When it comes down to the NBA All-Star Game, one has always stood out head and shoulders above the rest as the most memorable and emotional. Magic Johnson retired from the Los Angeles Lakers before the season due to contracting the HIV virus, but his name was still on the All-Star ballots sent out to all the arenas.
As such, Magic’s popularity led to him being voted in as a starter. Magic decided to come out of retirement for this one game and he made it a memorable one. On Feb. 9, 1992, Magic would score 25 points and dish out nine assists, earning MVP honors in the All-Star Game.
The game is one of the most star-studded in NBA history. It featured 11 of the 12 members of the Dream Team, along with the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon, Isiah Thomas, James Worthy, Joe Dumars, Dikembe Mutmobo, and Tim Hardaway. But this night was all about Magic.
The part that everyone remembers most fondly came at the end of the game with the West comfortably ahead. Magic would square off one-on-one with two of his greatest rivals: Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan.
Magic would successfully stop Thomas and Jordan on back-to-back possessions and would then cap it off with a step-back 3-pointer over Thomas in the game’s final possession. Magic celebrated with his trademark smile as players from both sides congratulated him in an extremely emotional moment.
For all intents and purposes this was supposed to be Magic’s final game in the NBA. Of course, that wouldn’t be the case as there was a comeback, but this moment will always go down as the greatest in the history of the All-Star Game, and one of the most emotional in sports.
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