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Johnson, (Earvin, Jr.) “Magic”(1959– ) basketball player; born in Lansing, Mich. After leading Michigan State University to a National Collegiate Athletic Association championship in 1979, he played 12 years as a guard for the Los Angeles Lakers (1980–91). He was named to the All-NBA (National Basketball Association) team nine times (1983–91), and was voted the league's Most Valuable Player three times (1987, 1990, 1991). He established records for most career assists and most playoff assists. He retired from the NBA in 1992 because of testing positive for the HIV virus. In the 1992 Olympics, he was a member of the "dream team" that won the basketball gold medal.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.