Magic Johnson will forever be known as one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball. However, his play on the court isn’t his only skill in life. He participated in several other ventures after his playing days were over. Through it all, Johnson has accumulated a ridiculous amount of money.
How is Magic Johnson So Rich? There are a few reasons why Magic Johnson has become so rich. The first would be his playing days. He made a large chunk of money as a player on the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the rest of it has come from something he created called Magic Johnson Enterprises. This is an investment company that has worked alongside several very well-known franchises across the world. In total, Johnson’s net worth is estimated to be at $620 million.
How much was he able to make from just playing basketball? Did his company begin randomly or did he start to grow it from the ground up? There are a lot of questions to cover when talking about Johnson’s wealth.
Johnson’s NBA Days
It’s safe to say that Magic Johnson was able to pick up a large sum of money throughout his days as a basketball player. Magic was taken with the number one overall pick out of Michigan State by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979. They started his career by handing him a five-year, $460,000 per year contract straight away – a significant amount for the times. Johnson ended up being so good that the Lakers wasted no time by extending his deal. He wound up with an unprecedented type of contract following that initial one. It was a gobsmacking 25-year, $25 million dollar deal.
At the time of the signing, no other player in professional sports had ever made that much money in that long of a span. The previous was held by Dave Winfield of the New York Yankees at a 10-year, $24 million dollar contract. That deal then showed how underpaid he was as the league continued to progress with the salary cap becoming larger and larger. Unfortunately, Magic wasn’t even able to play out the entire length of his contract either. Up to the point of his “forced” retirement through contracting aids, Johnson had made a cumulative $24 million. This was due to additional bonuses being included in the contract on top of the $1million a year base salary. His 25-year contract didn’t go away after he retired though. The Lakers wound up continuing to pay him even though he wasn’t playing and ended up making just under $40 million from his playing career on the Lakers. The final payments were made for the 2009-10 season, almost 15 years after he played his final NBA game in 1996.
Johnson also received compensation for his time as the Lakers President of Basketball Operations during the span of 2017-2019. Finally, the Lakers owner a few years ago, Jerry Buss, claimed to have paid Johnson an additional $14.6 million in salary. This was when he tried to make a comeback into the NBA. The contract wound up getting voided by the league, but Buss held strong on the claim that he received his compensation. It just isn’t in official contract numbers for him.
Magic Johnson Enterprises
Magic Johnson Enterprises is an investment company that he created and has been thoroughly impressive. This company currently owns, or used to own, many massive franchises. They held onto over 100 different Starbucks stores around the world, held onto 30 plus Burger King restaurants and even contributed to T.G.I Friday’s. This company loves to help urban communities, as it is something that Magic Johnson himself is very fond of doing. This has been a huge pitch to several companies, most notably Starbucks. Johnson approached their CEO Howard Schultz to expand into inner-city communities and had to convince him by inviting Johnson to a theater that he owned. Once Schultz agreed, Johnson then helped get all the Starbucks up and thriving in their respective communities. Then lastly, Johnson grouped up with Sodexo to create something called Sodexo MAGIC. If you weren’t already aware of what Sodexo is known for, they help provide food services to places such as public schools and Marine Corps mess halls. It should be clear that having your own company stretch out into so many popular franchises is a fantastic way to increase your overall wealth. That is exactly what Magic has been able to do since his NBA days came to an end.
Other Magic Endeavors
There are a few other endeavors that Johnson has had over the years to further his overall wealth. The first that we are going to talk about was his purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. He threw a bid in for the ownership position of the organization in 2012 and was later announced the winner. At the time it was the largest amount ever paid for a professional sports team. Johnson is still recognized as the leader of the current ownership group; Mark Walter is known as the controlling owner. Johnson also dipped his toes into an ownership role with the Dayton Dragons. The Dragons are a Class-A Minor League Baseball team. Fun fact, the Dragons sold out over 1,000 consecutive games, a professional sports record, but Johnson no longer owns any stake with the organization. We also have to talk about Johnson being involved in ownership with the Los Angeles Sparks WNBA team. Magic then became a co-owner of a Major League Soccer franchise after the league expanded to Los Angeles in 2014. It was named the Los Angeles Football Club as a temporary name at first, but then became the permanent nickname moving forward. With all that being said, there are still a ton of other things that Magic has been able to do to increase his wealth. There simply isn’t enough time to cover them all, but places like EquiTrust Life Insurance, aXiomatic eSports, the Los Angeles Lakers, a FOX network called The Magic Hour and even his own record label have all been a part of his journey as an entrepreneur.