7 November 1991

Magic Johnson announces that he is HIV-positive and retires from the NBA.

Magic Johnson, whose real name is Earvin Johnson Jr., is a former professional basketball player and one of the most iconic figures in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was born on August 14, 1959, in Lansing, Michigan, USA. Johnson is known for his exceptional skills as a point guard, his versatility, and his charismatic personality both on and off the basketball court.

College Career: Magic Johnson played college basketball for the Michigan State Spartans under coach Jud Heathcote. He led the Spartans to an NCAA championship in 1979, where he was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. His performance at Michigan State helped him become a top prospect for the NBA.

NBA Career: Johnson was selected as the first overall pick in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. He made an immediate impact in the NBA, winning the NBA Finals in his rookie season with the Lakers. Johnson was known for his exceptional passing ability, court vision, and versatility, often playing multiple positions on the court.

Showtime Era: Magic Johnson was a central figure in the “Showtime” era of the Lakers during the 1980s. Alongside players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, and Michael Cooper, he helped the Lakers win multiple NBA championships. His style of play and flashy assists made the Lakers one of the most entertaining and successful teams in the league.

Championships: Over the course of his illustrious career, Magic Johnson won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988.

Rivalry with Larry Bird: Magic Johnson’s rivalry with fellow NBA legend Larry Bird, who played for the Boston Celtics, is legendary. The two players faced off in three NBA Finals during the 1980s, and their rivalry is often credited with helping to popularize the NBA.

Versatility and Records: Magic Johnson was known for his versatility, as he could play as a point guard, shooting guard, or even as a forward when needed. He recorded numerous triple-doubles (double-digit statistics in points, rebounds, and assists) throughout his career.

Retirement and Comeback: In 1991, Magic Johnson shocked the sports world by announcing his retirement from basketball due to testing positive for HIV, which was initially believed to be a life-threatening condition. However, he returned to the NBA briefly during the 1995-1996 season.

Business Ventures: After his playing career, Magic Johnson became a successful businessman. He has been involved in various ventures, including owning a share of the Los Angeles Lakers, opening movie theaters, and investing in urban redevelopment projects.

Philanthropy: Johnson has also been actively involved in philanthropy, particularly in the fight against HIV/AIDS, as well as various other charitable initiatives.