Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson
August 14, 1959 - Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. A 12-time NBA All-Star, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson is among the greatest players in NBA history. Having played with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1979 to 1991 and again in 1996, Johnson won three NBA MVP awards. As the point guard of the ‘Showtime’ Lakers, whose fast-breaking style piled up points on opponents, Johnson was a member of five NBA championship teams. His main rival and friend was Boston Celtics’ legend Larry Bird. The two met in the 1979 NCAA Championship, won by Johnson while he played for Michigan State against Bird’s Indiana State team.
In 1991, Johnson left the NBA because he learned he had tested positive for HIV. He returned to play in the 1992 NBA All-Star Game because he was elected by the fans, and won the game’s MVP award. Johnson was part of the gold medal-winning 1992 US Olympic ‘Dream Team.’ Johnson later had a short comeback in 1996 after briefly coaching the Lakers in 1994. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002. A tremendously successful businessman since his retirement from basketball, Johnson led a successful ownership bid to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012.