November 7 is a historic date for the NBA as 25 years ago, one of its best players ever, Magic Johnson, announced his retirement after testing positive for the HIV virus.
Johnson stood bravely in front of reporters, with then-commissioner David Stern, during a press conference held at that time. He answered questions asked to him and shocked the world with his announcement.
He may be the first player in league history who openly admitted having infected by the virus, but according to the former commissioner, the 6-foot-9 Los Angeles Lakers legend was not the only player he knew who had contact with HIV. He also mentioned that he thinks it doesn't need to go public, per Bill Oram of The Orange County Register.
“Stern said he knew of one other NBA player to contract HIV during his tenure as commissioner, but that the diagnosis came after the player’s career ended, was not made public, and that the player has since died.”
“If another player tested positive for HIV, the public might not even know about it.”
“There’s not necessarily a reason to announce, and if you asked me do I think that amongst all of the professional athletes in the country or the world, whether there are other HIV positive athletes, I think there probably are.”
A lot has changed in the NBA today especially with tests done to its players to check their health regularly. There have also been new provisions in the Collective Bargaining Agreement to look after the players' safety first.
Johnson has been very instrumental in raising awareness about the virus he has lived with for more than 25 years now and has inspired the league, together with team owners and the NBPA, to continue finding ways in taking better care of its players.