Everyone in America remembers where they were on November 7, 1991. On that day, Magic Johnson announced to the world that he had contracted the HIV virus and would have to immediately retire from the NBA, ending one of the most illustrious careers in the history of the league.
Despite announcing his retirement, Johnson’s name was already on the All-Star ballots that had been sent out to all NBA arenas, leading to Johnson being voted as a starter for the Western Conference despite never stepping on the court.
Many people were against Johnson playing, most notably Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone and even Johnson’s former Laker teammates Byron Scott and A.C. Green, as they were unsure whether or not they could contract the HIV virus if Johnson were to suffer an open wound while playing.
Eventually, it was decided that Johnson would start, and he would deliver one of the greatest and definitely the most memorable and emotional performances ever in an NBA All-Star Game.
Magic would pace the Western Conference with 29 points, nine assists, and five rebounds as the West would defeat the East 153-113. Most notable were the final minutes of the game as Magic would face off against the likes of Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan, stopping them both before hitting a final 3-pointer with 14 seconds left.
That final shot would send chills down the spine of even the biggest Laker hater as you could feel the emotion coming from Magic. The final 14 seconds weren’t even played as players from both teams ran on the court to congratulate Magic because he was so loved and respected. The All-Star Game may not be that entertaining these days, but in 1992, there was nothing else you wanted to watch more thanks to Magic.
On this Throwback Thursday we remember Magic Johnson and his epic 1992 NBA All-Star Game performance.
And for those who need a refresher, or are too young to remember, check out the video below:
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