After winning tournaments in high school and college, Johnson was chosen first overall in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Lakers. He won a tournament and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more tournaments with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired unexpectedly in 1991 after declaring that he’d contracted HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All Star MVP Award.
Johnson’s career accomplishments include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve Allstar games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. He led the league in regular season assists four times, and is the NBA’s all time leader in typical assists per match, at 11.2. After leaving the NBA in 1992, Johnson formed the Magic Johnson All Stars, a barnstorming team that traveled across the world playing exhibition games.
Johnson was honored as among the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, and enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002 for his personal career, and again in 2010 as an associate of the “Dream Team”. He was rated the best NBA point guard ever by ESPN in 2007. His camaraderie and competition with Boston Celtics star Larry Bird, whom he confronted in the 1979 NCAA finals and three NBA championship series, are well recorded. Since his retirement, Johnson is an advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and safe sex, together with an entrepreneur, philanthropist, broadcaster and motivational speaker. Named by “Ebony Magazine” as among America’s most powerful black businessmen in 2009, Johnson has numerous business interests, and was a part owner of the Lakers for many years. Johnson also is portion of several investors that bought the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 as well as the Los Angeles Sparks in 2014.