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David Stern's greatest act as NBA commissioner was supporting Magic Johnson after HIV diagnosis

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David Stern's greatest act as NBA commissioner was supporting Magic Johnson after HIV diagnosis

ESPN Chicago 1000 - WMVP |
5 months ago
ESPN Chicago 1000 - WMVP

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

When you think about sports that have massive worldwide appeal their soccer of course and there's basketball wasn't necessarily always that way specially when he came to the NBA and back to the early nineteen eighties we can say the NBA was flirting with extinction David stern took over the reins as commissioner and grow it into a five billion dollar per year industry during his thirty years as commissioner former commissioner David stern died Wednesday afternoon at the age of seventy seventy had suffered a brain hemorrhage on December twelfth never recovered earlier on the who collected podcast with Brian Windhorst are Jackie MacMullan I've met a lot of amazing people in my life but he is the smartest person I have ever met Brian I he had an answer for everything now they also might not have always been correct but god forbid you challenge him which we all have done from time to time he was just here the sharpest sharpest mind in a very very sharp edge to him as well which I think he very freely acknowledged throughout his you know his tenure as a commissioner he had some blind spots of you know you talk about the blocks the people that supported him I don't know this for a fact that you've got to believe that Donald sterling was one of them because why else would he have looks the other way the way he did yeah I know that's that works landmark Georgian also so you know he he's nobody's perfect of course but I just what I liked about him was there were when things matter to him like supporting women in being fair to women and whether it was a woman reporter or these W. NBA players weather was being fair to African Americans and making sure they he was so fiercely supported in the other the other example I always give is magic listen Magic Johnson was HIV positive none of us understood it in fact even urban himself when he right before he was a how to go on stage to tell everybody this is what happened to be internal on and once in one rose in his agent months Adam you know what you're gonna say something you know what one of just going to tell them I'm just gonna tell my have aids and lan said home urgent you don't have H. you have the virus that causes age I was in seventh grade or something like that right in our sole so none of us understood the severity and and David stern was up late at night Colleen medical experts all over the world to try to stay one step ahead so he could understand this crisis that he was dealing with and of course you know when Irving retired the first time and then came back and retired the second time and then you wanted to come back when you want to come back the first time that's when everybody starts it will win and I the all star game Jackie right right right we also right but that was that was accepted because that deck didn't count no one was going to you know that no one was going to play too hard that was sort of thing is a one time thing will will and you know that was the Dream Team but then when he wanted to come back following that Brian that's when you started to hear the complaints wait a minute I don't want to risk my life there was and their owners saying Hey I am not in support of this I don't want to do this and and what David stern told was all right listen I'm just gonna tell you right now if we don't do this first of all you can expect a lawsuit and we need that kind of bad publicity the we won't let it H. I. V. person and then the second thing and this was the hammer this is the hammer David stern news and I don't think this is been reported very widely was widely was this okay if you're not going to let him in and we're gonna have mandatory HIV testing for everybody in the NBA and are you all sure that you don't have anybody on your roster that's HIV positive because I'm not sure and this is the kind of and he just he was going to do the right thing by Irvine not because he loved Ervin Johnson because you did because it was the right thing to do and those are the moments when I admire him the most when even though there was I mean his legacy was at stake there imagine if that had gone badly in the attic on rock and remember we know now all about HIV that is treatable that you can live a full life with it but you can't you can't get it from exchanging blind or or I mean exchanging you know some live or or but you know blood if you you know all these things that all these scary things that back then in that climate because I lived it everyone thought will if I get near him and hugs him I might get aids we have aids but this but David store was one step ahead and he was telling everybody you bet I'm you know I'm going to fight this fight and if you aren't willing to I'm warning you these are the things that could happen and now I mean Magic Johnson told me flat out he gave me my life back he saved my life that's what I've been told me and I believe on to saying Wednesday he was devastated quote David star was such a history maker when I announced in nineteen ninety one that I had HIV people thought they could get the virus from shaking my hand when David allowed me to play in the nineteen ninety two all star game in Orlando and play for the Dream Team we were able to change the world David stern died Wednesday at the age of