Magic Johnson Trivia
Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 13 seasons. After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996, at age 36, to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time.
BREAKING NEWS: Potential bidders for Clippers include the likes of David Geffen, Magic Johnson, Larry Ellison and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
On Nov. 7, 1991, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Earvin “Magic” Johnson shocked the world when he announced that he had contracted HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. After the press conference, the perception was that Johnson had just pronounced his own death sentence.
Yet, 20 years later, the now-52-year-old Johnson is going as strong as ever in his roles as a sports analyst, businessman and HIV activist. In 1991, when most of what people knew about HIV/AIDS was that it lead to death at a young age, this outcome might have seemed impossible.
According to reports, he takes the same kinds of drugs that are available to other HIV patients in the developed world, and increasingly in impoverished nations in Africa and Asia, where the disease still runs rampant. Many people have lived with HIV even longer than Magic Johnson.
“There is nothing unique about Magic,” said Spencer Lieb, senior epidemiologist and HIV/AIDS research coordinator for the Florida Consortium for HIV/AIDS Research. “There are still people alive and kicking and doing very well 20 and 30 years after infection.” [Does Circumcision Prevent HIV?]
Magic Johnson’s career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. He led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA’s all-time leader in average assists per game, at 11.2. Johnson was a member of the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team (“The Dream Team”), which won the Olympic gold medal in 1992. After leaving the NBA in 1992, Johnson formed the Magic Johnson All-Stars, a barnstorming team that traveled around the world playing exhibition games.
Magic Johnson was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, and enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002 for his individual career, and again in 2010 as a member of the “Dream Team”. He was rated the greatest NBA point guard of all time by ESPN in 2007. His friendship and rivalry with Boston Celtics star Larry Bird, whom he faced in the 1979 NCAA finals and three NBA championship series, are well documented. Since his retirement, Johnson has been an advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and safe sex, as well as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, broadcaster and motivational speaker. Named by Ebony Magazine as one of America’s most influential black businessmen in 2009, Johnson has numerous business interests, and was a part-owner of the Lakers for several years. Johnson also is part of a group of investors that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 and the Los Angeles Sparks in 2014.
- Professional basketball player
- On 7 November 1991 he shocked the nation by announcing he was HIV-positive and that after twelve years with the Lakers he would retire immediately from the game of basketball.
- Founded a chain of movie theatres, Magic Johnson Theatres, located in inner-city neighborhoods.
- Still plays basketball regularly.
- Has retired from basketball on three different occasions. The last time following the 1995-1996 season, which was the season before the L.A. Lakers got Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.
- Played for Michigan State University (Lansing, MI), 1977-1979. NCAA Division I Tournament Most Outstanding Player (1979). The Sporting News All-America First Team (1979). All-America twice (1978-1979). All-Big Ten twice (1978-1979). Inducted into Michigan State University Athletics Hall of Fame (1992).
- Played for the Los Angeles Lakers (1979-1980 through 1990-1991, 1995-1996). Los Angeles Lakers franchise all-time assists leader with 10,141 and all-time steals leader with 1,724.
- Named NBA MVP three times (1987, 1989, 1990). IBM Award for all-around contributions to team’s success (1994). All-NBA First Team nine times (1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991) and Second Team once (1982). NBA All-Rookie Team (1982). J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (1992).
- Selected first overall in 1979 NBA Draft. Led NBA with 3.43 steals per game (1981) and 2.67 steals per game (1982). Holds career record for highest assists per game average with 11.2.
- Shares career record for most consecutive seasons leading league in steals with 2. NBA Finals MVP three times (1980, 1982, 1987). Holds career playoff record for most assists (2,346). Holds NBA Finals single-series record for highest assist per game average with 14.0 in 1985; and highest assists per game average by a rookie with 8.7 in 1980.
- Holds NBA Finals single-game records for most points by a rookie with 42 on May 6, 1980 vs. Philadelphia; and most assists in one half with 14 on June 19, 1988 vs. Detroit. Shares NBA Finals single-game record for most assists in one quarter with 8 (he did in four times).
- Holds single-series playoff record for highest assists per game average with 17.0 in 1985. Shares single-game playoff records for most free throws made in one half with 19 on May 8, 1991 vs. Golden State; most assists with 24 on May 15, 1984 vs. Phoenix; and most assists in one half with 15 on May 3, 1985 vs. Portland.
- NBA All-Star twelve times (1980, 1982-1992). NBA All-Star MVP twice (1990, 1992). NBA All-Star-Holds career record for most assists with 127; holds career record for most three-point field goals made with 10; and hold single game record for most assists with 22 (1984, OT).
- Broadcaster, NBC Sports (1992 through 1994). Vice President, Los Angeles Lakers (1994-1995 to present).
- Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history (1996).
- Head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers (1993-1994) (5-13).
- Member of U.S. Olympic gold medal team (1992).
- Johnson carried his friendly rivalry with Larry Bird from college to the pros.
- Enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
- Nicknamed “Magic” by sportswriter Fred Stabley, Jr. during his career at Everett High School (Lansing, Michigan)
- Children: Earvin III (b. 4 June 1992), daughter Elisa, adopted in January 1995, by wife Cookie. He also has a son, Andre.
- Attended Everett High School in Lansing, MI.
- As of 2007, his net worth has been estimated at $900 million.
- Won the national championship with the Michigan State Spartans in 1979.
- Earvin “Magic” Johnson is the only NBA rookie to date to receive the Finals MVP Award. He was 20 years old and the year was 1980.
- Became co-owner, with Peter Guber, Mark Walter and Stan Kasten, of MLB’s L.A. Dodgers with a bid of $2.15 billion [May 3, 2012].
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