In 2000, Shaquille O'Neal joined Willis Reed (1970) and Michael Jordan (1996), becoming just the third player to sweep MVP honors for the season, capturing the All-Star Game MVP (which he shared with San Antonio's Tim Duncan), NBA MVP, and NBA Finals MVP awards.
Earvin "Magic" Johnson retired unexpectedly on November 7, 1991, after disclosing that he had tested positive for the HIV virus. Johnson, who helped lead the Lakers to five NBA titles in his twelve seasons with the team, retired as the league all-time leader in career assists with 9,921. Johnson returned briefly as an active player for 32 games during the 1995-96 season.
On April 29, 1970, Los Angeles Lakers guard Jerry West showed he deserved his nickname, "Mr. Clutch," when he hit a 60-foot desperation shot at the buzzer to tie Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the New York Knicks. The Lakers went on to score just six points in overtime, however, and lost to the Knicks 111-108.