Basketball No comeback for Johnson

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The Independent Online
Basketball

Magic Johnson, who led the LA Lakers to five NBA titles in the 1980s, said yesterday he will not return to the team, preferring instead to concentrate on business.

Johnson, who retired in 1991 when he was diagnosed as HIV positive, said two months ago there was a good chance he would make a second comeback as a player. "I was really leaning toward coming back and playing," Johnson said. "As my business interests continue to increase, I've found that I cannot give 100 per cent to basketball, and if I can't give it my all, it's best I don't return."

After Johnson's 12-year career ended after his announcement that he was infected with the virus, he attempted to return for the 1992-93 season. He played in five pre-season games, and despite averaging 10.4 points and 11.8 assists, he announced his final retirement in November 1992, after suffering a cut during an exhibition game which sparked concern that he might spread the virus to other players if injured.

"I'm comfortable with my lifestyle," said Johnson, who turns 36 next month. "I can play basketball on my world touring team, enjoy spending time with my wife and children, concentrate on my business ventures and continue to pursue other business opportunities." However, Johnson is planning another tour of Europe and Asia this year with his Magic All- Stars.

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