Rhoads’ agreement sparks memories of Magic nearly 30 years ago.


Dr. Jerry Buss won 10 NBA championships – the most of any owner in league history – with the Los Angeles Lakers.

A shrewd business executive, Buss was second-guessed in 1981 when he agreed to a 25-year, $25 million contract with 21-year-old Magic Johnson. It was the longest and richest contract in professional sports history.

Dr. Buss said he did it to increase the Lakers’ profile.

“(Magic’s) skills, style and charisma will make the team a huge winner and a huge draw,” Dr. Buss said.

The Lakers, under Magic’s direction, quickly became known as “Showtime.” Titles and capacity crowds did become the norm at the Forum as Dr. Buss had projected.

Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads agreed in principle to a 10-year, $20 million deal Friday. What Buss said about Johnson 30 years ago came to mind.

Rhoads’ enthusiasm, excellence and risk-taking approach (on-side kicks, fake punts, etc.) reminded me of the skills-style-charisma characteristics Buss shared about Magic.

The hope in Cyclone Nation is that Rhoads’ commitment yields the dividends that Magic delivered to LA.

Upon signing his deal, Magic said he wanted to be a “Laker for life.” After Rhoads’ agreement was announced his father, Cecil, told the Des Moines Register that his son “has fallen in love with Iowa State.”

Maybe, there are more parallels than originally thought.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/SteveMalchow


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