August 18, 2022

Apple TV+ unveiled today a new trailer for They Call Me Magic, a four-part docuseries that chronicles the life, career, and activism of NBA star and legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson. The series is set to take an extremely intimate look into the former basketball player’s private life and showcase how he managed to make the best out of his career on and off the court. The series premieres in late April.

The trailer reveals that, right off the bat, Johnson himself scoffed at the idea of being nicknamed “Magic,” thinking that no one would ever take him seriously with a name like that. Little did he know, “magic” was exactly what he did on the court, and his talent elevated him to the status of one of the best basketball players the world has ever seen.


Also revealed by the trailer is Johnson’s determination in not letting an HIV diagnosis define his life and legacy. The “wake-up” call that the virus gave him was that he needed to be a role model for the Black community, and retiring the number 32 jersey was never the end of his career. Johnson states that making a difference for his community far outshines his achievements in championships.

they call me magjc earvin johnson documentary
Image via Apple TV+

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They Call Me Magic is directed by Rick Famuyiwa, who has an experienced hand in telling inspiring stories from Black folk: he directed 2015’s Dope and episodes of Showtime’s The Chi. He also tried his hand at telling epic stories by directing three episodes of Disney+’s The Mandalorian.

Earvin “Magic” Johnson is considered one of the best point guards of all time, and he played 13 seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers. His forced retirement came early, in 1991, due to contracting HIV, but he continued playing on and off until he officially retired in 1996. Since then, the legendary player has become a fierce advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and has become one of the most influential people in the world.

They Call Me Magic features interviews with highly prominent names such as Cookie Johnson, EJ Johnson, Larry Bird, LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neil, President Barack Obama, Fred Stabley Jr., Dwayne Wade, Jerry West, Michael Wilbon, and more.

Apple TV+ premieres all episodes of They Call Me Magic globally on April 22.

You can watch the trailer below:

Check out the official synopsis here:

‘They Call Me Magic’ offers a rare glimpse into the incredible real-life story of Johnson, who left his mark on history through his work—both on and off the court—and continues to impact our culture today. The series features intimate, never-before-seen interviews with Magic, his family, and an all-star lineup of friends. With unprecedented access, the docuseries explores Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s remarkable journey from being the face of the Los Angeles Lakers and cementing himself as an all-time NBA legend, to changing the conversation around HIV, and transforming into a successful entrepreneur and community activist. From his humble beginnings in Lansing, Michigan to becoming the global force he is today, ‘They Call Me Magic’ charts the cinematic life of one of the biggest icons of our era.

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