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Monday, August 15, 2011

Magic Johnson says he should not have retired because of HIV

Magic Johnson wishes he hadn't retired so early 
August 2, 2011 
The devastating news proved more painful than any injury. Yet, Magic Johnson vowed he'd survive.
Delivering the news could have put strain on his marriage, but, in his eyes, it strengthened it. 
The stigma could've hurt his legacy as a five-time NBA champion and, in the eyes of many, the greatest Laker of all time. But it actually enhanced it.

In a one-on-one conversation with Johnson at Loyola Marymount University, Times columnist Bill Plaschke appropriately remarked that nearly three months from now would mark the 20th anniversary of Johnson's stunning announcement that he had contracted HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The fact that Johnson was sitting there for a full hour reliving his Laker memories in full spirits and, most importantly, in good health, remains an accomplishment in itself. 
Still, it pains Johnson to this day that he cut his NBA career short, frankly because he didn't believe it was necessary.
"If I knew what I know now, I wouldn't have retired," Johnson said. "But I didn't know that then. And you've just got to go with what happened."
At the time, many wrongly perceived that Johnson had contracted AIDs and that he could spread the disease through simple contact. His abrupt retirement in 1991 did little to quell that notion, but his participation in the 1992 NBA All-Star game and as a member of the U.S. Dream Team in the Olympics quickly put those qualms to rest. Still, Johnson retired before coming back in the 1995-96 season amid continued skepticism from even his U.S. Olympic teammates that he'd put everyone else at risk.
"They just didn't want the Lakers to be strong again," Johnson said. "I decided to retire because I didn't want to hurt the game."

See also Sporting News


  1. He virtually had to retire early because of the amount of hype generated in to this non-diagnoses by the likes of you.

    As they say there's no Magic in AZT and there's certainly no AZT in Magic, that's why he has survived so long.

  2. Hate to break it to you, but Magic is firmly in the Anti-Retroviral Therapy, AIDS is real camp.

    He even paid for giant billboards endorsing those antibody tests people you people rant about.

    But you are right. That's why he has survived so long, and other people haven't.

  3. notElon... Lets be clear... Although, i admire Magic for his business acumen in other areas, the man has made multi-MILLIONS of dollars stumping on behalf of drug companies and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

    To say 'he's in their camp' doesn't exactly mean much in terms of what he believes. Does he take meds? Maybe... maybe he's just hedging his bets, while counting all that drug money in the meantime... I don't judge him for it, either way.

  4. So you are saying that the guy claims to take drugs. He gets paid to take drugs. But secretly, or not so secretly, because you know about it, Magic is throwing them all in the trash. And your only evidence for this is that Magic is still alive?

    Yeah, I'm gonna go with my original statement over your half-baked conspiracy theory. At the least, he wouldn't get the endorsement deals for long if he kept up your kind of attitude.