Glenn Anton "Doc" Rivers is an American basketball coach and former player, the head coach for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association. As an NBA point guard, Rivers was known for his defense. Rivers was a McDonald's All-American for Proviso East High School in the Chicago metropolitan area. Rivers represented the United States with the national team in the 1982 FIBA World Championship, in which he led the team to the silver medal, despite missing the last shot in the final, which could have given the title to his team. After his third season at Marquette University, Rivers was drafted in the second round of the 1983 NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks, he graduated from Marquette. He spent the next seven seasons as a starter in Atlanta, assisting star Dominique Wilkins as the team found great regular-season success, he averaged 10.0 assists per game. Rivers spent one year as a starter for the Los Angeles Clippers and two more for the New York Knicks, before finishing his career as a player for the San Antonio Spurs from 1994 to 1996.
Rivers began his coaching career with the Orlando Magic in 1999, where he coached for more than four NBA seasons. Rivers won the Coach of the Year award in 2000 after his first year with the Magic; that season, he led the team, picked to finish last in the league to a near playoff berth. During the Magic's free agency spending spree in the summer of 2000, Doc Rivers had the opportunity to assemble the first "Big Three" team in the NBA, as the Magic were courting free agent Tim Duncan, who came close to signing with the Magic and teaming up with Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady. However, Tim Duncan re-signed with the San Antonio Spurs due to Rivers' strict policy of family members not being allowed to travel in the team's plane, he made the post-season in his next three years as coach, but was fired in 2003 after a 1–10 start to the season. After spending a year working as a commentator for the NBA on ABC, he was hired by the Boston Celtics as their head coach in 2004. During his first years with the Celtics, he was criticized by many in the media for his coaching style, most vociferously by Bill Simmons, who in 2006 publicly called for Rivers to be fired in his columns.
As a result of the Celtics' 109–93 victory over the New York Knicks on January 21, 2008, Rivers, as the coach of the team with the best winning percentage in the Eastern Conference, earned the honor to coach the East for the 2008 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans. On June 17, 2008, Rivers won his first NBA Championship as a head coach after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in six games; the Celtics needed an NBA record 26 post-season games to win it. Rivers played for the team that held the previous record for most games played in a single post-season: the 1994 New York Knicks played 25 post-season games. Rivers led the Celtics to the 2010 NBA Finals where they once again faced the Los Angeles Lakers and lost the series in seven games. After deliberating between staying on the job and leaving the job and returning to spend more time with his family in Orlando, Rivers decided that he would honor the last year of his contract and return for the 2010–11 season. On May 13, 2011, after months of rumors that he would retire, ESPN reported that the Celtics and Rivers agreed upon a 5-year contract extension worth $35 million.
On February 6, 2013, Rivers notched his 400th win with the Celtics in a 99–95 victory over the Toronto Raptors. On June 25, 2013, the Los Angeles Clippers acquired Rivers from the Celtics for an unprotected 2015 NBA first round draft pick, he became the senior vice president of basketball operations on the team. In his first season as their head coach, Rivers led the Clippers to a franchise-record 57 wins, garnering the 3rd seed in the Western conference; the 2014 NBA playoffs first round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors was marred when TMZ released an audiotape containing racially insensitive remarks made by the then-Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Though there was a possibility of the Clippers boycotting the series, they would play on, holding a silent protest by leaving their shooting jerseys at center court and obscuring the Clippers logo on their warm-up shirts. Rivers himself stated that he would not return to the Clippers if Sterling remained as owner the following season.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver responded to the controversy by banning Sterling for life and compelling him to sell the team. After the team was sold to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion on August 12, 2014, Rivers remained with the Clippers. On June 16, 2014, the Clippers promoted Rivers to president of basketball operations in conjunction with his continuing head coaching duties. Although Dave Wohl was hired as general manager, Rivers had the final say in basketball matters. On August 27, 2014, he signed a new five-year contract with the Clippers. On January 16, 2015, Rivers became the first NBA coach to coach his own son, Austin Rivers until June 26, 2018, when he was traded to the Washington Wizards for Marcin Gortat. On August 4, 2017, Rivers gave up his post as president of basketball operations. However, he continued to split responsibility for basketball matters with executive vice president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank. On May 23, 2018, Rivers and the Clippers agreed to a contract extension.
