Magic's Second Chance

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by God Emperor Truex, May 19, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: Prologue

    God Emperor Truex Won't someone reply to this?

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    Magic Johnson had everything going for himself. A five time NBA finals champion with the Lakers, three time league MVP, and always picked to the all NBA first team, he had the world in his hands. Then, it happened.

    In a preseason physical in 1991, Johnson tested positive for HIV. The NBA community was stunned at this discovery. No one expected a straight black man to have AIDS. It was seen as a gay white man's disease. Johnson stated that he had been very sexually active over the years and believed that's what could've led to it. His wife, Cookie, who was pregnant, was tested as well but was tested negative. While he got support from some of his fellow athletes, many were scared of him. They feared that if they were around him, they would contract HIV as well. Magic was worried that he was about to be blacklisted from the league.
     
  2. Threadmarks: Chapter 1, Part 1: The Bad News

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    MAGIC JOHNSON RELEASED FROM LAKERS

    (OCTOBER 5, 1991): Star point guard Earvin "Magic" Johnson was released from the Los Angeles Lakers this morning. Team GM Jerry West called Johnson this morning and told him he was a free agent and was no longer a Laker. Johnson had just revealed that he is positive for HIV. There is reason to believe that he was let go due to his teammates not wanting to contract AIDS. Johnson has not made any comments at this time.

     
  3. Threadmarks: Chapter 1, Part 2: The Press Conference

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    A few days after being released from the Lakers, Magic Johnson held a press conference. He was asked about his diagnosis and what his future would be like. Johnson was quoted as saying,
    Johnson was also asked if he thought the league was actively blacklisting him because players didn't want to be around him.
     
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  4. Threadmarks: Chapter 2, Part 1: The Call that Changes Everything

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    Magic was getting worried. It was almost midseason and he still hadn't been picked up by a team. He thought that the league really was blacklisting him and didn't want him and his AIDS around other players. Johnson's chances of returning seemed to grow thinner day by day. He decided if he wasn't signed by the end of the month, he would call it quits. The end of the month was creeping closer and closer. Magic was beginning to plan his press conference to announce his retirement. Then, he got the call he wanted. A team wanted to sign him. A team believed in him. They knew he wasn't going to let AIDS force him into retirement. The news of Johnson's signing would make news shortly.
     
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  5. Electric Monk Does Your Believing For You

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    I’m not a sports dude at all, but Magic with known HIV on a team is a fantastic idea and an excellent lever at changing American attitudes towards AIDS.

    Very excited to see Magic demolish some fools. Have you read Grantland’s oral history of The National? Seems like it would fit in super well albeit a tiny bit late :).
     
  6. OldNavy1988 Well-Known Member

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    Does Karl Malone still speak out against Magic?
     
  7. God Emperor Truex Won't someone reply to this?

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    Probably not
     
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  8. God Emperor Truex Won't someone reply to this?

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    WRITERS NOTE: In my NASCAR timeline I butterflied Tim Richmond's AIDS. Now I'm thinking of bringing it back. Magic can inspire other athletes to battle their diagnosis the best they can and still compete.
     
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  9. SavoyTruffle I am the modren man

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    Obviously, with his wealth and social status Magic will get medication a la OTL (it's been almost 30 years since his diagnosis now, and of course he's still healthy, though he's terribly miscast as a basketball GM).

    I'm curious as to what team took a chance on him now.
     
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  10. Threadmarks: Chapter 2, Part 2: Magic's New Team

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  11. OldNavy1988 Well-Known Member

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    Magic going to the Magic? Nice!

    I wonder if this changes the draft order for the Shaq Sweepstakes.
     
  12. God Emperor Truex Won't someone reply to this?

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    Yeah. I was going to name this timeline Orlando Magic Johnson but I decided not to give anything away.
     
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  13. AltSptHst Well-Known Member

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    Is Shaq going to Charlotte with Grandmama (that would have been a compelling duo)?
     
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  14. God Emperor Truex Won't someone reply to this?

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    Not spoiling anything.
     
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  15. Threadmarks: Chapter 3, Part 1: Magic's Debut

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    Two days after the all star game, in which Magic had won the game's MVP, he made his first start against the Pacers. Johnson was a starter in the game and had an alright night. In the 27 minutes he played, which was most of the first quarter, half of the second, none of the third, and nine of the fourth, he only managed to score 8 points, 3 field goals, 9 FGA's, and 2 free throws. In the end, the Magic lost by two points, 100-98.
     
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  16. Threadmarks: Chapter 3, Part 2: Season's End

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    The 1991-92 season came to an early end as the Magic didn't make the playoffs with a 21-61 record, the worst in the league. For Magic, it had been a long season, but he was happy to finish it on a team. Even though the season ended early, Magic still had something to look forward to; for the first time ever, the International Olympic Committee allowed professionalism in the Olympics. USA Basketball put together together an all-star squad to compete in Barcelona. Magic was actually selected in the wake of his HIV announcement and surprisingly wasn't dropped.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
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  17. OldNavy1988 Well-Known Member

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    How do the Magic's draft lottery odds look?
     
  18. God Emperor Truex Won't someone reply to this?

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    They get the #1 pick.
     
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  19. SavoyTruffle I am the modren man

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    Technically, they have the best odds at the #1 pick, but if you say they win it anyway then sure. :p
     
  20. OldNavy1988 Well-Known Member

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    The clear #1 pick in '92 is a 7 foot center from LSU.
     
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