'Magic' Johnson retires once more

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Earvin "Magic" Johnson, whose comeback in the United States' National Basketball Association with Los Angeles Lakers after a four and a half year absence began in triumph and ended in controversy, yesterday decided to retire again, saying it was time to return to his business interests.

Johnson, who is 37 in August and would have been a free agent on 1 July, retired just before the start of the 1991-92 season after learning he had tested positive for the virus which causes Aids. He returned to the Lakers at the end of January fuelling a surge into the NBA play-offs.

His comeback ended with defeat by the defending NBA champions, Houston Rockets, in five games in the first round of the play-offs.

Johnson, whose business interests include a chain of movie theatres and a building-land development company, will continue to play in exhibition games around the world.