Magic Johnson, the legendary NBA point guard celebrated as the greatest of all time in his position, has achieved a remarkable milestone by ascending to the ranks of the world’s billionaires, cementing his position among the world’s richest Black individuals.
The former Los Angeles Lakers star has ascended to the elite ranks of NBA players who have achieved billionaire status, mirroring the paths paved by other basketball players like Michael Jordan and LeBron James, as reported by the U.S. business magazine, Forbes.
Johnson, known for his iconic NBA career, which came to a close in 1996, has now cemented his status as a billionaire, primarily through his astute investments. While his dazzling basketball skills earned him $40 million during his NBA tenure, his true financial acumen emerged off the court. Forbes estimates Johnson’s net worth at a staggering $1.2 billion.
Magic Johnson’s game-changing investments
The 64-year-old Johnson owes his newfound status to a diverse portfolio of investments, including ownership stakes in three Los Angeles-based sports franchises, notably MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers. Under his astute leadership, these investments have reached new heights, further solidifying his financial standing.
Furthermore, Johnson stands as the fourth American athlete to attain billionaire status, joining Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and golf legend Tiger Woods, who have also ventured into the world of investments to amass considerable wealth.
Johnson’s financial empire extends far beyond the realm of sports. He is a majority owner of EquiTrust, a life insurance company he acquired in 2015, which has since seen exponential growth, contributing significantly to his wealth.
Johnson has also ventured into various industries; his investment portfolio includes a movie theater chain, Starbucks, Burger King, 24-Hour Fitness, and a soda bottling plant on the East Coast. He wears the hat of a multi-platform media mogul. He frequently appears as a keynote speaker and commands speaking fees ranging from $75,000 to $225,000.
The road less traveled
In a candid reflection on his journey as a businessman, Johnson admitted that he could have achieved billionaire status earlier had he not turned down an offer of shares from Nike when he entered the NBA in the 1970s. Instead, he opted for a $100,000-a-year deal with Converse.
This decision, he concedes, was influenced by his humble background. “My family didn’t come from money, that’s one thing that hurt us sometimes. When you don’t come from money, you don’t know. I didn’t even know what stocks [were] at that time,” Johnson lamented during a podcast earlier this year. “So I passed on the stocks. Can you imagine? 45 years, $5 billion that stock would have been worth today.”
Johnson’s journey from a basketball court icon to a billionaire mogul is a testament to his vision, drive, and financial acumen, and he stands as an inspiring figure for athletes looking to secure their financial future beyond their playing careers.