There's no way you can talk about NBA history without mentioning both Michael Jordan and Michael Johnson multiple times.
They both had some of the most memorable moments in the history of the Association. Multiple retirements, a duel in the NBA Finals, a legendary run with Team USA, and many more.
But perhaps, none of those moments can be compared to Magic Johnson's shocking and sudden retirement in 1991.
The Lakers legend was diagnosed with HIV, which was considered to be a sure death sentence at the time. He shocked the world with that press conference and waved goodbye.
Several years later, in 1995, and after undergoing multiple studies, Magic was cleared to make a comeback, but several players didn't support his decision out of ignorance, prejudice, and the fear of contracting the disease.
That wasn't the case with Jordan, who had his friend's back and supported his decision to make a triumphal comeback, regardless of how other players might feel:
“I want what’s best for him. If he feels he’s ready and he can deal with some of the adversity he’s going to have to deal with, then I support him," Jordan said when asked about Magic's decision, as quoted by The Sports Rush.
At the end of the day, Johnson decided to dress in shorts one more time for the final 32 games of the 1994-95 season, averaging 14.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game for his beloved Lakers.
16 years later, Magic Johnson continues to be in good health and that illustrious comeback was fundamental in the fight for HIV rights. He helped shut down prejudices against that condition and proved that you could still live a long, healthy, and successful life.
As for Jordan, that's exactly the kind of friend and energy everybody needs in their life.