On Thursday, Nov. 7, 1991, Earvin "Magic" Johnson made people stop and watch at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. But this time it wasn't his basketball brilliance as a perennial NBA All-Star and three-time MVP that was captivating audiences worldwide. Instead, the 32-year-old groundbreaking point guard was holding a press conference to make the stunning announcement that he was HIV-positive and would be retiring from basketball immediately.
But the shock of this declaration went deeper. Having the AIDS virus in 1991 was widely seen as a death sentence, and the commonly held belief was that we would be watching a beloved sports hero die excruciatingly and swiftly in front of our eyes.
Yet Magic had a different narrative in mind. He defied the odds, not just surviving, but truly living and prospering. From his MVP performance in the 1992 NBA All-Star Game (see video), his participation on the original Olympic "Dream Team" later that year and an NBA comeback in 1996, to his astounding success as a businessman, philanthropist and ambassador in the fight against AIDS, Magic has lived up to the promise of his nickname.
In "The Announcement," Nelson George and NBA Entertainment get to the core of this incredible personal journey and explore how he continues to thrive two decades later.
"The Announcement" airs Sunday, March 11 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
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