Karl Malone became the only NBA “great man” to publicly show he was reluctant to play with Magic Johnson because of the risk of contracting HIV. The Lakers’ top star, scarred by a loss, finalized his retirement in 1992.
Karl Malone, one of the NBA’s greatest figures of the late ’80s and early ’90s, frequently targeted As Responsible for final withdrawal On Earvin Magic Johnson’s basketball, one of the sport’s greatest exponents.
the beginning of the story November 7, 1991 the day that marked before and after the NBA, the most important basketball league on the planet. Standing in front of a room full of journalists, Magic announced he’s HIV positive Thus, on that day, he ceased to be a Los Angeles Lakers player.
‘I’m HIV-positive’: announcement that stunned the sports world
“Hello. Due to the HIV virus I was infected with, I forced to retire of the Lakers. First of all, I would like to clarify that i don’t have AIDS … i am hiv positive My wife is fine. She tested negative, so there is no problem. going to live long ‘, showed a nervous Johnson at a crowded press conference.
Back then ~31 years ago~ HIV was still taboo . For many people, death sentence for almost everyone it is a social stigma.
Magic, 32 at the time, was not participating sports peak He enjoyed it in the late ’80s, but still had time to show his spark of quality.
Condom sales and donations to disease-related causes surged as the star’s statement warning people that HIV is not a virus that only affects homosexuals.
I didn’t wait for a reaction. US President George Bush Sr. said:Magic is a hero to me and a hero to everyone who loves sports. ”. He also included Magic on the National Commission on AIDS, the project failed due to lack of funds.
Johnson’s return to ‘beloved’ basketball: The 1992 All-Star Game
he February 9, 1992 held at the Orlando Arena, Florida return From Magic Johnson to the NBA, especially the All-Star Game.
Any Consular person who won five titles with the Lakers thousands of fan votes Despite having already announced his retirement, he participated in the All-Star. And he won the best place.
David Stern, NBA Commissioner, has decided that the Michigan native will be in the All-Star Game.Contagion was not possible. It had to be between two open wounds. ” he said at the time.
‘magic’ was the absolute protagonist He scored 25 points and went “one-on-one” with friend and friend Michael Jordan, finishing with three triples. West scored him 153-113 and the game ended there.
Then comes hugs from teammates and rivals.later elected MVP (second in his career, after 1990).a a nice day for Johnson.
‘Barcelona ’92 was the best time of my life’: Dream Team’s unforgettable smile
After the sweet taste left by the All-Star Game, Johnson dream team of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics The best team in basketball history.
Then the American team made of gold , wipe out rivals.he shared equipment Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, Pat Ewing, Charles Barkley …and Karl Malone one of the Magic’s least reluctant to return to professional basketball.
In an interview with Esquire, Johnson said:Playing in the Olympics has been the most enjoyable part of my sporting life. ”.
“The training sessions we had before to prepare were the most competitive and fun I have ever played in my life. special “, he added.
Malone’s colossal terror, arm amputation, and eventual retirement
In November 1992, during a game between the Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Ervin Johnson cut my arm While sitting on a substitute bench and receiving healing,feel the fear of other players ”.
Everyone was watching him, but no one was playing with him.and then decided to stop playing .
And here comes another basketball player “He trampled” At that time: Karl Malone Despite the enormous following Magic’s presence evoked in the NBA, the high-pitched voice was marked by the Utah Jazz’s then-star center…and in public.
Malone pointed scars and scabs on her arm Warn about hypothetical contagion.behaved Like everyone else who worries or fears who do not fully understand the risks.
“Look at this, I have scabs and cuts all over my body. I have them every night and every game. they can’t say you’re not in danger “, Said.
Whoever was Johnson’s teammate in the mythical gold medal at Barcelona pointed out:no one could fight him hand-to-hand for fear of contracting AIDS ”.
And the 2.06-meter giant has announced his retirement from the Los Lakers team and competition for good. November 2, 1992 the day after Malone voices his fear of contagion.
Malone was somewhat apprehensive when he played with Johnson on the so-called Dream Team in Catalonia, but he said no.We played together, but not like now when two rival teams face each other on the pitch. ”.
Another former NBA superstar, Larry Bird, said it was professional jealousy and envy, not fear of AIDS, that prompted the comments from Malone and other players.
Over time, Magic “forgave” Malone: ”he said what he felt. no one can blame him. Especially me. That’s all I’m saying we all need more education about the reality of AIDS”. A statement that is still valid today.
Note that after an opaque joining as coach, Magic Johnson once again wore shorts and enjoyed playing basketball in 1996, playing for his “beloved” Lakers from January to May. . He has proven himself victorious.