It’s been nearly 30 years since Los Angeles Lakers basketball superstar Earvin “Magic” Johnson revealed to the world that he had contracted HIV and put AIDS at the forefront of heterosexual discussions. Johnson’s life story and battle with the disease, as well as his life afterward, will be chronicled in an upcoming four-part docuseries exploring the life of the NBA superstar and Hall of Famer.
The project will be released through streaming service Apple TV+, which recently won the bidding war for the project. It will be directed by Rick Famuyiwa and is said to include input from Johnson himself and members of his inner circle. The series will follow Magic’s early life growing up in Lansing, Michigan, to being drafted by the Lakers and winning five NBA titles.
The doc will shed further light on his HIV status as well as him becoming a spokesperson for safe sex and taking precautions to try and prevent the disease. His successful foray into entrepreneurial and business ventures that includes ownership of movie cinemas and coffee houses will be explored as well.
Magic made his announcement and went public with his HIV status on Nov. 7, 1991. The 62-year-old Johnson spoke with Entertainment Tonight about the project and what was to be expected.
“You get the basketball part of it, but then also how I reinvented myself and how I went into business and what I’m doing today, so it will all come into this documentary. I’m looking forward to it,” he told ET.
With the anniversary of his announcement approaching, Johnson, who remains HIV-undetectable to this day, spoke with Gayle King on “CBS Mornings” about the hardest part of his ordeal, which was telling his then-pregnant wife Cookie that he was HIV positive.
“It was hard because I loved her so much and I hated to hurt her. I’ve played against some of the best basketball players in the world, right? I’ve been in championships. I’ve been in nine [NBA] Finals, so I know pressure. But there was no greater pressure than driving home to tell her,” Johnson explained.
Cookie and baby E.J.’s test eventually came back fine with both having negative test results.
Take a look at Magic discussing his triumphant ordeal below.