Magic Johnson Named League MVP

In the 1988–89 NBA season, Johnson's 22.5 points, 12.8 assists, and 7.9 rebounds per game earned him his second MVP award, and the Lakers reached the 1989 NBA Finals, in which they again faced the Pistons.

However, after Johnson went down with a hamstring injury in Game 2, the Lakers were no match for the Pistons, who swept them 4–0.

Johnson and Thomas faced each other again in the 1989 NBA Championship, but this time Thomas emerged the victor, with Johnson sitting out a portion of the final series due to an injured hamstring. Still, Johnson was awarded his second MVP award for his regular-season play. While his team did not progress to the finals the next season (although Johnson was again named league MVP), Johnson made one more championship trip in 1990, facing the Chicago Bulls.