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This Day in Black History: Feb. 9, 1992

011314-national-history-magic-johnson-lakersMagic Johnson returned to basketball.

In one of the most memorable comebacks in NBA history, Magic Johnson received a standing ovation when he stepped on the court on Feb. 9, 1992. It was the first time he played since he announced on Nov. 7, 1991, that he tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and as a result would be retiring.

It was like Magic never missed a beat. He scored a game-high 25 points and nine assists. His efforts lead the West to a 153-113 win over the East in the 42nd annual NBA All-Star Game at the Orlando Arena. Fans and basketball insiders alike were overwhelmed by his performance. When he went public with his disease,he was highly stigmatized as HIV was deemed a disease exclusive to the gay community and drug addicts.

In addition to winning five NBA championships with the Lakers and playing in 11 All-Star games, Johnson’s comeback game was one of the highlights of his career.

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