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Stunning revelation: Magic Johnson had sex

Feb 14, 2010, 2:47 PM EDT

The best NBA novelist on the planet — Roland Lazenby — has a new book coming out in a few weeks on the life of Jerry West. Of course, the first parts of the book to get leaked publicly are the most salacious.

That brings us to Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (as picked up by Sports by Brooks), talking about the Magic Johnson-era Lakers

“The team’s locker room, and its sauna, had been a place where the star and other players had entertained women, even right after games. Johnson would retire to the sauna after a game, have sex, then put on a robe and return to the locker room for his postgame media interviews.”

So it was Showtime off the court too? Big shock. This is Magic, a guy who admitted to having more than 300 sexual partners a year for a stretch and who contracted HIV because of it. Everyone has moved on from this. Aside being titillating, this tells us nothing new.

I have and am reading an advanced copy of Lazenby’s “Jerry West: The Life and Legend of a Basketball Icon.” Interviews and a review will come. But this book is the opposite of titillation — it is the story of a hardscrabble boy who has a career that many would dream of (Gold medal, NBA title, 50 greatest players of all time) but that was driven by his failures. West lost an NCAA title game and the seemingly countless times to the Celtics in the NBA Finals. Those haunt West to this day, the successes were fleeting to him.

It’s a great read, but if you are picking it up as a Kitty Kelly tell-all, you are going to be very disappointed.

  1. Birdie17 - Feb 14, 2010 at 6:43 PM

    There’s one thing I don’t understand regarding Earvin (I won’t call him Magic)Johnson and his philandering ways. He cheated on his wife, contracted the HIV virus and eventually cut his career short. Tiger Woods cheated on his wife and was crucified in the public eye and in the media, yet, in retrospect, Earvin pretty much got a free pass as far as criticism by the media. Many people still regard Earvin as a hero, which seems to be a huge joke.

    • mella21 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:47 AM

      you bring up a good point, which I never understood in the entire “crucify Tiger” situation: What did he do that was SO different than most entertainers, athletes, politicans, CEO’s and millionaires?

      I don’t think it’s news that most powerful men cheat on their wives< Tiger for some reason seemed to have horrible taste, but aside from that, don't most of them do this?

      I just don't understand why you stop at Magic and Tiger though. Name me 3 revered athletes from the past whose reputation would stand up in today's media…? I honestly don't think many would & I wouldn't even mention politicians. The only 2 athletes I can think of off the top of my head who have been universally lauded by media (im talking rock star) and still managed to maintain some semblance of an unbesmirched name in this 24 hour newscycle is Derek Jeter and Tom Brady…and a big part of that is, IMO, they never got married in the height of their fame.

    • rastaman44 - Oct 19, 2011 at 2:38 PM

      Magic never cheated on his wife. She was his long time girlfriend while he was philandering. I do agree that Tiger got a bum rap from the hypocrisy parade re his cheating. But Tiger seems to be doing alright.

    • trollaikman8 - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:46 PM

      One difference is that unlike Kobe, James Worthy, Michael Jordan, Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, etc… Magic got in front of the camera and repeatedly faced the lights/microphones and cameras.
      He blamed nobody but himself, he spoke with candor and explicitly said that he messed up and now he’s a victim of a disease that does not discriminate.

      If any of the aforementioned celebrities had the balls (and skill) to get in front of the mass public and man up, then they might be held in a better light.

      Lance Armstrong left his wife & kids the minute he was “cured” of cancer. He went on a celebrity-F’ing tour.
      Kobe Bryant is an idiot who married young, raped young, and now will be splitting half.
      Jordan was notorious for banging girls and gambling millions, but he’s untouchable for some reason.
      Tiger Woods is a corporate robot who lacks any ounce of authenticity.

      Magic was a likable person before the HIV, and raised his game afterwards.
      My .02.

    • cinnalocks - Feb 5, 2012 at 10:03 AM

      The joke is how jaded and uninformed you are. I you would take the time to research for an answer prior to speaking negatively of him you may have gotten the answer.If you lived in L.A. or talked to anyone who did or does you would understand.
      Magic has put so much of his money back into the area on countless projects. He has shown his love for the city and the people, brought us multiple N.B.A. Championships, remains married to his wife, is involved in his church and provides money to the church for community programs and assisted the less fortunate. He has brought Starbucks and Magic Johnson Theaters and Shopping Centers to communities that have been previously overlooked.
      He is a human being,who was young, popular and rich, in a free love era. He made some errors and contracted a disease. So What? His wife, Cookie, has been with him since his days at Michigan State, they did not divorce. A lot of us did things when we were young that we regret or would like to do over. One thing about the U.S.A. people will always in time let you have another chance. Magic has made the most of his, now he is taking some of that money to buy the Dodgers Troubled Franchise, a hallmark of Los Angeles……people in L.A. love him.

