Twenty-one years after shocking the world by announcing he was HIV positive, Magic Johnson is still going strong. He’s a basketball analyst for ESPN, an activist in the fight against AIDS and part owner of the LA Dodgers. We caught up with the five-time NBA champ at an event for OraQuick, the first in-home oral HIV test. And as Movember kicks off, the former moustache/goatee-sporting point guard dishes on sexual health, Tae Bo and, of course, the new-look Lakers.
MADE MAN: You look great. What’s your secret?
MAGIC JOHNSON: There’s no secret. I’m not on magical drugs. From day one, I’ve taken my meds and had a positive attitude toward my status. And I work out. That’s really been the secret sauce, and then I got a wife that will make sure I don’t deviate from those three things.
I’m not on magical drugs. From day one, I’ve taken my meds and had a positive attitude. And I work out. That’s really been the secret sauce.
MM: In terms of working out, what kinds of things do you do?
MJ: I stretch for a half hour. Then I do weights for an hour, and then I do cardio for an hour. That’s either Tae Bo, or 30 minutes of the bike and 30 minutes of the treadmill.
MM: How often?
MJ: Five days a week.
MM: Wow, that’s a lot.
MJ: That’s why I’m able to have long days, because working out is more than just for your body, it’s for your mind as well. That’s what gives me the stamina for the pace that I keep up, because I’m a worker. I work all day and into the night a lot of times, with my businesses that I own. Then I’m able to go and be in multiple cities, you know?
MM: Is that something you learned by watching your father? In the past you’ve talked about watching him work multiple jobs as you were growing up.
MJ: Yeah. It’s the same thing. I’m just like him, and the more, the better.
MM: In terms of this new OraQuick test, could you have ever imagined a product like this in 1991?
MJ: No. I think it’s a game-changer for us because I think more people now will get tested because they can do it in their home or their office or wherever they want to be. And early detection is so important for our fight against HIV and AIDS.
MM: In general, what’s your advice for guys, as far as maintaining a safe and healthy sex life?
MJ: First of all, have confidence in yourself. Then make sure that you’re safe. Safe for you, safe for your partner. Understand what that means.
MM: Switching gears: who do you like to win the NBA Finals?
MJ: My favorite is the Heat. They’re the champions. So, you have to go with the champions.
MM: Who do you see them meeting in the Finals?
MJ: Well, it’s going to come down to Oklahoma City and the Lakers.
MM: You think the Lakers can get all those new pieces—Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, etc.—working together?
MJ: I think it’s going to take them about three months to really get to know each other, get on the same page. If they’re able to do that and become a team and perform at a high level, then they got a real shot to win it all.
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