How Good Was Magic Johnson’s 1996 Comeback?

Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated

How Good Was Magic Johnson’s 1996 Comeback?


A physical before the 1991–92 NBA season, revealed that Magic Johnson was HIV positive. In a press conference following the sudden diagnosis, Magic revealed that he would retire immediately.

Despite his retirement, Johnson was voted a starter (back then, fans had the voting power) for the 1992 NBA All-Star Game. Even though some other NBA players (Byron Scott, A. C. Green, Karl Malone e.g.) were skeptical and said that Johnson should not play, Magic ended up on the court, even winning All-Star MVP honors in the process after recording 25 points, 9 assists, and 5 rebounds.

While Johnson played in the 1992 Olympics, he indeed did not play in the NBA for any longer… until the 1995-1996 season.

Then, exactly 26 years ago today, Magic Johnson came out of retirement, helping the Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors with his 19 points, 8 rebounds and 10 assists.

But how good was his 1996 comeback overall? Check it out.


You may also like...