larry O’Brien trophy inside a purple basketball imprinted on the front, along with the cohort’s championship years.

The players can still be heard affectionately referring to a 75-year-old Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as “Captain” and it looks like the same number of people can guard the NBA all-time leading scorer’s skyhook from back in the day, i.e. absolutely none.

From watching Kareem – who seems to have replaced the goggles with a backwards hat – run give-and-go plays with James Worthy, to seeing Magic dish out assists and yell out “You know I can play this game,” it’s hard not to smile seeing the lads back in action.

Showtime Lakers Reunion

Above all else, it’s just really special to see these legends hanging out together after all this time. It makes you think about how fast the years have gone by and puts into perspective the very thing that was always more important than winning at the end of the day. You consider the tragedy of losing another Lakers icon in Kobe Bryant, who we’ll unfortunately never get to see grow old, and remember to really cherish the present. As Abdul-Jabbar wrote in a wonderful tribute to Bryant:

“The goal is to strive to reach one’s fullest potential – and sometimes push beyond what even they imagined that potential might be. Winning is not the goal, it’s a happy by-product.”

Check out the old fellas in action below.

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