When Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson Almost Faced Each Other in a One-on-One Pay-Per-View Game for USD 1 Million

Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson were about to play a one-on-one game in 1990. However, the much-hyped event did not take place.

Published on Jun 24, 2024  |  06:01 PM IST |  39.4K
Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson's Instagram
Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson's Instagram

Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson were once set to compete against each other in a one-on-one game, dubbed The King of Court. The said competition was supposed to be a pay-per-view event during the summer of 1990.

The NBA fans were eager to witness the two greatest athletes face off against each other. However, things didn’t turn out the way it was planned and the event never took place. Let’s uncover everything about the competition. 


Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson planned to compete at The King of Court

In the early 1990s, both Jordan and Johnson gained immense love from fans for their contribution to their respective teams as well as to the NBA league. However, it was yet to be decided who among the two is the best player.

The Los Angeles Lakers player later came up with the new concept, The King of Court, to the attention of many. He went on to describe his role and said, “I came up with the idea. We came up with what we wanted to do, and my people contacted Michael's people, and we decided to go ahead with it.”

The challenging concept was then accepted by MJ and the duo started gearing up for the competition.

Also Read: Throwback: When Michael Jordan Revealed Who He Wanted to Face in 1991 Finals Besides Magic Johnson & Lakers


A brief about Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson's planned The King of Court event 

The King of Court competition was planned to be scheduled some thirty years ago at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. This event between the two legendary players was set for a whopping prize of $1 million.

Additionally, the format of the competition suggested that the players had to compete in two 15-minute halves play, to determine who among them was the best player. On top of that, NBC offered $601 million for four seasons of broadcasting rights for the league.

Meanwhile, it is important to note that since the prize was big, fans thought that both Jordan and Johnson were competing for the sake of winning the money. 

However, MJ had a quite different opinion about the competition as he loved playing against big names. The six-time NBA Champion also admitted that it would be fun to play with Johnson one-on-one.


Why did the one-on-one event never take place?

While both players were quite interested to play one on one, the idea was discouraged by the players' union. They opposed the concept while the National Basketball Players Association president, Isiah Thomas told reporters that according to him, the game could have set a bad precedent for the league. 

In addition to this, NBA lawyer, Gary Bettman suggested that they were not interested in seeing NBA players being promoted like fighters in Las Vegas and thus, they interrupted to stop the event from taking place.

Nevertheless, in their illustrious careers, both players earned immense success respectively. While Jordan has earned honorable titles such as 6-time NBA Finals MVP, 5-time NBA most MVP, and 14-time All-Star, Johnson has secured 3-time NBA Finals MVP, 3-time NBA most MVP, and 12-time All-Star titles.

Also Read: Magic Johnson joins Michael Jordan in billionaire athletes list: Who else in exclusive club?

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About The Author

Alisha Kotadia is a skilled sports journalist at the Pinkvilla. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Mass



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