NBA players retire a lot earlier than many other professionals around the world; by the time an NBA player is 40 years old, they have most likely been retired for a few seasons already. There is still a major portion of a player’s life post-NBA, and they still need to earn money in addition to the money that they’ve earned from playing professional basketball in the NBA in order to sustain themselves and their families. Many players can navigate different and new career paths post-NBA; some NBA players become coaches and stay within the world of basketball, others become basketball analysts and commentators for major sports networks, and many others choose to explore the business world.
What does Magic Johnson Enterprises do? Magic Johnson Enterprises is an investment company founded and owned by former NBA superstar Earvin “Magic” Johnson in 1987. According to their website, “Magic Johnson Enterprises serves as a catalyst for fostering community and economic empowerment by providing access to high-quality entertainment, products and services that answer the demands of multicultural communities.” Through Magic Johnson Enterprises, Magic has invested in various businesses across various industries such as professional sports teams, movie cinemas, Starbucks and Burger King franchises, tech startups, and many other various investments. Johnson has also invested in real estate in urban communities across the United States, which is a core part of his vision of giving back to communities. Magic Johnson Enterprises is reported to be worth approximately $1 billion, and Magic’s net worth is estimated to be north of $600 million.
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What was Magic Johnson’s NBA career like?
Magic Johnson was already a legend in the basketball world before he even stepped on the NBA court. In college, he spent time with Michigan State University where he led one of the top programs in the country to an NCAA Championship game where he faced off against a player named Larry Bird. After becoming an NCAA champion magic declared for the NBA draft where he was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers magic quickly became a Lakers Legend when in the NBA finals replacing Star Center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the last game in the last game of the series
The legend of Magic Johnson began long before he ever stepped foot on an NBA court. Magic Johnson played for the Michigan State University basketball program where he dominated the country and took his team to the NCAA Championship game in his sophomore year when he faced up against an Indiana State University team led by none other than Larry Bird. The rivalry between Bird and Magic extended into the NBA and was highly touted as both entered the NBA at the same time, with Magic selected as the #1 overall pick in the 1979 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, joining superstar center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Magic’s first season in the NBA was a strong one for both himself and the Lakers; Magic earned NBA All-Rookie First Team honors and was also named a starter in the NBA All-Star Game. The Lakers advanced far in that year’s playoffs, where they matched up against the Philadelphia 76ers. In Game 6 of that series, Magic Johnson replaced Abdul-Jabbar as a center for that game due to Abdul-Jabbar’s injury, and in one of the greatest playoff performances of all time, Magic helped lead the Lakers to win the championship, becoming the first-ever rookie to win the NBA Finals MVP Award.
Magic’s rookie year set the tone for what his career would be going forward; he helped transform the Lakers into an entertaining basketball team known as the “Showtime” Lakers, but would often butt heads against rival Larry Bird and his Boston Celtics team. Johnson and Bird would trade MVP honors and NBA titles often at the expense of the other throughout their careers, but in the end, when counting the number of rings between them, Johnson came out on top with five NBA titles in his career to Bird’s three titles.
Magic Johnson is considered one of the top NBA players of all time and arguably the greatest point guard in NBA history. Johnson’s Hall of Fame resume includes, but is not limited to, 5 NBA titles, 3 NBA Finals MVP awards, 3 NBA MVP awards, 12 NBA All-Star selections, 9 All-NBA First Team honors, 4 assists titles, and 2 steals titles.
What other NBA players have succeeded in the business world?
As the revenue of the NBA has skyrocketed in the last few years, most players are making way more money than players such as Magic and others in his era made, meaning that they also have stronger spending capital for investments. While few have quite matched Magic’s success in the business sphere, some of the NBA’s biggest names have leveraged their salaries and endorsements into major business empires, such as LeBron James, the first active NBA player with a net worth exceeding $1 billion, and Kevin Durant, whose company Thirty Five Ventures also worth quite a bit. However, perhaps the most successful NBA player when it comes to business is also arguably its greatest player ever: Michael Jordan, fueled by his stake in Nike’s Jordan brand and a multitude of other investments and endorsements, has reportedly seen his net worth move past the $2 billion threshold.
Despite retiring nearly 30 years ago, Magic Johnson has never really seen himself out of the limelight of the media and the business world. His entertaining style of play combined with his charming personality meant that he was seen as an enigmatic figure for business opportunities. Johnson remains a great example to his fellow retired NBA peers and those who will soon follow as to how to not only make strong financial investments to set up their life after their basketball career, but how to also leverage their money and popularity during their time as NBA players to gain themselves business opportunities. Many have followed Johnson’s path in the road to financial security and success after retirement, but just as many have squandered their career earnings and struggle when they could have made smarter money decisions during their career and also as they transitioned into the post-NBA life.