Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on June 14, 1998 · Page 51
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 51

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Location:
Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 14, 1998
Page:
Page 51
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Straight Talk If ADVICE The rich should share their wealth: As a businessman, Johnson has built movie theaters and shopping centers in urban communities. "I want other entertainers, especially African Americans, to do the same thing. I preach it every day: 'You're making all this money. Invest in your own community.... Provide jobs. It gives kids hope.'" To Michael Jordan: "The advice I've given him is:'Don't retire too early, like I did.You'11 kick yourself.'In his heart, he doesn't want to retire. He's still on top of his game." If you're HIV-positive, keep exercising: "It can ease the stresses that might turn HIV into AIDS." "He told me,'If you're having a good time, the audience will have a good time, too." ASK JOHNSON fOR ADVICE Johnson will write or call one reader who seeks advice. By June 21, write to "Straight Talk," P.O. Box 3455, Chicago, III. 60654 (e-mail: talk@usaweekend.com; fax: 312-321-2812). Zaslow is an advice columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times Co. By Jeffrey Zaslow Good cheer can carry you through life, says the former NBA great and a brand-new TV talk-show host. "To make people smile ... I believe that's what I'm here for." W HEN EARVIN "MAGIC" Johnson debuted on his late-night talk show Monday, he knew he wouldn't be as smooth as Johnny Carson or as wisecracking as Jay Leno. But he was confident his million-dollar smile would serve him well, as always. Magic's good humor has lit up NBA arenas, helped close business deals, and made him one of America's most approachable, beloved athletes. So what does he have to smile about since being diagnosed in 1991 as HIV-positive? He's buoyed by tests showing the virus is no longer in his blood, calling his health "super great" thanks to a drug-and-exercise regimen, a diet heavy on grains and fruits — and that positive attitude. As nightly host of The Magic Hour, Johnson, 38, will turn on the charm to put viewers at ease and catch guests off guard. "When you smile, people get comfortable. People always say, 'Earvin, it's like 1 knew you before I met you.' ... They'll tell me everything!" Even in his brilliant 13-year NBA career, Johnson wasn't the type to scowl or play mean for effect. He wishes more NBA players made an effort to look as if they're enjoying themselves. "I don't see the fun. [Fans] like to see that." He also scolds today's players for slacking off off-season. "These young guys don't want to work out in the summer. Michael Jordan couldn't shoot well from the outside. In the summer, he developed his outside game. Larry Bird, Isiah Thomas, me — we always worked in the summer." Hard work and a cool manner give you the edge, Johnson says. He recalls at age 15 beating a rival to the basket. The frustrated teen spat on him. Johnson disarmed him with grace. "He didn't know what to do," he says. "I didn't respond the way he thought I would, by hitting him or spitting. Then I retaliated by winning the game." Q PRESIDENT, CEO & EDITOR: Mwcii Bullird t PUBLISHER: Clurle* Gtbrielwn * VICE PRESIDENTS: Owe Birbw, BUI Cfl»Uey,BethUwwnes,Thomi$Melwl aa—^^AmyE*™^ s^sassssra I Assistant Art Director*: Clay Auch, Nathaniel Levlne Photo Desk: Molly Roberts.^Clndy Sorgen-Eicher Vin Narayanan, Amelia Stephenson, Casey Shaw Advertising: Doug Knepper iivumiiniri'"''"^*" Th» maaulna Amwic* nnpond* to SUSA WEEKEND USA WEEKEND • June 12-14,1988 87

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