Magic Johnson is one of the greatest NBA players of all time. More than anyone else in the history of basketball, he showed one and all that it was possible to play the game in a way that was both entertaining but also hugely effective.
In the process, Magic won five NBA championships and three Finals MVP awards.
As an all-time great, Magic felt he was well-equipped for anything life could throw at him. His boasts of sleeping with six women at once, crazy partying lifestyle and subsequent HIV diagnosis made that clear.
But one thing he wasn’t prepared for? His son E.J. coming out to him.
“It wasn’t new for me, but they had to really take that in and digest it,” E.J. told Variety recently. “Especially my dad, because he was really the last person to talk to. I think it was just a lot for him to swallow in that conversation. A lot of just going back and forth. And he just was rattling off about things that weren’t particularly nice. But he’s not somebody who works great being cornered or surprised.”
Magic acknowledged that it was a difficult adjustment for him at first.
“When you grow up in team sports, you’re thinking, ‘Is he gonna play sports?’” Magic said. “And then when I saw that he liked dolls and to play dress-up … ‘What are you doing?’”
That said, the pair eventually came to an understanding that has served them well to this day.
Magic is not the only NBA father who has experienced something of this nature. Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade recently went viral over his intense beef with rapper Boosie regarding his trans daughter.
Being a basketball player at the pro level is tough. There is no denying that.
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 7, 2022
But being a good father is even tougher.
As both Magic and Wade can attest to, the most important thing is being there for your kids. So long as you do that, everything else will eventually fall into place.