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Video: Magic Johnson on his all-time favorite Lakers memory

August 1, 2011 |  4:19 pm

Magic Johnson was in the middle of answering a reporter's question when a Los Angeles Times backdrop fell forward and was about to tumble onto his head. 

Without looking, he stuck out a giant hand and halted the impending collision. 

Even though the former Lakers star is now 51, and about 20 years removed from learning that he had HIV, he apparently has not lost a step. 

In between hugging his fans and protecting his head from falling objects, Johnson ebulliently reminisced about his playing days before sitting down for an interview with Times columnist Bill Plaschke on Saturday at Loyola Marymount. 

Johnson said his favorite all-time memory with the Lakers was when they beat the Celtics in 1985.

If he could relive a moment from his playing days, it would be when the Lakers trailed the Celtics by a point with three seconds remaining in Game 4 of the NBA Finals in 1987 and he made a 12-foot sky hook to give the Lakers a 107-106 victory. 

"It was just a great moment for us, being on the road, playing against the Celtics," Johnson said. 

Johnson had a hard time deciding who was the worst at catching his impossible no-look pass. 

"They all started out bad," Johnson said with a smile. 

The former point guard said that if he could build a Lakers team around one player, he would choose Kareem Abdul-Jabbar over Kobe Bryant. 

"Kareem is still the most dominant Laker that's ever played," Johnson said. 

-- Melissa Rohlin