Rivers is the nephew of former NBA player Jim Brewer. He lives in Orlando, with his wife Kristen, his oldest son Jeremiah played basketball at Georgetown University and Indiana University, has played in the NBA D-League for the Maine Red Claws. His daughter Callie played volleyball for the University of F
Selema "Sal" Mabena Masekela is an American television host, sports commentator and singer. Masekela was born in Los Angeles, the son of a Haitian mother and South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela. Masekela is the older half-brother of Survivor: Cook Islands contestant Nathan Gonzalez, he was raised in Staten Island, New York and Carlsbad, where he attended Carlsbad High School. Masekela is the co-founder of Berkela Motion Pictures with Jason Bergh; when he was a teenager, Masekela’s upbringing brought him to Southern California, where he was first exposed to surfing and skateboarding. His career began as an intern at Transworld Publications in 1992, home of TW Snow, TW Skateboarding and TW Surf magazines, he served as an NBA sideline reporter for ESPN during the 2003-2004 season. Masekela was co-host of The Daily 10, a countdown of the day's "top 10" entertainment stories, on the E! Network until it was cancelled on Sept 27, 2010, he was host of both the X Games and Winter X Games on ESPN for 13 years but left in 2012 to work for NBC and NBC Sports Network through a contract with Red Bull Media House.
He appears in the "Green" episode of Yo Gabba Gabba singing the song "Hello World" which aired on Nick Jr. on April 22, 2009. In 2010, he was hired by ESPN to help as a correspondent in its coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. While working as a correspondent, Masekela was featured, with his father, Hugh, in a series of videos on ESPN; the series, called "Umlando - Through my Father's Eyes", aired in 10 parts during ESPN's coverage of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The series focused on Selema's travels through South Africa. Hugh brought his son to the places, it was Selema's first trip to his father's homeland. A native of New York, Masekela travelled the world in his youth with his father, South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela. Masekela’s own band, shares the name of his first film which chronicles his relationship with his father and their connection through music, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012. Alekesam’s music has been featured on Entourage and House of Lies, with their newest single, "All Is Forgiven", featured on the season four premiere of the Showtime hit.
Masekela has hosted live events, including YouTube’s Brandcast in New York and Paris, YouTube Live on Stage from the Kennedy Center and Google’s Zeitgeist. In February 2014, Masekela made his Olympic broadcasting debut from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, reporting features for NBC’s nationally syndicated Olympic Zone, he joined the Emmy-award winning investigative series VICE on HBO as a correspondent and executive producer in 2015. That year, he appeared in the remake of the cult classic Point Break. From April 2016, Masekela appeared as the host and executive producer of VICELAND’s docu-series, VICE World of Sports; the series took viewers all over the world to explore each location’s people and culture through sports. The series premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 22. Masekela is involved in the production company UX Entertainment. Based in Los Angeles, UXE specializes in film, music videos and animation work. Masekela has Art of Craft, which donates a percentage of every sale to charity.
Masekela is involved in several social initiatives, is the co-founder of Stoked Mentoring, an organization dedicated to mentoring at risk youth through action sports. He serves on the advisory boards of The Lunchbox Fund, a non-profit organization which provides a daily meal to students of township schools in Soweto of South Africa, The Tony Hawk Foundation, an organization dedicated to financing and building high-quality, legal skateboarding parks for kids. Masekela is a strong public supporter of the Surfrider Foundation and Life Rolls On. Sal Masekela on IMDb
Leonard J. "Len" Elmore is an American sportscaster and former National Basketball Association player. Elmore has served as a college basketball analyst for ESPN and Fox Sports and has served in the same capacity for CBS Sports' coverage of the NCAA Tournament and NBA, he attended Power Memorial Academy in New York City, leading its basketball team to the City championship and the "Number 1 Team in the Nation" in 1970. He graduated from the University of Maryland College Park in 1974 where he was a three-time All-ACC player and an All-American in 1974, he is still Maryland's all-time leading rebounder, in rebounding average. In 2002, Elmore was selected to the ACC 50th Anniversary men's basketball team, honoring him as one of the 50 greatest players in ACC history. Elmore is a ten-year veteran of the NBA having played for the Indiana Pacers, Kansas City Kings, Milwaukee Bucks, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, he played two seasons with the Pacers when they were in the ABA. In 1990, Elmore served as the color commentator for CBS' number-two NBA broadcasting team, calling much of the Western Conference Playoff action alongside play-by-play man Verne Lundquist.
