Talking Points: Magic Johnson still going strong

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What’s the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

Here’s how you know if it’s a big story — when you remember exactly where you were when you heard the news. And for any sports fan, scratch that — for any fan of the human spirit — their whereabouts on Nov. 7, 1991 are still crystal clear.

That was when Magic Johnson shocked the nation by announcing that he had contracted the HIV virus and would be retiring from basketball. The public sentiment ranged from shock, to fear, to outright despair.

Magic’s smile was harder to suppress than the Lakers’ fast break, and for the first time they were introduced to the leader of Showtime, fans thought that grin may disappear.

But here we are 20 years later, with Johnson’s legacy as a survivor equally salient as that of a player. For more than a decade, L.A.’s stars convened to watch him play. And for more than two decades, he has continued to give us a Hollywood ending.

2

Boxing was once in the forefront of American sports. When an icon of that era passes, it causes some reflection.

Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali will be forever linked in history for their three epic heavyweight fights in the 1970s. But they are also remembered for what they did outside the ring and after their boxing days.

From WBC light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins on the passing of Frazier: “There’s no way in the world you should come to Philadelphia and not recognize who Joe Frazier is. It’s the perfect time to build the biggest statue in appreciation for all the heart and love he gave to Philadelphia. It’s just to say how we regret when it’s not there to touch and see. We didn’t realize we had a super special person amongst us that we all in a way took for granted. I said this when he was living, I say this now. That’s the only thing.”

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