March 31st, 2014
The Man Who Overcame His Death Sentence
Earvin “Magic” Johnson did not earn his nickname of “Magic” for nothing. In 13 season playing for the Los Angeles Lakers he averaged a career double-double with 19.5 points and 11.2 assists per season (The Announcement). This led his team to many championships and put Magic in talks as one of the greatest point guards of all-time. Sadly this career was cut short by a terrible disease that developed in the 1980’s called HIV. This has now made him an advocate for HIV awareness and also pushed him to form organizations to help find a cure for the HIV virus. During this time in history HIV was emerging all over America and for someone of Magic’s caliber to get it shocked the whole nation. Through Magic getting this disease and rising above it showed that it was possible to live through this terrible disease. Magic Johnson overcame the world by facing the adversity of his diagnosis, by facing the critics of how he got the disease, coming back to the sport he loved, and becoming a figure to help cure HIV.
One of the toughest times in Magic’s life was coming to grips with his diagnosis and then eventually having to announce it to the public. It all started one day when the Lakers had an exhibition game against the Utah Jazz. The team’s doctor Dr. Mellman called Johnson and told him he needed to get back to Los Angeles right that moment(Weinburg). Little did Johnson know that that his life was about to be altered forever. When he arrived
back Mellman then told Magic that he had been tested HIV positive(Weinburg). Magic then showed his first signs of mental toughness and ability to overcome when he got over his diagnosis, and began to think to the future and letting all of the public know why one of the biggest stars in the NBA would need to retire early. The next part of Magic’s life was probably the hardest and it was to let everyone know of his disease and how he would have to retire from the sport that he loved. He ended up deciding that he would do the announcement via a press conference open to reporters(Weinburg). As soon as this announcement was made there were questions swirling around the media. He was not gay how could he have HIV? When would he begin dying? How much longer did the once NBA great have to live(The Announcement). These were all questions that Magic had to face in this time and he answered them all well and began to seek treatment. This was just the beginning for things for Magic to overcome, but was probably the hardest thing he ever faced with in his life and he was able to manage it like he was once again a point guard making decisions on the basketball floor.
The next problem Johnson faced was supposed to be good news for the world to hear. All Magic wanted to do was get back on the basketball court and be cleared by doctors, but one thing stood in his way and this was his peers on the court. It all started when he...