On this day 59 years ago, Earvin Johnson was born. Almost two decades later, the world was introduced to Magic Johnson and the game of basketball was changed forever. However, today is not only a day to celebrate the birth of one of the greatest players to ever put on a Lakers uniform, it’s a day to celebrate the fact that Johnson is still here today.
On November 7, 1991, Johnson announced that he had tested positive for HIV and retired from basketball the same day. Johnson was filled with emotions of fear and confusion, as many were that day, but he wanted to make one thing clear to those in attendance at the Forum press conference.
“I plan going on, living for a long time,” Johnson said. “Bugging you guys like I always have, so you’ll see me around with the Lakers in the league. Hopefully David [Stern] will have me for a while.”
Nearly 27 years later, Johnson is one of the most iconic sports figures alive today, a wildly successful businessman and, of course, the president of basketball operations for the Lakers.
A few of the players took to Twitter to wish their boss a happy birthday, but before they did that, Jeanie Buss made sure she was the first person in the organization to wish old Buck a happy birthday by sending her tweet a day early:
Happy Birthday Earvin Magic Johnson May this be the best year yet!!!!! ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/Y1xhh1QWIA— Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) August 13, 2018
Fun fact: none of the pictures in the background are still with the team. The players that are still with the team sent their birthday well wishes to Magic on Tuesday:
@MagicJohnson Happy Birthday LEGEND!!!— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 14, 2018
Happy Birthday @MagicJohnson Ima get you an IPhone lol https://t.co/djmwMlm4Eu— Lonzo Ball (@ZO2_) August 14, 2018
Happy birthday to the boss man @MagicJohnson enjoy your day!— kuz (@kylekuzma) August 14, 2018
Happy Birthday to my fav Spartan!!! lol @MagicJohnson— Moe Wagner (@moritz_weasley) August 14, 2018
Johnson himself posted a few pictures from the party his wife, Cookie, threw for him.
Thank you to my amazing wife @cjbycookie, my great friends Sam & LaTanya Jackson, John & Vicki Palmer, and the Siren crew for making my birthday a magical day. God is good! pic.twitter.com/lZL6VnMXEm— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) August 14, 2018
August 14, 2018
From all of us Silver Screen and Roll, we want to wish Magic Johnson a happy birthday!
You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.