Why Did Magic Johnson Retire? He Shocked the World!

In the basketball history, few names carry the weight. One of those is Magic Johnson. His style of play revolutionized the game, his charisma transcended sports, and his impact on and off the court is just amazing. However, amidst his prime, Magic Johnson stunned the world by announcing his retirement from the NBA on November 7, 1991. The decision sent shockwaves through the basketball community and left fans and analysts alike searching for answers.

Why Did Magic Johnson Retire?

There was a lot of talk about why Magic Johnson stopped playing basketball all of a sudden. Some people thought he got injured. But a little while before he stopped playing, he told everyone he had HIV, a really serious virus. This was a big deal, not just for his basketball, but also because not many people talked about HIV back then.

In a big meeting with reporters, Magic cried and said that having HIV was one of the main reasons why he stopped playing basketball. He was really scared of the virus and didn’t want to pass it to other players. But Magic didn’t just think about himself. He used his fame to talk about HIV and help people understand it better. Instead of hiding, he spoke up and tried to make a change. Also read Carnival Row is Ending After Season 2 , Is There Any Hope For Beastars Season 4, and Let’s Explore Youtuber Chef Carmen Net Worth!

Why Did Magic Johnson Retire?

Did Magic’s Gave Farewell to His Beloved Fans?

After a brief return to the NBA, Magic Johnson graced the basketball court for just a single season before deciding to retire once more. Despite his limited time back in the game, the Hall-of-Famer managed to lace up his sneakers for an additional 31 matchups, even earning nine starting nods along the way.

It was a testament to his enduring prowess and undeniable skill, showcasing to the world that, even in his twilight years, he still possessed a touch of magic that set him apart. With his final departure from the league, Magic Johnson left on his own terms, affirming his status as a legend and leaving fans in awe of his enduring legacy.  Also read Who was Harry Belafonte? and Mason Powell Death.

Why Did Magic Come Out of Retirement?

In a surprising turn of events, Johnson made a sudden exit from professional basketball in 1991 following his disclosure of contracting HIV, sending shockwaves through the sports world. However, he defied expectations by making a triumphant return to the court during the 1992 All-Star Game, where he not only participated but also clinched the prestigious All-Star MVP Award, solidifying his enduring legacy and leaving an indelible mark on the game of basketball.

Why Did Magic Johnson Retire?

When Did Magic Decide to Retire For the Second Time?

Following considerable resistance from fellow players amid his attempted comeback, Johnson found himself retiring once more, this time for a prolonged period spanning four years. However, defying the odds and age-related expectations, he staged yet another return in 1996, braving the court at the age of 36 to don the Lakers’ jersey once more.

Despite his advancing years, Johnson showcased his passion and commitment, gracing the hardwood for an additional 32 games before bidding farewell to the game he loved for the third and final time, cementing his legacy as one of basketball’s most resilient and iconic figures.

How Many Times Did Magic Johnson Retire?

First Retirement (1991): Magic Johnson shook the world in November 1991 when he announced his retirement from basketball. This decision came shortly after he revealed that he had contracted HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Concerns about his health and the potential risks of playing with HIV led to his abrupt retirement.

Brief Return (1992): Despite his retirement, Magic made a brief return to basketball in February 1992 to play in the NBA All-Star Game. Notably, he performed exceptionally well during the game and was awarded the All-Star MVP. However, this return was a one-time event, and he did not continue playing in the NBA after the All-Star Game.

Second Retirement (1996): After four years away from the game, Magic Johnson surprised fans once again by returning to the NBA in January 1996, at the age of 36. He played 32 games for the Los Angeles Lakers during the remainder of the 1995-1996 season before retiring for the second time. This retirement marked the end of his official NBA career as a player.

How Early Years of Magic Went?

Earvin Johnson Jr., known as Magic Johnson, was born in Lansing, Michigan, to hardworking parents Earvin Sr. and Christine. He grew up in a big family with six siblings and three half-siblings. Magic’s parents taught him the value of hard work, with his mom working long hours cleaning and cooking, and his dad doing janitorial jobs while also working at General Motors. Magic often helped his dad collect garbage, earning him the nickname “Garbage Man” from neighborhood kids. He was raised in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Magic developed a love for basketball at a young age, admiring players like Bill Russell, Earl Monroe, and Marques Haynes. He practiced basketball tirelessly, learning from his athletic family. His dad played high school basketball, and his mom also enjoyed the game growing up in North Carolina.

By eighth grade, Magic was already thinking about his basketball future, showing off his skills on the court. He looked forward to playing at Sexton High School, which had a strong basketball team and was close to his home. But his plans changed when he was told he would be bused to Everett High School, a predominantly white school.

His siblings had a tough time there due to racism, but Magic decided to join the basketball team. Despite facing discrimination and feeling ignored by his teammates at first, Magic eventually became a leader for the small group of black students at Everett.

How Did the Journey of Magic Johson Take Place?

High School and College Career: Magic Johnson showcased his basketball talents early on. He led his high school team to a state championship in 1977. After high school, he played college basketball for Michigan State University, leading the Spartans to the NCAA Championship in 1979. Johnson was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.

NBA Career: Magic Johnson was selected first overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1979 NBA Draft. He quickly made his mark in the league, earning the nickname “Magic” for his dazzling style of play. Johnson spent his entire NBA career with the Lakers, playing as a point guard and occasionally as a forward.

He won five NBA championships with the Lakers in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988. He was a three-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) and a 12-time NBA All-Star. He also won three NBA Finals MVP awards.

How Many Awards and Honor Has Magic Earned During His Career?


  • Five-time NBA champion – 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988
  • Three-time NBA Most Valuable Player – 1987, 1989, 1990
  • Three-time NBA Finals MVP – 1980, 1982, 1987
  • Nine-time All-NBA First Team – 1983–1991
  • One-time All-NBA Second Team – 1982
  • 12-time NBA All-Star – 1980, 1982–1992
  • Two-time NBA All-Star Game MVP – 1990, 1992
  • J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award – 1992
  • Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996
  • Selected on the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021
  • No. 32 retired by the Los Angeles Lakers
  • Statue in front of Crypto.com Arena
  • NBA Lifetime Achievement Award – 2019
  • Olympic gold medal winner – 1992
  • Tournament of the Americas gold medal winner – 1992


  • NCAA national championship – 1979
  • NCAA basketball tournament Most Outstanding Player – 1979
  • No. 33 retired by Michigan State
  • Statue at Michigan State
  • High school
  • 1977 Michigan high school state champion

Hall of Fame

  • Two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee:
  • 2002 – individual
  • 2010 – member of “The Dream Team”
  • National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame (class of 2006)
  • FIBA Hall of Fame (class of 2017 as a member of “The Dream Team”)
  • U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame (class of 2009 as a member of “The Dream Team”)
  • Sports ownership
  • Five-time NBA champion – 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010—as part owner/executive of the Los Angeles Lakers
  • WNBA champion – 2016—as part owner of the Los Angeles Sparks
  • World Series champion – 2020—as part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers
  • MLS Cup champion – 2022—as part owner of Los Angeles FC

Media and entertainment

  • NAACP Image Awards – 1992 Jackie Robinson Sports Award
  • 1993 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Album
  • Marca Leyenda – 2001
  • Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – 2001

Source: Wikipedia


Magic Johnson’s career was not without challenges. He retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted HIV, a diagnosis that shocked the sports world. However, he made a brief comeback in 1992 to play in the NBA All-Star Game, where he was named MVP. Johnson retired again but returned to play for the Lakers in 1996 before retiring for the final time.

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