    • rflashj - Mar 14, 2012 at 9:33 PM

      Tiger is a jerk while Magic is pretty much nice to everyone. Tiger could learn a lot from Magic.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Mar 15, 2012 at 4:14 PM

        Magic didn’t marry Cookie until a few weeks prior to his diagnosis. When has he cheated on her?

      • mightyquinn69 - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        Mr. Wright212: You are absolutely correct in that Majic was not married to Cookie during his days of multiple partners. As far as we know, he has never cheated on his wife.

  2. believer - Feb 14, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    yup
    what else is new?
    since when have any media been fair..never!!!
    only the sensation matters and of course gving the mob a chance to kick someone in the balls when he is down

  3. MJM - Feb 14, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    Couldn’t agree with you more Birdie17. Regardless of what Tiger did, the media was looking for something and once they found it they went loose. An Johnson got nothing but tears and well wishes. Give me a break!!

    • mightyquinn69 - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      Two major differesnces here. Magic was not married, and Tiger was married to a White Woman. Lets not be blind here. It does matter!

  4. CF98 - Feb 14, 2010 at 7:51 PM

    Its quite simple actually one when Magic got HIV they figured it was punishment enough many didn’t think he’d end up living another 18 years but he has many thought it was a death sentence. That and his wife is black so nobody really cares when a black woman is cheated on as far as mainstream media is concerned. Just like when a black woman is kidnapped, raped, murdered coverage is nonexistant.
    Now Tiger is married to a white woman and had even more white chicks on the side but he’s not white. Frankly when a white woman is cheated on its considered a betrayal to the mainstream media. She’s more of a “victim” in comparison to Magic’s wife.

    • mella21 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:48 AM

      this is actually very, very true.

  5. Tiger Woods - Feb 14, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    You know what I call someone with 300 sexual partners a year?
    An amateur. :)

    • mightyquinn69 - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:57 PM

      Naw, “In training”…lol

  6. Kevin C - Feb 14, 2010 at 8:00 PM

    Birdie17, the difference is over 18 years (Magic announced his HIV status in November of 1991) and the Internet.
    Back then, there was no Internet as we know it today to crucify someone with (very few were connected then), and people were afforded more privacy as a rule.

  7. believer - Feb 14, 2010 at 8:13 PM

    where are you? where is your head up where it doesn’t shine?
    playing the race card these days stinks, enough already, go hug a tree or something

    • rastaman44 - Oct 19, 2011 at 2:41 PM

      WTF? Youi must be a teabagging idiot. Playing the race card for mentioning that Tiger was cruicified for dating white women while being non-white ?Really? LOL

  8. believer - Feb 14, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    seems to make sense to a certain point

  9. BK's Finest - Feb 14, 2010 at 8:38 PM

    You are 100% right, chief. Playing the race card may suck, but it applies. I promise you if Woods’ wife was black, as opposed to a “georgeous blond” this is handled very differently. More than half of the difference in the coverage however, is indeed the HIV component. It’s hard to pile on to a guy who caught HIV, particularly given teh stigma of the desease back then. But let’s not fool ourselves, race made a difference here.

  10. Terry - Feb 14, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    magic admitted to having sex with 300 women a year for a period of time. Here the word johnson takes on new meaning.
    His wife and kids must be SO proud that daddy showed such respect for their mom and for women in general. (Yes I know that it takes two to tango)
    How many kids resulted? Does anyone know? Does anyone care?
    Bob Marley admitted to having fathered at least 11 children with at least 7 different mothers. That makes him part of the PROBLEM not the solution.
    70% seems to be the percentage of children born out of wedlock in the “black community”.
    Don’t they get it yet?
    Am I a racist for stating facts?
    Why can’t they focus on the family? WHAT IS SO DIFFICULT ABOUT THAT?

  11. HemetLaker - Feb 14, 2010 at 10:14 PM

    Magic didn’t get crucified because he never cheated on his wife. Magic didn’t get married until after his playing days were over.
    You thing Derek Jetter isn’t burning through the gals??? Tiger wouldn’t be in the mess that he’s in if he were single.
    You should know the facts before you pass judgment.

  12. Kevin C - Feb 14, 2010 at 10:31 PM

    Believer, I still think that it is primarily the unrelenting and ubiquitous Internet. You can’t get away from a story once it hits the Internet. I don’t think it is due to the race of the wives at all.
    Times do change. I remember in the 1970’s cops would drive drunk drivers home, my father included, and some parents really beat their kids. Of course, today both cases would end up in jail. An even bigger example of change is how we now deal with pedophilia. Back then, you heard virtually nothing about it, yet you would occasionally get glimpses that showed it definitely existed. The priest scandal proved that. This is just another case of almost two decades changing the way something is handled.

