How I’ll Always Envision Magic Johnson

Darius Soriano —  November 7, 2011

Today is a special day. It’s special because we thought we’d never make it this date, but here we are. Twenty years ago, Magic Johnson announced that he was HIV positive and would retire from the Lakers immediately. By the time today came, I think many of us thought our worst fears would have already come true. That we would have watched one of the very best players we’d ever seen whither away and go through a horrid decline in health. But it hasn’t happened. Instead, Magic is still here with us today. Still smiling, still contributing to the game.

And while his playing career was cut short, no one can take away the memories. I’ll never forget how watching him play made me feel; how much pure joy it brought me. So on a day that will be always be remembered for Magic walking away, I remember him how I always will: as the dominant player he was. Here’s to 20 more years.

Darius Soriano

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14 responses to How I’ll Always Envision Magic Johnson

  1. If only he could play defense…

  2. Here is a link to Magic’s press conference 20 years ago.

    Mark Stein also has a good article on how different the times were on reporting the event.

  3. I noticed the calendar this morning and thought to myself, “I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since that awful afternoon.” I still remember waiting for the press conference to come on TV, hoping the rumored announcement wouldn’t actually be true.

    Time flies, and thankfully Earvin is still with us looking back. God bless.

  4. Thanks for the clip Darius. I’ve watched it a few times. I remember wondering, when it happened, whether Magic would survive 10 years. After a few years you realized he would probably be OK, with what I’m sure is some bomb-proof insurance. My brother and I used to emulate the Showtime Lakers in the driveway in the ’80s and then go outside and we’d be Magic or James and do no-look passes to one another and really learn how to play unselfishly. I learned how to play from him. Love and peace Buck. Here’s wishing you another 50 years.

  5. OT:

    Lakers vs. Celtics all over again. Kobe and Blake are pushing to get a deal done (Blake is pushing for taking the owner’s current proposal) while Paul Pierce insists on blowing up the union.

    My ingenious plan to save the season:

    Setting: Owners/union final meeting, Tuesday night.

    Kobe and Michael Jordan begin the meeting by staring each other down. Kobe challenges MJ to a 1-on-1 pay-per-view game. Kobe wins, and the owners go up to 52. MJ wins, and the union accepts the current proposal. Either way, the fans win. And it’s a game we’ve all been dying to see for over a decade.

  6. Snoop – and how much would Kobe have to spot MJ?

  7. Shhhh MJ doesn’t need a handicap. Don’t you realize he’s the greatest competitor of all-time? [Lil Jon voice] Of ALL-TIME!

  8. When I was 7, I lived in the US for about a year with my family. It was 1991. A kid growing up watching the Bulls, Celtics, Bulls and Pistons grind it out. Then my dad gave me a Magic Johnson video, a VHS (remember those?) recording with his life story and basketball achievements. He became my ultimate sports idol. Even though I loved MJ and Bird, Magic stood out.

    When he gave that announcement, I cried. My dad comforted me without saying anything, ’cause he also didn’t know if Magic would be alright. Then he came back to play in the All-Star game and the Olympics… one of the best feel-good moments of my life.

    On a side note, we lived in Charllottesville, VA, so we became Redskins fans. Rypien was a beast. Now his daughter plays in some lingerie football league. MPV my ass Mark, your greatest achievement is out on the field!

  9. Kobe wouldn’t have to spot MJ anything because MJ would be getting every touch fall called in his favor.

  10. Still remember vividly being in Barcelona in 1992 to watch Magic play in the Olympics. I was 5 at the time, but I still remember seeing him, Jordan, Bird, and the rest play. That was the only time I saw him play live.

  11. The owners have played a good game, though I hate them for it. The ultimatum was perfect in that it forced all NBA players to make a difficult choice: sign the deal, or decertify. No more lingering debate. And now that the players are split, the owners will soften their stance tonight and make several small concessions to allow the union to save face. This will swing more players in favor of signing the deal, and more than likely it’ll get done. At least, that’s how I see it playing out, although a part of me still wants to see the players vote to decertify just to see how the owners respond.

  12. Wait wait wait…there are lingerie football leagues?