In 1992, Elmore alongside Lundquist, called the legendary East Regional Final between Duke and Kentucky, which ended with Duke's Christian Laettner's game winning shot. Elmore posted on his Twitter account that he was one of over 100 employees at ESPN that were laid off in April 2017. Elmore received a J. D. from Harvard Law School in 1987 and began his law career as a prosecutor, serving as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, New York. Aside from his announcing duties, Elmore previously served as Senior Counsel with LeBoeuf, Greene & MacRae in New York City, where he resides, is the president of the National Basketball Retired Players Association, he is a member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. Elmore teaches Seminar in Sports Media and Athlete Activism and Social Justice in Columbia University's Master of Science Program in Sports Management. NBA: Len Elmore player stats Basketball Reference Len Elmore on IMDb Len Elmore ESPN Bio Len Elmore Columbia University Faculty Bio
Michael "Willie" Ray Wilbon is an ESPN commentator and former sportswriter and columnist for The Washington Post. He is an analyst for ESPN and has co-hosted Pardon the Interruption on ESPN with former Post writer Tony Kornheiser since 2001. Wilbon began working for the Washington Post in 1980 after summer internships at the newspaper in 1979 and 1980, he covered college sports, Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the National Basketball Association before being promoted to full-time columnist in February 1980. His column in the Post, which dealt as much with the culture of sports as the action on the court or field, appeared up to four times a week until he left to work full-time for ESPN on December 7, 2010. In his career, Wilbon covered ten Summer and Winter Olympic Games for The Washington Post, every Super Bowl since 1987, nearly every Final Four since 1982 and each year's NBA Finals since 1987. Notably, he was the only reporter based outside of Hawaii to cover the historic basketball upset of top-ranked Virginia by then-NAIA member Chaminade in 1982.
During his time at the Post, Wilbon earned the reputation as one of "the best deadline writer in American newspapers." In 2001, Wilbon was named the top sports columnist by the Society of Professional Journalists. In recent years, Wilbon has become more known as an ESPN personality than as a reporter. On December 7, 2010, he wrote his last column for the Washington Post and dedicated full-time to work for ESPN and ABC. After contributing to ESPN's The Sports Reporters and other shows on the cable network, Wilbon began co-hosting ESPN's daily opinion forum Pardon the Interruption with Tony Kornheiser on October 22, 2001. Wilbon was a member of ABC's NBA Countdown, the pre-game show for the network's NBA telecasts. In addition to his work at The Washington Post, PTI and ESPN, Wilbon appeared weekly on WRC-TV in Washington, D. C. with WRC Sports Director George Michael, Pro Football Hall of Famers John Riggins and Sonny Jurgensen on Redskins Report during the football season. He appeared with Michael, USA Today basketball writer David Dupree and Tony Kornheiser on Full Court Press during the basketball season.
Both of these shows were canceled in December 2008 due to budget cuts. Wilbon forged a close friendship with former Marshall and former NFL quarterback Byron Leftwich while the young passer was a standout player for HD Woodson in Washington, D. C. In late 2006, Wilbon agreed to a multi-year contract extension with ESPN. After accepting the contract, Wilbon offered to resign from the Post, but the newspaper's chairman Don Graham and executive editor Len Downie both asked him to stay on; the network gained priority therein with regards to conflicts with his newspaper assignments. The first major conflict occurred on February 4, 2007, when Wilbon covered a Detroit Pistons–Cleveland Cavaliers game instead of Super Bowl XLI. Wilbon grew up on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois as the son of a route salesman and a public school teacher, he graduated from St. Ignatius College Preparatory School in 1976 and received his journalism degree in 1980 from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.
While in college, Wilbon wrote for The Daily Northwestern. Wilbon lives in Bethesda, but he has a home in Scottsdale, Arizona. Wilbon is good friends with former NBA star Charles Barkley and has edited and written the introduction for his most recent books, I May Be Wrong But I Doubt It and Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man?, both of which were New York Times best sellers. Wilbon has Travon Bellamy, who played for the University of Illinois football team. Wilbon suffered a heart attack on January 27, 2008. After complaining of chest pains, he was taken to a Scottsdale hospital where doctors performed an angioplasty. Wilbon is a type-2 diabetic. Wilbon and his wife Sheryl Wilbon had their first child, Matthew Raymond Wilbon, via surrogate on March 26, 2008. Kornheiser refers to Matthew affectionately as "Lilbon."On August 10, 2008, during a Cubs–Cardinals game at Wrigley Field, Wilbon threw out the ceremonial first pitch and sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" as part of the seventh-inning stretch.
