The NBA has been mentioned in a lot of coronavirus news stories since the league suspended its season last week. Some might say that many in the United States took the virus seriously for the first time after the suspension was announced.
“I know these are very scary times, but I also know we can get through these times together,” said Johnson. “Please join me and the NBA. Lets follow all the health guidelines about washing your hands on a regular basis.”
“It is also especially important that we learn what it means to practice social distancing,” he added. “Avoid large crowds, parties and other gatherings. Stay at home with your family. Let’s look out for each other. Sending love, prayers and everyone at this time, stay healthy.”
For the most part, many appreciated Johnson’s message and thanked him for making it. Some also said they never stopped admiring him since he retired from the Lakers over two decades ago.
“Wow, you’re such an inspiration,” someone tweeted.
“A king never loses his majesty,” another person stated.
“Thanks Magic,” a third person wrote. “A leader on the court and a leader off the court.”
“Magic been through it y’all. He knows. We good,” wrote someone else, who seemed to be alluding to Johnson announcing that he was HIV-positive in 1991.
Johnson played for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1979 to 1991 before he retired after making that HIV announcement. He then returned in 1996 and played 32 games for the franchise before retiring again.
By Tuesday, March 17, it became known that seven NBA players have contracted the COVID-19 virus. Utah Jazz teammates Rudy Gobert — who became the first NBA player announced to have COVID-19 on the same day the league announced it was suspending play — and Donovan Mitchell were the first two. By Tuesday, three days after Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons was revealed as a victim, superstar forward Kevin Durant and three unnamed Brooklyn Nets teammates were also announced as having contracted the fast-spreading contagion.