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There was also a lot of fear and confusion regarding how the disease could be transmitted.
Johnson's decision to go public with his medical condition helped raise awareness about the disease.
The team also included such strong players as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jamaal Wilkes and Norm Nixon.
During Magic Johnson's third season (1981-82) with the team, the Lakers made the NBA Finals again.
The Lakers, however, took down the Celtics the following year in the finals.
In November 1991, Magic Johnson retired from the Lakers after revealing that he had HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
He believed he contracted the disease through unprotected sexual activity. At the time he learned he had the disease, his wife Cookie was pregnant with their first child.
The Spartans proved victorious, and the Johnson-Bird rivalry would follow the players to their days with the NBA.
Leaving college after two years, Johnson was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979.