Welcome to our collection of quotes by Magic Johnson. We hope you enjoy pondering them and please share widely.
Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is an American former professional basketball player and former president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Often regarded as the best point guard of all time, Johnson played 13 seasons for the Lakers and was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996. After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996, at age 36, to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time.
Johnson's career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. He led the league in regular season assists four times, and is the NBA's all-time leader in average assists per game, at 11.2. Johnson was a member of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team ("The Dream Team"), which won the Olympic gold medal in 1992. After leaving the NBA in 1992, Johnson formed the Magic Johnson All-Stars, a barnstorming team that traveled around the world playing exhibition games.
Johnson became a two-time inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame—being enshrined in 2002 for his individual career, and again in 2010 as a member of the "Dream Team". His friendship and rivalry with Boston Celtics star Larry Bird, whom he faced in the 1979 NCAA finals and three NBA championship series, are well documented.
Since his retirement, Johnson has been an advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and safe sex, as well as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, broadcaster and motivational speaker. His public announcement of his HIV-positive status in 1991 helped dispel the stereotype, still widely held at the time, that HIV was a "gay disease" that heterosexuals need not worry about; his bravery in making this announcement was widely commended. Named by Ebony magazine as one of America's most influential black businessmen in 2009, Johnson has numerous business interests, and was a part-owner of the Lakers for several years. Johnson also is part of a group of investors that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 and the Los Angeles Sparks in 2014. During Johnson's ownership of both teams, the Sparks won the 2016 WNBA championship, and the Dodgers won the 2020 World Series championship. Combining his playing career and sports ownership career, Johnson has 10 NBA championships (five each as a player and later part-owner of the Lakers) to his credit.
All kids need is a little help, a little hope, and someone who believes in them.
I have a fond place in my heart for Seattle.
Ask not what your teammates can do for you, but what you can do for your teammates.
For a long time, I'd work until 10 or 11. When I work, I'm on. I'm 'Magic.' I love it, but it takes a lot out of me.
I think that there are always goals for me to try to achieve, and I'm going to work toward those goals.
A woman always remembers. Remember that.
I am and will always be a Laker for life.
I try to hire people I don't have to motivate. But I do motivate the people working with and for me.
I respect women to the utmost.
When you are honest and open with young people, they let you in.
I get up 5:30-6 every morning. I'm in the gym. I run a couple miles.
I'm far from being a homosexual.
When a woman is frustrated, and it's your wife, you as the husband get that frustration.
Athletes don't like to get up early, but it never bothered me.
Everyone should have the opportunity to get affordable, quality health coverage.
For me, it always goes back to something I learned in basketball. There's winning and there's losing, and in life you have to know they both will happen. But what's never been acceptable to me is quitting.
HIV changed my life, but it doesn't keep me from living.
Larry, you only told me one lie. You said there will be another Larry Bird. Larry, there will never, ever be another Larry Bird.
I really want people to know that I've worked hard, very hard, to get to where I am today.. this didn't just happen overnight. I started in business over 25 years ago and have found a way to build on what I've learned through every partnership and opportunity.
When I'm under the gun and I've got pressure on me, I don't panic. I look for the right solution, and then I go for it.
My family is a praying family, a Christian family.
Assists is what Earvin is all about. That's what my whole life has been, assisting others.
We cut him off and there was nowhere for him to go but out of bounds ... It's still the greatest move I've ever seen in basketball, the all-time greatest.
I've always studied business. Even when I was a ball player, I'd read business journals and the business sections of newspapers.
We are a company that lives and breathes a philosophy that's centered on not only making sound business decisions but also personally and professionally finding ways to contribute to the well being of society. We are also a company that understands community.
Don't give up! Be friends with people who help you work hard.
Most people who are healthy, and I'm healthy, can't even live my life. Trust me. I get up 530-6 every morning. I'm in the gym. I run a couple miles. I lift weights, and then I'm at work until 8-9 o'clock at night.
On the best tactic when playing alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar- Just give him the ball.
On his telepathic understanding with James Worthy- It's almost like we have ESPN.
I only know how to play two ways: reckless and abandon.
Talent is never enough. With few exceptions the best players are the hardest workers.
Once Michael gets up there he says, 'Well, maybe I'll just hang up here in the air for a while, just sit back.' Then all of a sudden, he says, 'Well, maybe I'll 360. No I changed my mind. I'll go up on the other side.' He's just incredible.
Being able to touch so many people through my businesses and make money while doing it, is a huge blessing.
I love business. I love helping urban communities grow. I love putting people to work of color. I love making sure -- like right now the whole mortgage crisis, I want to help people get back into their homes.
I never think that there's something I can't do, whether it's beating my opponent one on one or practicing another hour because something about my game is just not right.
Even when I went to the playground, I never picked the best players. I picked guys with less talent, but who were willing to work hard and had the desire to be great.
They said playing basketball would kill me. Well, not playing basketball was killing me.
Standing on that platform, I said a silent prayer. I thanked God for giving me the strength and the opportunity to come back, to play basketball again, and to be part of that whole magnificent Olympic experience. It's a memory I will always cherish.
You don't have to be Magic to be special. You're already special, you're you.