Footage of Wilbon wearing a tucked-in Cubs jersey and bouncing the pitch is shown on Pardon The Interruption as a friendly teasing by Kornheiser. In May 2009, Wilbon competed in a made-for-TV "King of Bowling" show against pro bowling star Wes Malott. Wilbon beat Malott by a score of 256–248, but Wilbon received a 57-pin handicap and Malott had to use a plastic ball. Wilbon has served as a trustee of Northwestern University. On July 12, 2013, Wilbon and Tony Reali were guests at the White House. After lunch the trio met in the Oval Office with President Barack Obama. Jaffe, Harry. "Daddy's Game", April 1, 2009. Wilbon's recent sports columns from The Washington Post USA Today on Wilbon's expanded role with ESPN Michael Wilbon's ESPN Bio from WashingtonPost.com
Brent Woody Musburger is an American sportscaster the lead broadcaster and managing editor at Vegas Stats and Information Network and radio play-by-play voice for the Oakland Raiders. With CBS Sports from 1973 until 1990, he was one of the original members of their program The NFL Today and is credited with coining the phrase "March Madness" to describe the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament while covering the Final Four. While at CBS, Musburger covered the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, the World Series, U. S. Open tennis, The Masters. Joining ESPN and ABC Sports in 1990, Musburger continued to cover the NBA Finals, as well as hosting Monday Night Football and providing play-by-play for Saturday Night Football and the SEC Network, he covered the Indianapolis 500, U. S. Open and British Open golf, the World Cup, the Belmont Stakes, the College Football national championship among other big events. In January 2017, he left the ESPN and ABC television networks after 27 years retiring from play-by-play of live sports.
Raised in Billings, Montana, he is a member of the Montana Broadcaster's Association Hall of Fame. Musburger was born in Portland and raised in Billings, the son of Beryl Ruth and Cec Musburger, he was an umpire for minor league baseball during the 1950s. He was a boyhood friend of former Major League pitcher Dave McNally, his brother, Todd Musburger, is a prominent sports agent. Musburger's youth included some brushes with trouble: when he was 12, he and his brother stole a car belonging to their mother's cleaning lady and took it for a joy ride, his parents sent him to the Shattuck-St. Mary's School in Minnesota. Educated at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, he was kicked out for a year for owning and operating a car without a license. Musburger began his career as a sportswriter for the now-defunct Chicago American newspaper, where he worked with legendary sportswriter Warren Brown. In 1968, Musburger penned a column regarding Tommie Smith and John Carlos's protest of racial injustice in the United States with a Black Power salute on the medal stand during the 1968 Summer Olympics.
In it he stated "Smith and Carlos looked like a couple of black-skinned storm troopers" who were "ignoble," "juvenile," and "unimaginative." In a 1999 article in The New York Times, Musburger stated that comparing the two to the Nazis was "harsh", but he stood by his criticism of the pair's action: Did improve anything?... Smith and Carlos aside, I object to using the Olympic awards stand to make a political statement. According to Carlos, Musburger never apologized: We are talking about someone who compared us to Nazis. Think about that. Here we are standing up to apartheid and to a man in Avery Brundage who delivered the Olympics to Hitler’s Germany, and here’s Musburger calling us Nazis. That got around, it followed us. It hurt us, it hurt my kids. I've never been able to confront him about; every time I’ve been at a function or an event with Brent Musburger and I walk towards him, he heads the other way. In 1968, Musburger began a 22-year association with CBS, first as a sports anchor for WBBM radio and for WBBM-TV.
In the mid-1970s, Musburger moved to Los Angeles and anchored news and sports for KNXT. Beginning in late 1973, Musburger was doing play-by-play for CBS Sports, he started out doing regular season National Football League games. Musburger was paired with Tommy Bart Starr, who provided the color commentary. A year Wayne Walker would be paired with Musburger in the booth. By 1975 at CBS, Musburger went from doing NFL play-by-play to rising to prominence as the host of the network's National Football League studio show, The NFL Today. Musburger began to cover many assignments for CBS Sports. Among the other events he covered, either as studio host or play-by-play announcer, were college football and basketball, the National Basketball Association, horse racing, the U. S. Open tournament, The Masters golf tournament, he would lend his talents to weekend afternoon fare such as The World's Strongest Man contests and the like. Musburger called Major League Baseball games for CBS Radio, but it was Musburger's association with The NFL Today.
