On November 7, 1991, Magic Johnson announced his HIV status.

Each of us remembers exactly what we did on September 11, 2001, November 13, 2015, or more recently, January 26, 2020. But on November 7, 1991? Harder…

Except the late Kobe Bryant. A huge Lakers and Magic fan, “Black Mamba” sent the K7s to matches in Italy where his father Joe played. In 1991, the family moved to Mulhaz. That’s why Kobe Bryant is learning his idol’s HIV status in France. A few days ago, the Lakers and Magic Johnson were in France to fight against CSP Limoges and Badalone.

On November 7, a few months after the Lakers’ loss to the Bulls in the NBA Finals (1-4) and therefore a few days after his trip to France, Magic Johnson gives a press conference to announce his immediate retirement. lawsuits due to illness.

“Kobe was inconsolable”– says his sister Shariat. “When he heard the news, he burst into tears and skipped every meal for a week. It was very, very hard for him…”

Given the knowledge of the time in finding a cure, Magic Johnson is doomed in the eyes of the general public. At best, four to five years are given. On the 23rd of the same month, Freddie Mercury, the charismatic singer of the Queen group, made a press release announcing that he was suffering from AIDS. The next day he died of pneumonia.

“I have to leave the Lakers organization because of the virus I got”

In the morning of November 7, there was a phone call to the press. « Press conference at the Forum at 14:00 (note: Lakers old room). Main announcement. About magic. »

The California lead is a week and a game in Utah before it is seen again. We guess something is wrong, Magic won’t be back right away, but everyone is in the dark… Management said Johnson was suffering from a virus, feeling weak, losing weight. And he said that he will restore his place as soon as possible.

On November 7, this rumor spread like wildfire in newsrooms. At age 32 and after 12 years in the NBA (9 Finals and 5 titles), Johnson is gravely ill. The Magic called Larry Bird, Isiah Thomas, Michael Jordan and Pat Riley to notify them individually. He did not want them to learn the truth in the news. Lakers No. 32 is HIV-positive. He will resign from the courts.

The five-time NBA champion arrives at the Forum at noon. Coach Mike Dunleavy gathered all his teammates in the locker room. They are trusted. And a big blow to the head. Meanwhile, journalists are waiting in silence. The Magic that presented itself to them was not the magic they knew. The bright smile disappeared. Heavy and dark, Magic steps up to the mic: “I have to leave the Lakers organization because of the virus I have. »

Stupor in the assembly. A room full to bursting is in shock. he was dumbfounded. Some have tears in their eyes. Standing alongside David Stern, Jerry West and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson exudes composure and determination. He promises to dedicate his life “Beat this deadly virus”. To be a spokesperson for the fight against AIDS. “You have to protect yourself. I am proof that it can happen to anyone. Even to me, Magic Johnson. »

“I will live a long time”

How did he get the disease? How long does he have left? Naked questions. They advised him to quit sports so as not to affect his immune system. His wife, Cookie, is not impressed. There is no child she was expecting.

“My life is not like destruction. Because he isn’t. I will continue to live. Nothing has changed. I just need to get treatment and get out of the franchise. This is a new challenge in my life. I will continue to live my little life and live for a long time. You will see me again. I intend to stay close to the Lakers. Of course I will miss the battles and wars. i will miss you all. But life goes on. I will continue on my way. I will overcome this disease and continue to have fun”he concluded, unable to contain his emotion.

Dr. Michael Mellman was the first to study the condition of magic. He called Johnson in Salt Lake City and asked him to return to Los Angeles immediately. Johnson could not accept the terrible news and admit that he had to leave basketball. All his life… He asked for a second, then a third exam. Both are the same as the first. On November 5, 1991, the Lakers would face the Clippers for Game 3 of the regular season. Magic tells the press that he still has the flu. On the same day, he received the result of the third exam…

Later, Magic admitted that he had several partners throughout his life. A 2004 ranking by ESPN ranked his announcement of his HIV status as the “7th most memorable event” of the previous 25 years. Johnson was neither gay nor bisexual. He accused Isiah Thomas of spreading the rumor. From there, their friendship ended, which has since been repaired.

Magic returned to Orlando for the 1992 All-Star Game (MVP with 25 points, 5 rebounds and 9 steals in 29 minutes). The following summer, he participated in the Barcelona Olympics with the Dream Team. Since then it has been working well, very well. He has never had an illness and turned 63 this summer. But Kobe Bryant was no longer there to wish him…

Magic Johnson Percent It bounces
The season Crew GM Minimum Shots 3 points LF Turn off Def Early p.d party Int bp CT Points
1979-80 ALL 77 36 53.0 22.6 81.0 2.2 5.6 7.7 7.3 2.8 2.4 4.0 0.5 18.0
1980-81 ALL 37 37 53.2 17.6 76.0 2.7 5.9 8.7 8.6 2.7 3.4 3.9 0.7 21.6
1981-82 ALL 78 38 53.7 20.7 76.0 3.2 6.4 9.6 9.5 2.9 2.7 3.7 0.4 18.6
1982-83 ALL 79 37 54.8 0.0 80.0 2.7 5.9 8.7 10.5 2.5 2.2 3.8 0.6 16.8
1983-84 ALL 67 38 56.5 20.7 81.0 1.5 5.9 7.3 13.1 2.5 2.2 4.6 0.7 17.6
1984-85 ALL 77 36 56.1 18.9 84.3 1.2 5.0 6.2 12.6 2.0 1.5 4.0 0.3 18.3
1985-86 ALL 72 36 52.6 23.8 87.1 1.2 4.8 5.9 12.5 1.9 1.6 3.8 0.2 18.8
1986-87 ALL 80 36 52.3 20.5 84.8 1.5 4.8 6.3 12.2 2.1 1.7 3.8 0.5 23.9
1987-88 ALL 72 37 49.2 19.6 85.3 1.2 5.0 6.2 11.9 2.0 1.6 3.7 0.2 19.6
1988-89 ALL 77 38 50.9 31.4 91.1 1.4 6.4 7.9 12.8 2.2 1.8 4.1 0.3 22.5
1989-90 ALL 79 37 48.0 38.4 89.0 1.6 5.0 6.6 11.5 2.1 1.7 3.7 0.4 22.3
1990-91 ALL 79 37 47.7 32.0 90.6 1.3 5.7 7.0 12.5 1.9 1.3 4.0 0.2 19.4
1995-96 ALL 32 30 46.6 37.9 85.6 1.3 4.5 5.7 6.9 1.5 0.8 3.2 0.4 14.6
General 906 37 52.0 30.3 84.8 1.8 5.5 7.2 11.2 2.3 1.9 3.9 0.4 19.5

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