What people were saying

November 08, 1991

"I can't believe it. I can't talk about it. I need some time to think about it."

Michael Jordan

"It is not a very happy moment in any of our lives. I'm happy to see he has a positive outlook. When I saw him, he tried to be positive as he could. He was smiling as usual. I just told him I'd be there for him. I want to offer him friendship."

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,

former teammate

"All my love and support is with him. God will help him and let us all pray to God that there will be a cure for him and everyone else soon."

Actress Elizabeth Taylor

"It's really a tragedy. I mean, the guy has not only been such a great player, but he's been such a great ambassador for the game and everything else. My heart goes out to him. I think all you can do now is just pray that he handles everything in the best way that he can."

Kevin McHale,

Boston Celtics forward

"This just points out once again to all of us that the AIDS virus is probably going to touch every single family in the country, and probably every single one of us before the decade is over is going to know somebody who has the AIDS virus or who has died of it."

Rep. Dan Burton, R-Indiana

"I feel a lot of sympathy for him and his family. The reason the NBA is so popular today is because of Magic. He has put a lot of smiles on a lot of faces. Our hopes and prayers are with him."

Sam Bowie,

New Jersey Nets forward

"It's unreal what happened. He was a dream come true, a product of Lansing, just a beautiful person that bettered everyone that came in contact with him. We're in shock here at the house. Anybody that knew him has got to be devastated."

George Fox,

Johnson's high school coach

"Every playground in the city of Boston has a No. 32 shirt out there shooting hoops. This is going to be a shocker to young people. This will break their hearts. But it might also serve as an opportunity for people to become focused on the seriousness of bTC this problem and how it affects everybody, people from all walks of life, not just some drug addict but strong, healthy American heroes."

Ray Flynn,

mayor of Boston

"This is a wake-up call. We know the message will sink in now with America, especially young people . . . it's going to be a very positive development for the [fight against the] epidemic."

Steve Feeback, National

Task Force on AIDS Prevention

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