Michigan State to honor Magic Johnson with statue

Updated: October 2, 2003, 7:37 PM ET

EAST LANSING, Michigan - Magic Johnson remains a part of Michigan State and his alma mater has unveiled a new plan to honor the Hall of Famer.

Michigan State announced that it will dedicate a statue of Johnson, who led the Spartans to the 1979 national championship, on the weekend of November 1 before the school's football game against Michigan.

Johnson won his showdown with Larry Bird in the 1979 championship game, leading Michigan State to a 75-64 victory over Indiana State. Johnson and Bird went on to engage in numerous duels in the NBA and Johnson helped the Los Angeles Lakers win five titles.

Johnson and the Harlem Globetrotters are scheduled to play an exhibition game against Michigan State the Sunday after the statue dedication. Bird will serve as an honorary coach.

"I'm so pleased that I'll be able to share in this weekend with my teammates, who fought with me on the way to an NCAA championship, and coach (Jud) Heathcote, who taught me to be a perfectionist and believed that a 6-foot-9 player could be a point guard," Johnson said. "I'm happy that Larry Bird will be there. We've had some wars, but he is what a basketball player should be."

Michigan State is honoring its 1979 championship team throughout the year. The Spartan Classic, which will be held at the end of November, features the other three teams from the 1979 Final Four - Indiana State, DePaul and Pennsylvania.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index