Posted Aug 11 2009 8:00AM
It's been almost 18 years since Earvin Johnson Jr. announced his retirement at a somber news conference in which he revealed he had tested positive for HIV. It's been more than 13 years, after a triumphant comeback with the Lakers, since Johnson played in his final NBA game.
All this week, as Johnson approaches his 50th birthday (it's on Friday), NBA TV will celebrate the life and career of the man known simply as "Magic," an athlete who transformed the NBA, a businessman who has made successful inroads into communities where others would not go and a man who has given hope to many infected with HIV.
Here's a brief look at what NBA TV has in store this week:
Monday -- A look at Magic's rookie season (1979-80), including replays of full games in which he made his rookie debut and his first run at an NBA title in a six-game Finals against the 76ers.
Tuesday -- Repeats of the Lakers' classic Finals clinching games, including Game 7 of the 1988 Finals against the Pistons.
Wednesday -- More Hardwood Classics, this time key games in the 1987 and '88 seasons in which the Lakers won back-to-back championships.
Thursday -- The best of one of the best rivalries in NBA history: Magic vs. Larry Bird, including the 1984 matchup in Game 7 of the Finals between the Lakers and Bird's Celtics.
Friday --The best Magic Johnson games, shown in their entirety, and the premiere of a new show Magic's 50! at 6 p.m. ET.
|NBA TV Celebrates a Magic Birthday|
|NOTE: ALL TIMES EASTERN|
|Gordon Hayward's Big Night|
Gordon Hayward scores 33 points and grabs seven rebounds to lead the Jazz to victory over the Clippers.
|Nightly Notable: Kevin Durant|
Kevin Durant scores 30 points, grabs 6 rebounds, and hands out five assists during Wednesday's game versus the Nets.
|Blake Griffin's Big Night|
Blake Griffin scores 40 points and grabs 12 rebounds during the game versus the Jazz on Wednesday evening.
|Jazz vs. Clippers|
Gordon Hayward scores 33 points and grabs seven rebounds to lead the Jazz past the Clippers, 102-91. Blake Griffin scores 40 points in the loss.
|November 25th: The Fast Break|
Take a quick tour of Wednesday's action-packed night.