It turns out that not everyone has always been so P.C. about Magic Johnson’s battle with HIV.
In his new book, Dream Team, Sports Illustrated’s Jack McCallum shares stories he collected from following the Dream Team around during the 1992 Olympics.
In 2011 McCallum visited some of the Dream Teamers, including Clyde Drexler who shared some strong feelings about Magic Johnson. After learning he was HIV-positive Magic retired before the 1991 NBA season but he still came back for the 1992 NBA All-Star Game, where he had 25 points and nine assists. He also kept his spot on the Dream Team. Here’s what Clyde is quoted as saying in McCallum’s book:
“Magic was always…” And Drexler goes into a decent Magic impression: “‘Come on, Clyde, come on, Clyde, get with me, get with me,’ and making all that noise. And, really, he couldn’t play much by that time. He couldn’t guard his shadow.”
“But you have to have to understand what was going on then. Everybody kept waiting for Magic to die. Every time he’d run up the court everybody would feel sorry for the guy, and he’d get all that benefit of the doubt. Magic came across like, ‘All this is my stuff.’ Really? Get outta here, dude. He was on the declining end of his career.”
Drexler had played exquisitely in the 1992 All-Star Game in Orlando, although the MVP award eventually went to Magic, who had been added by Commissioner Stern as a special thirteenth player to the Western Conference roster. “If we all knew Magic was going to live this long, I would’ve gotten the MVP of that game, and Magic probably wouldn’t have made the Olympic team.”
Dayuuuuum he really went in. But is he lying though?