It takes a lot to transcend the sports world into the mainstream. On a local level or even within a nation one could pull it off, globally is a different animal —but Magic Johnson made it happen. Magic had a big reputation in the 1980s, but his 1991 HIV announcement stunned the world, and made him known everywhere. He then used his engaging personality and common sense knowledge to become one of the greatest businessmen anywhere. Let’s dive deep into the Magic world and find out what we can.
Earvin Johnson had no plans to be Magic. To his family, he’s called Junior, as in Earvin Johnson Jr. His neighbors called him June Bug growing up. It wasn’t until his sophomore year of high school that he became magical. Earvin turned in a mighty performance one game — a triple-double (double figures in points, rebounds, and assists). A local sportswriter dubbed him Magic, and a legend was born.
With his new nickname in tow, Johnson’s lore grew as a high school basketball star. He attended nearby Michigan State University and led the Spartans to a national title, and then became one of the greatest NBA players ever. Everyone knew Magic. Only one problem with his famous name — his mother hated it. As a devout Christian, she considered the nickname blasphemous. She still calls her baby Junior, but she probably calls him Earvin when she’s mad.