November 7, 1991: Remembering the Day Magic Johnson Made HIV Real

Earvin “Magic” Johnson did not invent HIV awareness. If Gaetan Dugas and Rock Hudson and the Ronald Reagan administration’s blatant failures and Ryan White and Freddie Mercury and MTV hadn’t made you HIV/AIDS-aware by November 7, 1991, when Magic announced to the world that he had contracted the virus, you either had your head in a hole or you possessed extraordinary powers of “that only happens to other people.” Ed. note: This article originally appeared on November 7, 2016. What made Magic Johnson special wasn’t that some celebrity got HIV. What made Magic Johnson special was that he was a …

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Russell Westbrook vs. Magic Johnson: Who Was Better At Age 26?

Magic Johnson is the all-time leader in assists per game, having notched 11.2 per contest over a total of 13 seasons (counting an abortive comeback attempt in 1996.) He flirted with averaging a triple-double in the 1981-82 season, averaging 18.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 9.5 assists a game that year. Indeed, the popularization of the triple-double as a stat worth reporting in the basketball news was thanks largely to the need reporters had to find a way to properly glorify Magic’s versatility. Russell Westbrook will probably not be the all-time leader in anything by the time he retires except possibly …

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