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Magic Johnson, Dan Gilbert film Quicken Loans commercial

November 3, 2011 | 11:38 am

The legacy for Magic Johnson will go beyond his five NBA championships, how he helped revitalize league interest and spurred society awareness about HIV.

It should also include Magic's flair with cheesy commercials. The latest involves an appearance with Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who like Magic is a member of Detroit Venture Partners, a firm that invests seed money in early-stage technology companies. In the commercial spot, Gilbert wonders about the feasibility of offering customers who request a home-loan quote a free Android smartphone. Enter Johnson, who shoots jumpers and skyhooks with the phone off rooftop buildings. Instead of the phones hitting the pavement, customers easily catch them. Hey, Magic was known for his passing abilities for a reason.

Even though he's most remembered for his Converse commercial with Larry Bird, many of Johnson's other spots are simply corny. In a San Manuel Casino commercial, Johnson dances with the L.A. Kings' mascot. Johnson relives his hook-shot game-winner in Game 4 of the 1987 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics with a talking basketball. He breathes out fire after eating spicy-style Kentucky Fried Chicken. He shoots a quarter into a Slice soda machine. And in his Quicken Loans appearance, Magic proves it's quicker and more efficient to pass and shoot a phone instead of shipping it overnight. 


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— Mark Medina

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