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Tag Archives: magic johnson
It has been almost 20 years since Magic Johnson announced to the world that he had the HIV virus. At the time everyone thought he would be dead very soon. We did not know much about the virus and it simply scared us. I can remember some players in the NBA said they did not want to play with him for fear of contracting the virus. Well we have learned alot in the past 20 years and Magic is still here and millions of other infected people are living with the virus and not just dying from it.
Ebony Magazine is in big trouble. Last summer I wrote a blog post when I received my July/August issue. I had the audacity to wonder aloud that Ebony might be in trouble. Some of the commenters called me a hater, but the reality is Ebony is looking for a buyer. “Magic Johnson is in talks to acquire Johnson Publishing Company, the parent company of magazines Jet and Ebony, as well as Fashion Fair Cosmetics. An executive for the company confirmed to Bloomberg that there have been “discussions.” A spokesman for Johnson told Bloomberg that the chairman of the company, Linda Johnson Rice, “has never talked to Magic Johnson with respect to his interest in buying.” Most black Americans over the age of 35 remember the glory days of Ebony. It was the must read magazine in the black community. It was the magazine that acknowledged we existed when other magazines ignored us, but over the years the magazine lost its way and it has become more like People magazine than the magazine that chronicled the black experience. One can only hope that if the magazine is sold that the new owners bring the magazine back from the brink. It will never be the force that it once was but it can still be a vital voice.
Back in the day there were never two basketball players as close as Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas. They were closer than most and all of a sudden they weren’t. Johnson has written a new book When the Game Was Ours and he details why their friendship is over. He claims Thomas spread rumors that he was gay after he announced he was HIV positive in 1991. Thomas denies this allegation. Johnson also said that he was one of the players on the 1992 Olympic team that blackballed Thomas. Johnson said “I’m sad for Isiah. He has alienated so many people in his life, and he still doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand why he wasn’t chosen for that Olympic team and that’s really too bad. You should be aware when you’ve ticked off more than half of the NBA.” Thomas said “I wish he would have called me. I always believed that our friendship was good and close enough that we wouldn’t have to talk about this stuff in such a public venue.” All of the allegations might be true. Thomas has had his share of problems since his glory days with the Detroit Pistons including failed coaching jobs and sexual harassment allegations that led to his dismissal from the Knicks, but is this any way to treat friend, or a former friend? If Johnson had beef with Thomas there have surely been times when he could have shared those feelings with him in private, but then there would be no profit in doing it that way.