Johnson, Magic (Earvin Johnson, Jr.; 1959– ), U.S. professional basketball player. Johnson, a 6-ft 9-in (206 cm) guard, has revolutionized the role of a “big-man.” His passing, shooting, and ball-handling ability are unparalleled for a player his size. After leading Michigan State University to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball championship (1979), he went on to star for the Los Angeles Lakers (1979– ) and has helped them win 5 championships (1980, 82, 85, 87, 88). In 1991 Johnson became the all time NBA assist leader (9,921). His other achievements include 7 Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards—3 regular season (1987, 89, 90), 3 playoff (1980, 82, 87), and 1 All-Star MVP (1990). Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has won more MVP awards. Infected by the HIV-virus he had to give up playing professional basketball in 1991. In 1998 he was made a United Nations goodwill ambassador.