On November 7, 1991, basketball superstar Earvin "Magic" Johnson announced he was infected with the HI virus. A monumental moment for US society, the NBA, and not least for Johnson himself. Before Magic Johnson addressed the US people in a memorable TV statement on that fall day, barely prominent figures had publicly turned taboo Aids voiced – let alone national sports icons.
At that time, HIV still adhered to the stigma of a typical homosexual or bisexual disease. Johnson, who later admitted that he had been infected in one of his numerous affairs, took with his statement a pioneering role. It was he who gave a face to a disease tabooed in public. His revelation was a death sentence. "We all thought Magic would die soon," recalled his team-mate James Worthy later. Johnson himself, known for his engaging toothpaste smile and infectious optimism, always fought back. "I will devote my life to the fight against this deadly diagnosis, I will defeat it, see you again," he said at the end of his statement.The then 32-year-old also called on other patients to "not give up life. " In the same year, the Power Forward founded the 'Magic Johnson Foundation' to fight HIV.Magic Johnson retired despite being part of the NBA All Star team in 1992. In 1992, the NBA's All-Star Game became the stage for Johnson's first success in battle against the virus. Although he was officially retired, the fans voted him into the starting five of the Western Conference. What followed was one of the most memorable performances in the history of All-Star Weekends ever. After a gala performance with 25 points, Johnson was voted the All-Star MVP for the second time. Emotional highlight: After the Lakers star sank a threesome shortly before the end, the members of both teams locked him on the court. Johnsons Triumphal procession climaxed in the same year. Together with the legendary Dream Team, he won the Olympic gold medal alongside Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Charles Barkley in Barcelona. With spectacular performances, the US icons created a global basketball boom. NBA stars do not want a comeback from Magic Johnson Despite these remarkable achievements, the league comeback of Johnson was still several years in coming. After the Olympics, numerous professionals – led by Karl Malone, Barcelona's teammate Magic – due to the supposedly high risk of infection, against a return of the five-time NBA champion strong. Johnson said "not wanting to harm the game" and retired for the time being back from active competitive sports.1994, despite everything, the return to the NBA circus followed – but not on the field, but on the bench. Johnson became coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, his former team. However, the short interlude took just 16 games. The Lakers missed the playoffs. After this disappointment, the 2.06-meter giant cleared the trainer's chair. Magic Johnson: "Stop on my terms." But the thoroughbred basketball player still did not have enough. In the 1995/1996 season Johnson at the age of 36 years again stripped the legendary Lakers shirt with the shirt number 32. After the early playoff against the Houston Rockets, he then declared his final resignation: "I hear on my terms I could not talk about that in 1992 when I canceled my comeback. "Meanwhile, the 59-year-old is now a successful businessman. Since 2017 he also acts as president of the Lakers. Johnson remains committed to HIV prevention and promotes Safer Sex.Falk Velten