Magic Johnson and Larry Bird Talk HIV/AIDS on Letterman
Last week on the Late Show with David Letterman, to promote the new Broadway play about their NBA rivalry, basketball greats Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird discussed how their relationship morphed from on-the-court adversaries to best friends. They also discussed the day that Magic disclosed that he is HIV positive.
The Huffington Post recapped a bit of the show:
The two became close friends due to a rivalry that developed beginning in 1979 and through the 1980s as the two of them were among the best players in basketball. That rivalry came with a mutual respect that blossomed into a genuine friendship. One that was firmly solidified by the time of Johnson's announcement.
"The best feeling is when a friend supports you," Johnson said of Bird after the announcement. "And this young man came and supported me. Forget the sports, forget the championships, forget the MVP. He came to my side and supported me and I'll never forget that."
Bird did that while suffering through a sort of grief he equated to when he lost his father. "It was the first time I could ever remember not wanting to play basketball. I had a pit in my stomach for days after, even after I talked to him because in my mind nine or ten years he's gonna be gone."
See a clip of the show below: