Why did Magic Johnson step away from the NBA? Exploring unbelievable reason behind Buck’s retirement

Balancing a top career and dealing with a virus was initially Magic Johnson’s plan. However, after receiving advice from friends and colleagues, he had a change of heart that shocked the entire NBA community.

The Lakers, who had been fortunate to have Magic Johnson in their franchise, were both surprised and heartbroken by Johnson’s retirement. Fans, too, found it hard to believe the news, with many seeking more details about his decision after the announcement.

Why Magic Johnson step away from the NBA?

The Los Angeles Lakers franchise has never been the same since Magic Johnson announced his official retirement, even though they’ve had some remarkable moments to share as a team. He made this decision after publicly revealing his HIV diagnosis, choosing to step away from the NBA to battle the virus in his body.

Magic Johnson

The Lakers found themselves in an unexpected situation as their star player retired at the peak of his career, sending shockwaves through the NBA. Johnson faced difficulties adapting to a life outside of basketball, leading to a profound shift in his perspective. Despite being unable to play, he deeply missed the game for several years before a turning point would come.

Having led his team to five championships, Johnson had given the Lakers his all, alongside legends like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy during the ‘Showtime’ era. The Hall-of-Famer went on to appear in 31 more games that season, including nine starts. After that, he decided to retire once again, concluding his NBA career on his own terms and proving that he still had some magic left in him.

Michael Jordan once advised Magic Johnson to think about permanent retirement

Following Magic’s retirement announcement, he initially attempted a comeback but faced difficulties due to the stigma surrounding HIV. However, by 1996, the fear, ignorance, and stigma associated with HIV and its victims had started to decrease. Subsequently, he made a highly anticipated comeback to the league and faced off against Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, with the Bulls emerging victorious that night.

Magic Johnson

In a YouTube video by ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’, Magic Johnson revealed what MJ told him after that match. Magic said, “Michael, after that game, he pulled me aside and said, ‘Earvin, you have to remember now, you’re not with Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar], you’re not with James Worthy. All the guys you used to play with, Showtime, are not on that Laker team anymore. So remember, maybe you should think about retiring.”

Upon Johnson’s return that season, the Lakers performed greatly, but they were no longer the dominant and feared team they had been in the mid-1980s when they were arguably the greatest team in NBA history.


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