1. Magic Johnson — 1979
Quibble about anything else in this piece if you like, but there will be no argument here. Magic Johnson is the Michigan State GOAT, both in college and in the pros. Magic led the Spartans to their first national championship in 1979 before being selected number one overall by the Los Angeles Lakers, where he would play his entire career. Magic made 12 All Star teams and led the league in assists four times with his dazzling passing as the lifeblood of the Showtime Lakers.
He won three NBA MVPs in a four year window and won five NBA championships in the 80s. He was the Finals MVP in three of those, including when he legendarily played point center to push the Lakers to the championship as a rookie. There’s simply no doubt about it: Magic Johnson remains one of the best, most talented, and most entertaining players to ever grace the game of basketball.