From $40M to $1.2B: The Mind-Blowing Journey of Magic Johnson


Magic Johnson: From Lakers Legend to NBA Billionaire

In the world of basketball, Magic Johnson is a name that needs no introduction. He’s not only a beloved NBA icon but also a remarkable entrepreneur who has managed to turn his post-basketball life into a financial slam dunk. Today, at 64 years old, he’s achieved a remarkable milestone, joining the exclusive club of billionaires. Let’s dive into the fascinating journey of Johnson, the former Lakers guard, and how he transformed his $40 million earnings from his 13-year career into a jaw-dropping estimated net worth of $1.2 billion. Join us as we explore the captivating rise of Magic Johnson in the realm of business and discover how he became the fourth athlete to reach this incredible milestone, following in the footsteps of legends like Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Tiger Woods.

1. The Remarkable Ascent of Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson, whose real name is Earvin Johnson Jr., left an indelible mark on the NBA during his playing days with the Los Angeles Lakers. But what’s truly magical is his journey after retiring from professional basketball. His net worth has skyrocketed, despite his comparatively modest earnings as a player. How did he manage this remarkable feat? Let’s delve into his fascinating story.

2. EquiTrust: The Golden Goose

One of the pillars of Magic’s financial empire is his 60 percent stake in EquiTrust, an Iowa-based life insurance company. His investment in 2015 proved to be a game-changer, with the company’s total assets and annual revenues soaring significantly. This move played a pivotal role in catapulting Magic into the billionaire club.

3. Magic’s Multifaceted Business Ventures

Johnson’s business acumen isn’t limited to just one sector. He’s a key player in various industries, including movie theaters, fast-food franchises, real estate, healthcare, and life insurance. His diversified portfolio is a testament to his ability to spot lucrative opportunities beyond the basketball court.

4. Loyalty to the Lakers

Magic’s connection to the Los Angeles Lakers runs deep. He bought a 4.5 percent stake in the Lakers in 1994, which he later sold in 2010. Had he held onto that investment, it would have multiplied significantly in value due to the ever-increasing worth of NBA teams. But his loyalty to the Lakers led him to part ways with this potentially lucrative deal.

5. A Sports Mogul Beyond Basketball

Johnson’s involvement in sports doesn’t end with the Lakers. He’s also an owner of the WNBA’s L.A. Sparks and MLS’ LAFC. Recently, he expanded his sports ownership by becoming a minority owner of the NFL’s Washington Commanders. Magic’s influence in the sports world extends far beyond the basketball arena.

6. The Magic Touch in Entertainment

Apart from his ventures in the sports industry, Magic Johnson has made significant strides in the entertainment sector. He’s a name associated with movie theaters and fast-food franchises, and his influence reaches even into the world of healthcare and life insurance.

7. Johnson’s Starbucks Connection

One of Magic’s notable partnerships is with Starbucks, where he owns more than 100 coffee shops, primarily located in predominantly black neighborhoods in major U.S. cities. This collaboration showcases his commitment to making a positive impact on underserved communities.

8. A Stake in PepsiCo

In addition to Starbucks, Magic has a minority stake in a PepsiCo bottling plant located outside Washington D.C. This diversified portfolio not only showcases his investment prowess but also highlights his involvement in various facets of the business world.

9. Missed Opportunities: Lakers and Warriors

While Magic Johnson made savvy business decisions, he also turned down some lucrative opportunities. One such instance was his decision to reject an investment in the Golden State Warriors in 2010, driven by his unwavering loyalty to the Lakers. We’ll explore the impact of this choice.

10. Magic’s Diverse Sports Ownership

Beyond the Lakers, Magic’s sports ownership extends to multiple teams. We’ll delve into his involvement with the L.A. Sparks, LAFC, and his recent collaboration with Josh Harris as a minority owner of the NFL’s Washington Commanders.

11. The Praise for Magic

Magic Johnson’s ability to turn modest earnings into a billion-dollar empire hasn’t gone unnoticed. He’s earned accolades and praise for his incredible business acumen, with fellow athletes and business partners acknowledging his exceptional talent.


Magic Johnson’s journey from a basketball superstar to a billionaire entrepreneur is nothing short of inspiring. His diverse investments, loyalty to his beloved Lakers, and his foray into various industries have paved the way for his incredible financial success.

FAQs: Your Questions About Magic Johnson, NBA

Q1: How did Magic Johnson amass a billion-dollar net worth?

A1: Magic Johnson’s billion-dollar net worth is the result of shrewd investments, with his stake in EquiTrust being a major contributor. His diversified business ventures across different industries have also played a crucial role.

Q2: What was Magic Johnson’s role with the Los Angeles Lakers?

A2: Magic Johnson bought a 4.5 percent stake in the Lakers in 1994, which he later sold in 2010. He’s known for his loyalty to the Lakers, and this connection played a significant role in his business decisions.

Q3: What other sports teams does Magic Johnson own?

A3: Magic Johnson’s sports ownership extends to the WNBA’s L.A. Sparks, MLS’ LAFC, and he’s a minority owner of the NFL’s Washington Commanders.

Q4: What businesses is Magic Johnson involved in beyond sports?

A4: Magic Johnson has investments in movie theaters, fast-food franchises, real estate, healthcare, life insurance, and coffee shops through his partnership with Starbucks.

Q5: What was the impact of Magic Johnson’s decision to reject an investment in the Golden State Warriors?

A5: Magic’s decision to stay loyal to the Lakers led him to turn down a potentially lucrative investment in the Golden State Warriors in 2010. This choice showcased his unwavering commitment to his team.

In conclusion, Magic Johnson’s journey from a Lakers legend to a billionaire entrepreneur is a testament to his exceptional business acumen and the diverse investments he’s made throughout his career. His influence goes beyond basketball, and he’s become a symbol of success and loyalty in the sports and business worlds.

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