Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. is a legendary American professional basketball player that participated in the NBA for more than a decade. For 13 seasons with the LA Lakers, he dominated the court in every way and gave the American people a great story to follow. From his upbringing and young love of basketball to the infamous rivalry between himself and Larry Bird, Magic Johnson has never disappointed.
Magic Johnson lived up to his nickname and would dominate the court as a power forward, point guard, and shooting guard. He succeeded in these positions while playing basketball at Everett High School, Michigan State University, and in the NBA. While playing a remarkable 906 regular season games and 190 playoff games, Johnson was almost always a leading scorer and rebounder. The now 61 year old former professional can look back on his career with great pride.
Since leaving the NBA after being diagnosed with HIV, he has become an entrepreneur and motivational speaker. With a large net worth and charitable nature, Magic Johnson has been extremely successful and active in giving back.
Earvin "Magic" Johnson was a stand out star on his high school basketball team and earned his nickname "Magic" after a stellar performance. He played basketball at Michigan State University where he led his team to a Big Ten Conference title during his freshman year and ignited a rivalry that would go on for years to come with legendary player Larry Bird.
After two years in college, Johnson was selected as the first overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1979 NBA draft. In his rookie season, Johnson made big waves averaging 18 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game. Over the next 12 years, he stayed with the team and led them to 5 NBA Championships and participated in all 12 of the NBA All-Star games. He won multiple awards for MVPs and All-NBA First and Second teams. He was even a part of the USA's "Dream Team" that secured a gold medal in the 1992 Summer Olympics.
In 1995, he returned for one more season after being diagnosed with HIV. In his 13th and final season, he was recognized for being one of the best athletes to play the game and was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame a few years later.
Throughout his NBA career, Magic Johnson received various recognitions, honors, and awards. As a part of the Los Angeles Lakers, Johnson led his team to 5 NBA Championship titles across 13 seasons. He also played in 12 out of the 13 All-Star games that took place during his career. Over the years, Johnson has been named All-Rookie First Team once, All-NBA Second Team once, All-NBA First Team nine times, Steals Leader twice, Assists Leader four times, Finals MVP three times, and Season MVP three times.
Johnson received some award or recognition every season that he played in the NBA except for his last comeback season. This includes a total of 906 regular season games and 190 playoff games. He also won a gold medal in the 1992 Summer Olympics as a member of the legendary USA "Dream Team." In 2002, Johnson got inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as an elite player.
Magic Johnson was born as Earvin Johnson Jr. on August 14, 1959 in Lansing, Michigan. He was born to Earvin Johnson Sr., an auto mechanic worker, and Christine Johnson, a school custodian. He grew up with nine sisters and brothers, and was influenced by both of his parents who loved basketball. Johnson started playing at a young age and was dedicated to early morning and late night practices that would help him achieve greatness.
Johnson went to Everett High School and was a huge success for the school's basketball team. This was when he was given the nickname "Magic" after a columnist witnessed him get 36 points, 16 assists, and 16 rebounds in just a single game. He went on to play basketball at Michigan State University where he had a stellar career.
In 1991, Johnson retired from the Lakers after he was diagnosed with HIV. His son, Earvin III, was born shortly after in 1992, and he also adopted his daughter Elisa in 1995 with his wife Cookie. He also has another son, Andre, from a previous relationship.
Throughout his 13 seasons career, Magic Johnson only played for one NBA team. He was a franchise player for the Los Angeles Lakers after being selected as the first overall pick in the 1979 NBA draft. He played on the team from 1979 to 1991, and then came back for the 1995 to 1996 season. He led his team to 5 NBA Championship titles and was a member of the All-Star team for 12 out of his 13 seasons.
Magic Johnson did not stick to just one position during his 13 year career in the NBA. The 6 ft 9 in and 215 lb right handed player could dominate the court in any position. His strong suits, and most often played positions, were power forward, point guard, and shooting guard. While playing in these positions, Johnson averaged 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 11.2 assists per game.
Magic Johnson represented the United States in the 1992 Summer Olympics on the USA's basketball "Dream Team." This team was composed of the NBA's most coveted stars and included other legendary players like Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, and Patrick Ewing. This team was built to be unstoppable, and they were just that. Magic Johnson heavily contributed to the team's winning streak, playing in 6 games and averaging 8 points a game. The team inevitably won a gold medal and were respected by everyone in the world.
In November of 1991, Magic Johnson decided to retire from the Los Angeles Lakers after being diagnosed with HIV, a virus that causes AIDS. He believed that he could no longer participate in the NBA with his condition and took some time to focus on his physical and mental health. In 1995, he decided to return for one final season for the Lakers and depart from the NBA on his own terms.