  13. jtt-esq - Feb 14, 2010 at 11:32 PM

    The criticisms on Magic getting a free pass are waaaay off. It was timing. Magic was not married when he was running around. Magic got married late in the summer of 1991. The Lakers played a preseason exhibition in Paris and Magic brought along his wife. While in France he seemed to have a persistent cold. Upon his return to the U.S. becuse he was newly married he got a new life insurance policy and the accompanying physical. That physical revealed his HIV status. At the time since he had just gotten married many assumed his wife was going to leave him but she chose to stay. So no he was not running around as a married man sleeping with 300 women a year. And at that point he and his wife did not have any children together. (Magic did have a son at the time from a previous relationship.)

  14. fastfrank64 - Feb 15, 2010 at 1:40 AM

    People-
    Y’all need to get a grip-quit being such whiney losers always hiding behind the race card. Tiger is responsible for what he did, not his white wife. The difference between Tiger and Magic is the internet and today’s agents and celebrity worship. With today’s instant access to info everything is fair game.
    Add to that the sheer LAZINESSof the media and their refusal to quit feeding on a carcess… I saw where one NY paper had Tiger’s affairs as a headline as many times as 9-11; put that in perspective. Y’all are ignorant and get played by the media just like Jim Crow – play the people you are holding down against each other.. No wonder you race-playing people are the bottom of the heap- your ignorance is appalling! Y’all would be funny if you weren’t so ignorant. Get a real life and you won’t worry so much about what others have……

  15. believer - Feb 15, 2010 at 2:38 AM

    heh heh
    what have some of been saying?

  16. Anonymous - Feb 15, 2010 at 3:12 AM

    good job

  17. Terry - Feb 15, 2010 at 6:45 AM

    Magic had sex with 300 women a year.
    What does that say about magic? Not much good.
    What does that say about his “partners”? Not much good.
    Derek is “burnin’ through the gals”. Probably.
    What does that say about Derek? Not much good.
    What does that say about the gals? Not much good.
    There are probably a lot of white guys who are doing the same.
    What does that say about them? Not much good.
    What does that say about the times we live in and the “standards” we have? Not much good.

    • Patrilles - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:58 AM

      These damned conservatives. Shouldn’t you be out trying to get horses to wear diapers or something?

  18. keen observer - Feb 15, 2010 at 7:39 AM

    Terry,
    A majority of the women that Tiger and Magic had sex with were white?
    These women knew that these men were married..One can use the same statements you are making about blacks to whites..But that would be stupid..

  19. Bob - Feb 15, 2010 at 9:37 AM

    Magic did NOT get a free pass. He will eventually die of AIDS.

    • mightyquinn69 - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      Yes, Magic will eventually, but it will not be because of AIDS.

  20. Carl - Feb 15, 2010 at 10:02 AM

    The biggest difference, NBA players have a rep, Magic was a single guy living the life….Tiger and his spin-meisters have been marketing him as a model athelete and model citizen for years. When your agents and admirers put you that high on a pedestal, you suffer more serious injury when you fall. Plus, you have more TV shows competing to provide the dirty details on your affairs and the women have been willing to talk. Both men lived a risky lifestyle and both have paid a price.

  21. Vince - Feb 15, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    Well I wouldn’t go as far as playing the race card but I will say there are 2 reason why Magic (yes I will call him MAGIC)was treated different than Tiger is today. One is because Magic came out publically before anyone had found out. Tiger got caught. Second, the public felt sorry because he had pretty much been punished already by contracting the HIV virus. As of today he’s viewed as a leader for all sorts of HIV awareness. Also as a very successful business man.

  22. KimG - Feb 15, 2010 at 11:52 AM

    I think Kevin C is right, the internet and our vast communication empire these days makes it much easier to “crucify” Tiger than during Magic’s days. I also think it’s a copout to say it’s a race thing. That just needs to stop. Magic was never known to be a perfect guy…there was no intrigue with him and he was great, but there were other greats in his sport. Tiger was made out to be some incredible, perfect, “on a pedestal”, star who was young, handsome, richer than imaginable, had everything…he played a sport that most people play, but can’t play well, so what he does well, golf, is much more “out of our understanding”, because it’s the hardest sport to play. He had created an image of perfection, on the course and off, and when he totally crushed us all that he wasn’t perfect, it was a much bigger deal than anything…it has nothing to do with race. It had to do with Tiger’s perfection and the high class game of golf where you don’t “expect” players to act like this.

  23. Serious - Feb 15, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    This is the most uneducated comment I have ever heard. Quit being oppressed and go learn something!

  24. Booner - Feb 15, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    The biggest difference, NBA players have a rep, Magic was a single guy living the life….Tiger and his spin-meisters have been marketing him as a model athelete and model citizen for years. When your agents and admirers put you that high on a pedestal, you suffer more serious injury when you fall.
    Carl, well said.

  25. RiAnn - Feb 15, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    Thanks ! you nailed it.

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