Former National Basketball Association (NBA) president, Los Angeles Lakers point guard and basketball superstar Magic Johnson recently took to social media to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his retirement, as well as three decades of living with HIV. The 62 year old also reflected on how God had "blessed" his long life and career.
"God has really blessed me! Today marks 30 years living with HIV, so the message resonated with me in such a tremendous way," Johnson wrote in several tweets on Monday. "I thank the Lord for keeping me, giving me strength, and guiding me for 62 years but especially the last 30."
God has really blessed me! Today marks 30 years living with HIV so the message resonated with me in such a tremendous way. I thank the Lord for keeping me, giving me strength, and guiding me for 62 years but especially the last 30.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) November 7, 2021
The former athlete, who is often regarded as the best point guard of all time, added, "Through it all, I learned to trust in Jesus, and I learned to trust in God!"
Johnson retired from the NBA in 1991 after his announcement that he tested positive for HIV. He briefly returned to compete in the 1992 All-Star Game, after which he won the All-Star MVP Award. He retired once more, leaving the game for four years before returning in 1996 for a brief 32-game stint for the Lakers before retiring for good.
Johnson announced that he had HIV during a time when it was believed that the illness was a "gay disease" and when little research had been done to combat it. However, since then the former athlete advocated HIV/AIDS prevention and safe sex. He also established the Magic Johnson Foundation in 1991 to help raise awareness about HIV and AIDS, what it is and how to prevent and treat it.
"At that time, people weren't educated. So they thought you couldn't touch people, you couldn't hug people," Cookie Johnson, who initially opposed her husband's press conference announcing that he was HIV-positive, told CBS News. "And I didn't want people to treat us like we were lepers."
According to the Christian Headlines, Johnson is an outspoken Christian who is also a member of West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, California. In 2019, the ex-athlete stepped down as president of operations with the Los Angeles Lakers and focused on serving the church community along with his wife, Cookie.
While Johnson may not be in the sports arena as often as before, fans will still get a glimpse of him in a new documentary series about his life and career, which is slated to stream on Apple TV+.
According to Lakers Nation, the four-part docuseries was announced on Thursday and will chronicle Johnson's milestones on and off the court. The docuseries is directed by Rick Famuyiwa and will shed light into the athlete's early years in Lansing, Michigan and delve deeper into his championship career with the L.A. Lakers and his HIV/AIDS activism.
The docuseries is also packed with big names on its production team, with editor Dirk Westervelt ("Ford v. Ferrari") and cinematographer Rachel Morrison ("Black Panther") are also part of it.