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Magic wishes he hadn't retired early

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08:06 AM ET 08.03 | Nearing the 20th anniversary of the announcement that he had contracted HIV, Magic Johnson sat down for a one-on-one conversation recently at Loyola Marymount University. [It] pains Johnson to this day that he cut his NBA career short, frankly because he didn't believe it was necessary. "If I knew what I know now, I wouldn't have retired," Johnson said. "But I didn't know that then. And you've just got to go with what happened." At the time, many wrongly perceived that Johnson had contracted AIDs and that he could spread the disease through simple contact. ... "I decided to retire because I didn't want to hurt the game."

Los Angeles Times

Magic Johnson, Getty Images Magic Johnson, Getty Images
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August 3, 2011  08:21 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

I loved magic. his retirement speach was bit funny though......he said he had " attained the HIV virus ".....like it was something he strove his whole life for

Lol... Priceless...

August 3, 2011  08:21 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

I loved magic. his retirement speach was bit funny though......he said he had " attained the HIV virus ".....like it was something he strove his whole life for

He did. He worked at it for years.

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August 3, 2011  08:48 AM ET

Karl Malone was happy when he retired...

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August 3, 2011  08:56 AM ET

20+ years later and he's still alive and doesn't have full blown AIDS. They need to get other patients on his magic mix of pills, but they probably can't afford it. Or did he ever really have HIV in the first place?

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August 3, 2011  09:10 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I don't care what Magic thinks now, or what we all think we know about HIV. If I'm an NBA player and I know for certain that another guy is sporting HIV, I don't want to play, sweat, and potentially collide with him risking fluid to wound contact. He was right to leave then, and he'd be right to leave now in my opinion, since staying while the HIV talk swirled around would certainly impact the league. But, on the other hand, it could also become another offensive tool since guys would guard you a lot more liberally.

Karl Malone was the only one who had the balls to say that to the media. There was so much back then that we didn't know about HIV or AIDS.

Also Magic came back a few times, played in the all-star game that year. And even when Shaq went to the Lakers, Magic said Shaq wants him back on the court. When the next great Laker comes after Kobe, Magic will say he wants back on the court.

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August 3, 2011  09:29 AM ET

Anybody that saw this guy play knows that his is truly the greatest of all time in the NBA. MJ was great and I would put him and Bird in the same category but Magic was the most well rounded player to ever grace the court.

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August 3, 2011  09:42 AM ET

So do we, Bro.

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