Magic Johnson is one of the best players to ever play in the NBA. His impact is greater than sports and Magic is an inspiration to millions.
Earvin Johnson was born on August 14, 1959. He is from Lansing, Michigan. Earvin is from a large family. At an early age, Earvin took an interest in basketball. An interest that was obsessive. Earvin would get up early every morning to practice. In high school Earvin Johnson earned the nickname, Magic. A local reporter gave it to him after watching him play and being mesmerized by Earvin’s intelligent and flashy play. Earvin was a magician on the court, his game was like Magic. He would play college basketball for Michigan State.
After 2 years at Michigan State, and winning the 1979 NCAA Championship, Magic decided to enter the NBA draft. He would be selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the first pick in the NBA Draft. Johnson would play his entire legendary career for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Los Angeles is of course known for its glamour and entertainment. Magic Johnson fit in perfectly with the LA culture. The city loved Magic, and Magic loved entertaining the Laker fans. For more than a decade Magic Johnson was one of the biggest stars in Southern California. Magic Johnson led the Lakers to 5 championships.
The “Showtime” era of the Lakers, which was defined by fastbreak, and exciting play, was led by Magic. His smile and flair on the basketball court was Showtime worthy. The Lakers won, and lost, in style. This was largely because of Magic Johnson.
In 1991, Magic Johnson shocked the world when he retired from the game of basketball and the Los Angeles Lakers. His leaving the game, when he still had the ability to perform at a high level, was surprising. What was even more surprising was why he retired. Magic announced to the world in 1991 that he tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Johnson testing positive for HIV put a spotlight on HIV for the world to see. Magic brought a lot of awareness to the deadly virus.
During retirement, Magic found a new area to succeed in. He has built a business empire. The empire includes real estate, Starbucks locations, movie theaters and ownership shares of professional sports teams. Magic has made a fortune after leaving the NBA, which is rare for an athlete to do.
A Magical Legacy
Magic Johnson has been a relevant part of popular culture for nearly 50 years. He made an impact during his basketball days and has also made an impact away from the game. Magic Johnson is one of our greatest icons.
- Adam C. Better
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