February 9, 1992: Just three months earlier, Earvin "Magic" Johnson stunned the world with the news he had contracted the HIV virus and was retiring from the Los Angeles Lakers. Magic then stunned the sports world by announcing he would play in the 42nd NBA All-Star game in Orlando, Florida.
Despite not playing at all in the 1991-1992 season, the fans had voted Magic into his 12th All-Star game and he honored their selection by playing for the Western Conference.
Some players like Utah Jazz All-Star Karl Malone had expressed concern about the health risks of Magic playing in the game. But when Magic's name was announced in the arena he was met with a standing ovation and heartfelt greetings from players. His former rival on the court, Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons, kissed him on the forehead.
Writing doesn't do the scene and his game justice. Just watch for yourself:
In just 29 minutes on the court, Johnson had 25 points, 9 assists and helped the West destroy the East 153-113. After the game Magic was named MVP and players from both teams came onto the court to hug him. It was really a tear-jerking scene.
That wasn't the last of Magic's playing career, as he would become a member of the 1992 Dream Team that took home gold for the USA in the Barcelona Olympics. He had a short NBA comeback of 32 games in the 1995-96 season before officially retiring.
Here's to you Magic Johnson, and the day you came back to the court to dazzle us all.