25 Years Later: Remembering The Magic-al 1992 NBA All-Star Game

(Editor's Note: This originally appeared in February 2012 and has been re-purposed to highlight the 1992 NBA All-Star Game)

Today's discussion will focus on reflecting 25 years ago in Orlando where Magic Johnson returned from being diagnosed with HIV to win the '92 All-Star Game MVP. Tackling the topic is Brian Lauvray of Gapers Block, Phillip Barnett of ESPN Truehoop blog Forum Blue and Gold, and James "Trey" McCray of Real McCoy Sports.

25 years ago, what sticks out the most to you from 1992 All-Star Game?

Eastern Zen Season. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Trey: I'll NEVER forget Magic Johnson taking on the stars one-on-one, playground-style, in this game. It was awesome watching the eight other guys on the floor clear out and letting 'Zeke' and 'His Airness' attempt to score on Magic, both missing their shots, if memory serves me correctly. However, those one-on-one contests led to perhaps one of the most iconic scenes in NBA history. Magic coming back down court and wanting his chances to score and then hitting that fade-away three pointer over Zeke, leaning back and holding the follow-through followed by a fist-pump. That scene sends chills through my body even today.

Brian: 1992 ASG was a weird, melancholy game in a lot of ways for me. Not only was my boyhood hero, Drazen Petrovic, not invited (though he did participate in the three-point contest), but it was Magic's swan song following his announcement in November of 1991. Beyond that, it was Reggie Lewis' first (and only) All-Star appearance before dying mid-practice from a rare heart condion in the summer of 1993 (barely over a month after Petro died in a car crash). Reggie and Drazen were both weird cats for the late 80s-early 90s NBA, with so much more touch and finesse in their game.

Clyde in Central Florida. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

I was so thrilled to watch Magic (and an ailing Bird) and the rest of the Dream Teamers waltz through the 1992 Summer Games (for all intents and purposes) an All-Star/Monstars vs the World exhibition series, but just beginning to appreciate the scope of Magic's greatness and the weird nuance and grace that Petrovic and Reggie brought to the game? There's something about 1992. Oh, and the East lost by 40. It was a really boring All-Star game. I have a stack of VHS tapes of the 1989-1997 ASG's, and this is the one I watch the least.

Phillip: 20 years ago, I was five, so I have no recollection of watching this game live, or knowing what it meant at the time. Having grown up a Lakers fan, and really just a fan of hoops in general, I've watched the game more than once and know why it'll always be a part of the NBA's lore. We're talking about one of the greatest players on NBA history retiring after learning he had contracted HIV and coming back for an All-Star game to be accepted by his friends a peers. He balled out, threw some marvelous passes, locked down Isaiah Thomas and Michael Jordan (who said he took it easy on him, ha!) in the final minutes, and took home the MVP. The game in itself was surreal, and probably even more so for those of you who were able to watch it live, but the overwhelming emotions that you feel watching the pre-game ceremony knowing that his peers wanted him in that game during a time where the facts about how folks caught HIV were still a bit cloudy is something that will always resonate with me. There's something a little more special about that to me than Magic being Magic on the hardwood.

Related: On Mitch Richmond Earning Michael Jordan’s Ultimate Respect And The 1995 All-Star Game MVP

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