During his tenure, CBS' NFL pregame show was the #1 rated pregame show. One of the signatures of the program was Musburger's show-opening teases to the various games CBS would cover, along with live images from the various stadiums. Musburger's accompanying intro to each visual, "You are looking live at..." became one of his catch phrases. In promoting the network, his voice tailed off on the last letter of "CBS", creating another catch phrase. Musburger made headlines when he got into a fist-fight with The NFL Today's betting analyst Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder in a Manhattan bar on October 27, 1980. However, the fist-fight incident was regarded as water under the bridge as the two cheerfully appeared on The NFL Today the following week wearing boxing gloves on camera. By the late 1980s, Musburger was CBS's top sportscaster, he was the main host and play-by-play announcer for the NBA Finals, college basketball, college football, the Belmont Stakes, the College World Series. He hosted a New Year's Eve countdown for CBS.
Musburger is regarded as the first broadcaster to apply the term March Madness to the annual NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship
William Felton Russell is an American retired professional basketball player who played center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association from 1956 to 1969. A five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a twelve-time All-Star, he was the centerpiece of the Celtics dynasty that won eleven NBA championships during his thirteen-year career. Russell and Henri Richard of the National Hockey League are tied for the record of the most championships won by an athlete in a North American sports league. Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956, he captained the gold-medal winning U. S. national basketball team at the 1956 Summer Olympics. Russell is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he was 6 ft 10 with a 7 ft 4 in wingspan. His shot-blocking and man-to-man defense were major reasons for the Celtics' domination of the NBA during his career. Russell was notable for his rebounding abilities, he led the NBA in rebounds four times, had a dozen consecutive seasons of 1,000 or more rebounds, remains second all-time in both total rebounds and rebounds per game.
He is one of just two NBA players to have grabbed more than 50 rebounds in a game. Russell was never the focal point of the Celtics' offense, but he did score 14,522 career points and provided effective passing. Russell played in the wake of black pioneers Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper, Sweetwater Clifton, he was the first black player to achieve superstar status in the NBA, he served a three-season stint as player-coach for the Celtics, becoming the first black coach in North American professional sports and the first to win a championship. In 2011, Barack Obama awarded Russell the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his accomplishments on the court and in the Civil Rights Movement. Russell is one of seven players in history to win an NCAA Championship, an NBA Championship, an Olympic gold medal, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. He was selected into the NBA 25th Anniversary Team in 1971 and the NBA 35th Anniversary Team in 1980, named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, one of only four players to receive all three honors.
In 2007, he was enshrined in the FIBA Hall of Fame. In Russell's honor the NBA renamed the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player trophy in 2009: it is now the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award. Bill Russell was born in 1934 to Katie Russell in West Monroe, Louisiana. Like all Southern towns and cities of that time, West Monroe was a segregated place, the Russells struggled with racism in their daily lives. Russell's father was once refused service at a gas station until the staff had taken care of all the white customers; when his father attempted to leave and find a different station, the attendant stuck a shotgun in his face and threatened to kill him if he didn't stay and wait his turn. In another incident, Russell's mother was walking outside in a fancy dress when a white policeman accosted her, he told her to go home and remove the dress, which he described as "white woman's clothing". During World War II, large numbers of blacks were moving to the West to look for work there; when Russell was eight years old, his father moved the family out of Louisiana and settled in Oakland, California.
While there, the family fell into poverty, Russell spent his childhood living in a series of public housing projects. Charles Russell was described as a "stern, hard man" who worked as a janitor in a paper factory, a typical "Negro Job"—low paid and not intellectually challenging, as sports journalist John Taylor commented; when World War II broke out, the elder Russell became a truck driver. Russell was closer to his mother Katie than to his father, he received a major emotional blow when she died when he was 12 years old, his father gave up his trucking job and became a steelworker to be closer to his semi-orphaned children. Russell has stated that his father became his childhood hero followed up by Minneapolis Lakers superstar George Mikan, whom he met when he was in high school. Mikan, in turn, would say of Russell the college basketball player, "Let's face it, he's the best ever. He's so good, he scares you." In his early years, Russell struggled to develop his skills as a basketball player.
