The devastating news proved more painful than any injury. Yet, Magic Johnson vowed he’d survive. Delivering the news could have put strain on his marriage, but, in his eyes, it strengthened it.
The stigma could’ve hurt his legacy as a five-time NBA champion and, in the eyes of many, the greatest Laker of all time. But it actually enhanced it. In a one-on-one conversation with Johnson at Loyola Marymount University, Times columnist Bill Plaschke appropriately remarked that nearly three months from now would mark the 20th anniversary of Johnson’s stunning announcement that he had contracted HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The fact that Johnson was sitting there for a full hour reliving his Laker memories in full spirits and, most importantly, in good health, remains an accomplishment in itself.
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