Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson admitted regret of his decision to retire from the NBA due to contracting HIV midway through his career. Johnson believes that the lack of information about the illness and the players’ widespread worry of getting infected led to his early retirement. November 7th, 2011 will mark 20 years since Johnson announced that he was HIV positive.
Johnson told the Los Angeles Times during an interview at Loyola Marymount University, “If I knew what I know now, I wouldn’t have retired. But I didn’t know that then. And you’ve just got to go with what happened.”
Johnson made a return back to the NBA during the 1995-96 season, but after only 32 games, he once again left the league.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the first pick in the 1979 NBA Draft, and spent all of his 13 seasons with the Lakers. In that time, Johnson won five NBA championships and brought the league to heights it had never seen before.