Although Russell was a good runner and jumper and had large hands, he did not understand the game and was cut from the team in junior high school. As a freshman at McClymonds High School in Oakland, Russell was cut again. However, coach George Powles saw Russell's raw athletic potential and encouraged him to work on his fundamentals. Since Russell's previous experiences with white authority figures were negative, he was delighted to receive warm words from his white coach, he worked hard and used the benefits of a growth spurt to become a decent basketball player, but it was not until his junior and senior years that he began to excel, winning back to back high school state championships. Russell soon became, he recalled, "To play good defense... it was told back that you had to stay flatfooted at all times to react quickly. When I started to jump to make defensive plays and to block shots, I was corrected, but I stuck with it, it paid off." Russell, in an autobiographical account, notes while on a California High School All-Stars tour, he became obsessed with studying and memorizing other players' moves as preparation for defending against them
Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. is an American retired professional basketball player and former president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. He played point guard for the Lakers for 13 seasons. After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA draft by the Lakers, he won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996, at age 36, to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time. Johnson's career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations.
He led the league in regular-season assists four times, is the NBA's all-time leader in average assists per game, at 11.2. Johnson was a member of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team, which won the Olympic gold medal in 1992. After leaving the NBA in 1992, Johnson formed the Magic Johnson All-Stars, a barnstorming team that travelled around the world playing exhibition games. Johnson was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996. Johnson became a two-time inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame—being enshrined in 2002 for his individual career, again in 2010 as a member of the "Dream Team", he was rated the greatest NBA point guard of all time by ESPN in 2007. His friendship and rivalry with Boston Celtics star Larry Bird, whom he faced in the 1979 NCAA finals and three NBA championship series, are well documented. Since his retirement, Johnson has been an advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and safe sex, as well as an entrepreneur, philanthropist and motivational speaker.
His public announcement of his HIV-positive status in 1991 helped dispel the stereotype, still held at the time, that HIV was a "gay disease" that heterosexuals need not worry about. Named by Ebony magazine as one of America's most influential black businessmen in 2009, Johnson has numerous business interests, was a part-owner of the Lakers for several years. Johnson is part of a group of investors that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 and the Los Angeles Sparks in 2014. Earvin Johnson Jr. was born in Lansing, the son of General Motors assembly worker Earvin Sr. and school janitor Christine. Johnson, who had six siblings, was influenced by his parents' strong work ethic, his mother spent many hours after work each night cleaning their home and preparing the next day's meals, while his father did janitorial work at a used car lot and collected garbage, all while never missing a day at General Motors. Johnson would help his father on the garbage route, he was teased by neighborhood children who called him "Garbage Man".
Johnson came to love basketball as a youngster. His favorite basketball player was Bill Russell, whom he admired more for his many championships than his athletic ability, he idolized players such as Earl Monroe and Marques Haynes, practiced "all day". Johnson came from an athletic family, his father played high school basketball in his home state of Mississippi, Johnson learned the finer points about the game from him. Johnson's mother from North Carolina, had played basketball as a child, she grew up watching her brothers play the game. By the time he had reached the eighth grade, Johnson had begun to think about a future in basketball, he had become a dominant junior high player. Johnson looked forward to playing at Sexton High School, a school with a successful basketball team and history that happened to be only five blocks from his home, his plans underwent a dramatic change when he learned that he would be bused to the predominately white Everett High School instead of going to Sexton, predominately black.
Johnson's sister Pearl and his brother Larry had bused to Everett the previous year and did not have a pleasant experience. There were incidents of racism, with rocks being thrown at buses carrying black students and white parents refusing to send their children to school. Larry was kicked off the basketball team after a confrontation during practice, prompting him to beg his brother not to play. Johnson did join the basketball team but became angry after several days when his new teammates ignored him during practice, not passing the ball to him, he nearly got into a fight with another player. Johnson accepted his situation and the small group of black students looked to him as their leader; when recalling the events in his autobiography, My Life, he talked about how his time at Everett had changed him: Johnson was first dubbed "Magic" as a 15-year-old sophomore playing for Everett High School, when he recorded a triple-double of 36 points, 18 rebounds, 16 assists. After the game, Fred Stabley Jr. a sports writer for the Lansing State Journal, gave him the moniker despite the belief of Johnson's mother, a Christian, that the name was sacrilegious.
In his final high school season, Johnson led Everett to a 27–1 win–loss record while averaging 28.8 points and 16.8 rebounds per game, took his team to an overtime victory in the state championship game. Johnson dedicated the championship victory to his best friend Reggie Chastine, killed in a car accident the p