Magic Johnson
Credit: Jerry Wachter / Getty Images

Why he hung it up: On November 7, 1991, Ervin "Magic" Johnson announced he was HIV positive and retired immediately.

Why he returned:
He realized retiring was a mistake, saying "If I knew what I know now, I wouldn't have retired."

His Success: Magic played in the 1992 All-Star Game and helped the Dream Team win a Gold Medal in Barcelona. He also played during the 1995-1996 season after coaching the Lakers for a couple seasons.