Magic Johnson, born Earvin Johnson Jr. on August 14, 1959, grew up playing basketball. This powerhouse of a baller was first drafted into professional basketball by the Los Angeles Lakers. Since then, he has proved to be one of the best players of all time, with numerous awards under his belt. Come along as we celebrate this mighty athlete on his birthday.
Earvin Johnson Jr.
August 14, 1959
Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. is an American former professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers, as well as the retired president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (N.B.A.). Johnson was born in Lansing, Michigan, to parents Earvin Sr. and Christine, where he grew up loving the sport of basketball. In 1977, Johnson finished his high school career with two All-State selections and was anointed to the McDonald’s All-American team.
From 1977 to 1979, Johnson attended Michigan State college, whereafter he joined the 1979 N.B.A. draft. In 1987, he was the only rookie to have won the N.B.A. Finals M.V.P. award. Before the 1991 to 1992 N.B.A. season, Johnson announced that he had tested positive for HIV and immediately retired from basketball, however, he later returned to play in the Barcelona 1992 Summer Olympics for the U.S. national team. Near the end of the 1993 to 1994 season, Johnson returned to the N.B.A. as a coach for the Lakers.
In 2017, Johnson became the president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers, but after a short stint, he resigned to return to his role as an N.B.A. ambassador in 2019. Johnson has had a very fruitful career and personal life, he has started many ventures, from a record label to a late-night talk show. He has also been married to his wife Cookie Johnson for 31 years and they share two children. The N.B.A. superstar also has another child with Melissa Mitchell. Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, let’s learn more about this powerhouse!
Johnson is drafted first overall by the Los Angeles Lakers.
He wins the N.B.A. Finals M.V.P. award as a rookie.
Johnson is chosen to compete in the Barcelona Summer Olympics for the U.S. national team.
Johnson becomes the president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Why We Love Magic Johnson
He is an activist
After announcing his HIV diagnosis, Johnson started the Magic Johnson Foundation to help combat the disease. He has also served on a few committees to bring awareness to the disease.
He is an advocate for mental health
Johnson is an avid advocate for mental health challenges. He often speaks to teen athletes about the disease and tries to break the stigma around it.
He is an inspiration to many
This day celebrates a master athlete who has inspired thousands through his hard work and dedication, Not only has he built a successful career in basketball, but he has broadened his horizons through media and activism too! We love this!
5 Surprising Facts
The N.B.A.’s Most Valuable Player
He has won three M.V.P. awards.
The origin of his nickname
Johnson was called “Magic” by a sportswriter in high school after scoring 36 points, 18 rebounds, and 16 assists.
Magic Johnson All-Stars
He started a team of former N.B.A. and college players, called the Magic Johnson All-Stars, who toured the world playing basketball games.
He played ball with Barack Obama
Johnson, along with other N.B.A. and W.N.B.A. players, played a game of basketball with former President Obama as an “exhibition for a group of military troops who had been injured in action.”
Johnson owns a T.V. network
He owns a cable television network called Aspire.
Magic Johnson FAQs
What position did Magic Johnson play?
Johnson was the point guard in his basketball career, however, he did play other positions as well, equaling up to five positions.
What is Magic Johnson famous for?
He is well-known as one of the best basketball players of all time.
Why did Magic Johnson retire?
After his HIV diagnosis, Johnson retired from professional basketball.
Magic Johnson’s birthday dates