Magic Johnson is undoubtedly a Los Angeles Lakers legend. Johnson played for the Lakers for thirteen seasons, winning pretty much everything possible in that time. He has been involved with the Lakers after his career as well.
Does Magic Johnson own any part of the Lakers? Magic Johnson does not currently own any part of the Los Angeles Lakers despite being a minority-owner in the past. Johnson was a part owner in the Lakers but sold his stake in the team in 2010.
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Magic Johnson was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979 when they took him with the first overall pick coming out of Michigan State. During his time with the Lakers, Johnson was incredibly successful, winning five titles as he was a crucial part of the Showtime Lakers alongside Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
He was a one team man in the NBA but retired abruptly in 1991 having announced he had contracted HIV. During his retirement, Johnson began coaching the Lakers in the 1993-94 season, speaking about his relationship with Jerry Buss and his desire to move into coaching. That relationship with the Lakers owners is part of the reason why Johnson wanted to own part of the team as he bought the share directly from former majority owner Jerry Buss.
In June of 1994, Magic Johnson purchased 4.5% of the Los Angeles Lakers for a reported $19 million. When he bought this minority, Johnson spoke about his dream of becoming a businessman and owner of an NBA team. Johnson held onto this ownership when he returned to play for the Lakers in 1996.
Surprisingly, in 2010 Johnson announced that he had sold his stake in the team to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong who was a longtime Lakers season-ticket holder. It is likely that this decision was made purely for business reasons as Johnson is still very much a fan of the team he played for. The fee he holds for is undisclosed but it’s likely that Johnson made a hefty profit on his initial $19 million investment.
The estimations of this fee tend to be around $27 million so it looks like he made quite the nice profit on his initial investment. But it means that Magic no longer owns any part of the Los Angeles Lakers.
What other sports teams does Magic Johnson own?
Despite selling his stake in the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010, this did not stop Johnson from looking for other opportunities to become an owner. When Johnson sold his stake in the Lakers, there were rumours that he wanted to become a part owner of the Detroit Pistons as Johnson grew up in Lansing, Michigan as well as going to Michigan State college where he became the first overall pick in the draft.
There were also some rumours that he was interested in joining the consortium that purchased the Golden State Warriors the same year that he sold his stake in the Lakers. But Magic Johnson has not used any of his money from selling his share in the Lakers to purchase a stake in any other NBA team.
Instead, Johnson joined with Guggenheim Partners and Stan Kasten in a bid to own the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. Two months after their initial bid, Johnson’s ownership group was announced as the winner of the purchase of the Dodgers. Johnson owns a small stake in the Dodgers which is estimated to be around 2.3% which cost around $50 million at the time of purchase. With the Dodgers winning the world series in 2020, Magic added a MLB title to his achievements as an owner.
This was not the end of Johnson investing in Los Angeles sports teams. While Johnson sold his stake in the NBAs Los Angeles team, he was involved in the purchase of the Los Angeles Sparks team in the WNBA in 2014, two years after purchasing his stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers. Johnson and his group who purchased the Dodgers were thrilled to keep the team in Los Angeles, with the Sparks winning the WNBA title in 2016 it looks like this investment has paid off.
Johnson’s investments into Los Angeles sports teams did not end there. Major League Soccer looked to expand in 2014 and were certain on establishing another team in Los Angeles. On the 30th of October, Johnson was announced as a co-owner of the franchise which became the Los Angeles Football Club.
Who is the Majority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers
While Johnson used to own a minority stake in the Lakers, he was never the majority owner of the team. In the first few years of the franchise they changed owners pretty often, with Bob Short leading a group of investors that purchased the team in 1957 and Short made massive investments into the team.
It was under his supervision that the Forum was built and it initially cost $16.5 million. It was only because of a costly divorce that Short had to sell the franchise as well as the Forum, the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and some real estate to real estate millionaire Jerry Buss.
Buss purchased the Lakers for an estimated $67 million in 1979, the same year that the Lakers drafted Magic Johnson. The two formed a close father son like relationship which is a big reason for Johnson purchasing a minority stake in the team. Jerry Buss would continue to be the Lakers majority owner until 2013 when he sadly passed away due to cancer.
At the time of his death, Jerry Buss owned a 66% majority stake in the Los Angeles Lakers. His controlling ownership of the team passed to his six children, with each child taking an 11% share of the ownership of the Lakers. So the Buss family are still the majority owners of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jeanie Buss is at the front of that succession plan, taking over as the Lakers governor as well as being the team’s representative in the NBAs Board of Governors meetings. So many people look at Jeanie Buss as the majority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers.