“The Pivotal Spring” Timeline

Magic Johnson

March 26, 1979: Earvin “Magic” Johnson and the Michigan State Spartans defeat Larry Bird and the Indiana State Sycamores in the 1979 NCAA Division 1 Basketball Championship Game, the highest-rated televised college basketball game ever.  [note: Red Auerbach, the then basketball-related decision-making authority for the Boston Celtics, had already reserved the rights to eventually sign Larry Bird, back in 1978 (while Bird was actually still in college)].
April 19, 1979: Bill Sharman, the then Lakers GM (basketball-related decision-making authority), wins the deciding coin toss (the procedure then) — to consequently obtain for the Lakers, the #1 pick in the 1979 NBA Draft.  Soon after, Magic, then still a sophomore, officially decides to declare for the 1979 NBA Draft [where he and Larry Bird would ultimately continue to forge (what would grow to become universally considered as) the most fabled rivalry (between two athletes) in all of professional sports… and one that would “save” and heighten (like no words can describe) what was at this time (1979) — still a struggling league, financially].  May 16, 1979: Earvin “Magic” Johnson is introduced to the media as the Lakers’ eventual #1 selection in the 1979 NBA Draft (Bill Sharman is surely sitting front and center at the press conference, as we can all detect from my screenshots). The day of the eventual draft (June 25, 1979) was still over a month away; however, in those days, it was in conformity with league rules — for the team with the eventual #1 pick — to come to terms (“agree to agree“) with their eventual selection even prior to the draft (if, perhaps, the eventual decision has “already” been “decided upon”). Bill Sharman, the most astute, analytical, and thorough basketball mind in history, who actually defined the now ubiquitous, modern-day and far-reaching methodology of how to (literally) prepare and condition for a game (the “shootaround” concept), and of whom had most preeminent experience and affinity with/for fast-pace, uptempo basketball — was intrigued by Magic’s extraterrestrial ability on the fast break and in transition (as a college phenom), as well as by his otherworldly enthusiasm and charisma. As Bill Sharman had “soon” made up his mind (following his April 19, 1979 coin toss victory) that Magic would (indeed) be his selection (in spite of Jerry West’s protest for Sidney Moncrief), Jack Kent Cooke, then in the process of trying to sell the team, arranged to meet with the Magic man, his father, Earvin Johnson Sr., their then business advisor, Dr. Charles Tucker, and then attorney, George Andrews, prior to this May 16, 1979 press conference — where they eventually “agreed” upon monetary conditions of his first NBA contract; although, Cooke, might have made the meeting a bit longer than it needed to be.   
June, 22, 1979: Jerry Buss’ purchase (from Jack Kent Cooke) of the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings, and the Forum — is officially approved and finalized (“signed, sealed, and delivered”).
June 25, 1979: The NBA draft. Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s name is announced by the then NBA commissioner, Larry O’Brien — as the Lakers’ #1 pick in the 1979 NBA Draft (something that Bill Sharman had already established — well over a month prior).1 Attached Images