March 23, 1994
In a surprising move, the Los Angeles Lakers fired coach Randy Pfund last night and replaced him with former superstar Magic Johnson. He will assume his duties Sunday. Johnson, 34, who led the Lakers to five NBA championships in his 12 seasons with the team, retired in November 1991 after learning he was infected with the virus that causes AIDS. After his retirement, he made a brief comeback, including playing for the 1992 U.S. Olympic team, before retiring again shortly before the 1992-93 season.
February 18, 1993
Magic Johnson says he wants to return to the National Commission on AIDS, but he has not been asked by anyone in the Clinton administration.In a telephone interview, Mr. Johnson said yesterday that he had not contacted President Clinton, because the president has "more than enough to handle right now . . . the budget and taxes, all the other things are, I'm sure, top priority, so whenever he's ready, I'm ready."Mr. Johnson quit the commission in September because of what he claimed was a lack of backing for AIDS programs by the Bush administration.
December 11, 1991
Getting the Magic Johnson interview was tough, says Connie Chung. Doing it was tougher."It was painful for me," says Ms. Chung, whose "Face to Face" special airs tonight on CBS (10 p.m., Channel 11). "Every question was intensely personal. With most interviews, personal questions come much later, if at all. I've always been uncomfortable asking them."CBS' Chung -- the only TV type to interview Exxon Valdez captain Joseph Hazelwood -- was relentless in landing the former L.A. Lakers star for his first prime-time conversation since his announcement last month that he's HIV-positive.
December 21, 1991
Magic Johnson is leaving the door open for a possible appearance in the NBA All-Star Game in mid-February.Johnson, who retired from the Lakers after testing positive for the virus that causes AIDS, said yesterday that he would like to play in the game. His name is on the All-Star ballots."If I'm elected, I'll have to see what [NBA commissioner] David Stern has to say," Johnson said. "We'll see about later. I'll take my doctor's advice. Plus, I have another person to consider now. My wife wants me to stay off that basketball floor.
October 2, 1992
Magic Johnson resigns from President Bush's National Commissionon AIDS, and Mayor Schmoke appoints Dr. Peter Beilenson to be the new commissioner of health for Baltimore. The two events are not quite as unrelated as they may seem.Mr. Johnson leaves the national commission on AIDS angry, frustrated and disillusioned by the Bush administration. In his resignation letter, he wrote the president, ''I cannot in good conscience continue to serve on a commission whose important work is so utterly ignored by your administration.
July 29, 1992
A few months ago Earvin "Magic" Johnson was worried about being dumped as a spokesman by corporate sponsors. Now the shoe is on the other foot.Yesterday on the court in Monte Carlo, Mr. Johnson showed off a new move to reporters: the slam dump. He slammed his shoe company, Converse Inc. of North Reading, Mass., in unusually harsh terms for its behind-the-times advertising, then announced he was dumping the company after 13 years."Converse as a company is stuck in the '60s and '70s. They think the Chuck Taylor [sneaker]