Magic Johnson

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Earvin "Magic" Johnson (b. 1959) is a retired professional basketball player. He played his entire professional career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. Johnson played college basketball at Michigan State University in 1978 and 1979. He was a first choice NBA draft pick after his sophomore year by the Lakers. He was celebrated for his unsurpassed passing abilities, playing point guard despite standing nearly 6'9". As would be expected for his size, he had an extremely high rebounding average for a point guard. In game 6 of the 1980 NBA finals, he replaced an injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, starting at center. He was also famous for his rivalry with Larry Bird. Bird and Johnson played in the 1979 NCAA championship, in which Johnson's Michigan State defeated Bird's Indiana State. Johnson and Bird dominated the NBA in the 1980s, during which Johnson's Lakers and Bird's Celtics won a combined 8 out of 10 NBA finals, and the two also won a combined total of 5 Most Valuable Player awards. Their intense rivalry eventually developed into a close friendship. Prior to the 1991-1992 NBA season, Johnson announced that he was HIV-positive,[1] and that he would immediately retire. Johnson was on the US Olympics basketball team in the 1992 summer Olympics, but was suffering from a knee problem and played relatively few minutes. In 1996 Johnson returned to the Lakers, and played in 32 games near the end of the season, a move that bothered some players since Johnson was still HIV positive and basketball is a very physical sport. Johnson was enshrined in the NBA Hall of Fame in 2002. [2] In retirement, Johnson has become an HIV activist, establishing the Magic Johnson Foundation to help combat HIV.


  1. "Johnson ... believes he got the AIDS virus by having unprotected sex with women." [1]
  2. http://hoophall.com/halloffamers/bhof-magic-johnson.html
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