Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Former NBA Commissioner David Stern passed away on New Year’s Day at the age of 77 after suffering a intracerebral hemorrhage back in December.

Needless to say, Stern’s three-plus decade term as the commish of the Association impacted the lives of many around the basketball world.

Some of those closest to Stern paid their respects to the former commissioner during his funeral at Radio City Music Hall in New York City Tuesday morning.

Among them, Hall of Famer Magic Johnson opened up with both a passionate and eye-opening speech. It covered Johnson publicly announcing he had HIV back in 1991 and Stern’s response to it.

“When I announced in 1991 I had HIV, people thought they could get the virus from shaking my hand,” Johnson said, via TMZ Sports. “When David allowed me to play in the 1992 All Star Game in Orlando and then play for the Olympic Dream Team, we were able to change the world.”

Johnson’s announcement helped change the conversation surrounding HIV at a time when it was an epidemic around the world, and very few knew anything substantive about the affliction.

Stern’s reaction and willingness to help change the narrative impacted the social construct of the disease. Johnson’s speech on Tuesday recognizes this in a big way.

As an emotional Johnson held back tears, the all-time great simply said “I’m going to miss my angel.”

This really was a splendid way for Magic to pay his respects to a man who both changed the landscape of the NBA and helped move it forward to the modern era under newish commissioner Adam Silver.

This article first appeared on Sportsnaut and was syndicated with permission.


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Can you name every NBA player with 10 or more All-NBA Team selections?

An asterisk (*) indicates the player never won an NBA MVP Award.

SCORE:
0/23
TIME:
5:00
15 (10/5/0) / C / 1969-1989
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
15 (11/2/2) / SG / 1996-2016
Kobe Bryant
15 (10/3/2) / PF / 1997-2016
Tim Duncan
15 (12/2/1) / SF / 2003-2019
LeBron James
14 (11/2/1) / PF / 1985-2004
Karl Malone
14 (8/2/4) / C / 1992-2011
Shaquille O'Neal
12 (10/2/0) / PG / 1950-1970
Bob Cousy
12 (4/5/3) / PF / 1998-2019
Dirk Nowitzki
12 (6/3/3) / C / 1984-2002
Hakeem Olajuwon
12 (6/6/0) / PF / 1949-1964*
Dolph Schayes
12 (10/2/0) / PG / 1960-1974*
Jerry West
11 (5/5/1) / PF / 1984-2000
Charles Barkley
11 (4/7/0) / SF / 1962-1978*
John Havlicek
11 (10/1/0) / SG / 1984-2003
Michael Jordan
11 (10/1/0) / PF / 1954-1965
Bob Pettit
11 (9/2/0) / PG / 1960-1974
Oscar Robertson
11 (3/8/0) / C / 1956-1969
Bill Russell
11 (2/6/3) / PG / 1984-2003*
John Stockton
10 (10/0/0) / SF / 1958-1972*
Elgin Baylor
10 (9/1/0) / SF / 1979-1992
Larry Bird
10 (7/3/0) / C / 1959-1973
Wilt Chamberlain
10 (9/1/0) / PG / 1979-1996
Magic Johnson
10 (4/2/4) / C / 1989-2003
David Robinson

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