I was able to see what I wanted to do, I could see the opportunity, even when others could not, and I stay committed to doing it and doing it well, no matter what.
In life, winning and losing will both happen. What is never acceptable is quitting.
I want to be here for a long time, so I am going to do everything I have to do to be here.
I think you just have to keep knocking down doors, you have to keep being aggressive, and even if somebody says 'No', then you have to knock on the next door.
You're the only one who can make the difference. Whatever your dream is, go for it.
Everybody on a championship team doesn't get publicity, but everyone can say he's a champion.
A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom. Just like right now with the whole mortgage crisis, I want to help people get back into their homes.
I'm from there. You know, when you grow up with these people and see them every day and then you look at the numbers... it was easy; it was a no-brainer. And when Sony took a look, it was a no-brainer to them, too.
The looks, the stares, the giggles ... I wanted to show everybody that I could do better and also that I could read.
It's almost like we have ESPN.
The worst moment from all of this was driving from that doctor's office, to tell my wife that I was HIV positive.
I grew up a Detroit Tigers fan, and now to be an owner of the Dodgers is amazing.
I love coming to work. I never have a bad day.
Even as a fierce competitor I try to smile.
If you want someone to be your mentor, you better be ready to listen and be humbled.
The real story is that I had unprotected sex. That's that. That's easy.
The audience likes their emotions to be touched. They want to laugh and cry and feel good.
I'm from there. You know, when you grow up with these people and see them every day and then you look at the numbers it was easy; it was a no-brainer. And when Sony took a look, it was a no-brainer to them, too.
Research your idea. See if there's a demand. A lot of people have great ideas, but they don't know if there's a need for it. You also have to research your competition.
I got blessed from my mom. She's the personality; she's the one who smiled, so I took on part of her, and who also wanted to help and save the world. Then I took on part of my dad, who is tough.
I like to take walks in the park by myself, where no one can bother me and I can think.
The best doctors and medicine in the world can't save you if you don't do what you're supposed to do.
I'm glad that Gov. Scott down in Florida accepted ObamaCare, because it will work.
As an athlete, I understood the value of my health insurance. I knew that in my profession, injuries were common and could happen at any time.
I'm building shopping centers and movie theaters in the inner cities. So that means supplying jobs and letting blacks understand that we have to build our communities back, not looking to anybody else.
A lot of black guys always ask me, 'Did Larry Bird really play that good?' I said, 'Larry Bird is so good it's frightening.'
I'm the one who started redevelopment in South Los Angeles, not Jan Perry. I did it. I love Jan. She's a good person, and she did a wonderful job with what she did downtown, but in L.A., South L.A., I'm the one.
I'm a businessman, and what I know is numbers and business.
Urban America is like a foreign country in a sense.
I'm gonna love my son until the end.
I guess when people ask what is the biggest transition to the NBA from college, it is definitely defense and the mental part.
Magic is crazy. He is that crazy wild guy on the basketball court that is very intense and very serious. He is the guy who lives and eats and breathes basketball.
Young people want you to be real with them.
The first year was hard for me to deal with. The second year was a little bit easier, but still difficult. It took me five years to get it out of me. It was a difficult moment, a difficult time.
My diet is mostly chicken and fish. I make sure I get a lot of vegetables, a lot of fruit. I am a big fruit man, I am a vegetable man anyway. And I also get a lot of rest. That's the key I may be up early, but I'm in bed early too.
I've always been a leader my whole life. I've always led. I didn't know how to do anything else.
Magic is who I am on the basketball court. Earvin is who I am.
My dad worked two jobs his whole life, and so I told him he's the reason I have 20 jobs.
When you think about the NASCAR brand, it resonates everywhere. They have the No. 1 sports brand.
ObamaCare is working. I talk to a lot of CEOs of hospitals. It is working.
It's a burden trying to keep a secret. It's hard. It probably takes more out of you trying to hold it and keep it than it does for you to really let it out.
Everyone thought I was going to die like a year later, they didn't know. So I helped educate sports, and then the world, that a man living with HIV can play basketball. He's not going to give it to anybody by playing basketball.
If you're a competitive person, that stays with you. You don't stop. You always look over your shoulder.
I tell you, it's funny because the only time I think about HIV is when I have to take my medicine twice a day.
People see me high-fivin' and smiling on the court, and they don't think that's me. But it is. I just want to go out and be myself.
I often tell people when you make a mistake, you not only hurt yourself, but you hurt the ones that love you.
I look three to five years ahead, not 10 years behind.
I don't care who is attacking my son. I still support him; I still love him.
I want to be here for a long time, so I am going to do everything I have to do to be here. And I want to walk my daughter down the aisle and give her away to somebody some day. I want to make sure I am still here to make sure my two young sons become men.
I love to be in the ballpark. I love to just go in and enjoy a great baseball game, a great pitchers' duel.
Life doesn't stop because something happens to you.
Sometimes friends move apart from each other for whatever reason.
I thank Him every chance I get -- on my knees praying.
My father is my idol, so I always did everything like him. He used to work two jobs and still come home happy every night.
I like things going on in my life. I don't want to be on a beach somewhere just relaxing.
Every kid, every minority kid can be so successful if they focus on their education.