Does Magic Johnson Own the Lakers?

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Only a few basketball players achieve greatness during their playing career and succeed after they retire. Earvin Magic Johnson is one of them. Magic became a successful businessman investing in sports, food service, and theaters.

Does Magic Johnson own the Lakers? In 1994, Lakers owner Jerry Buss offered a 4.5% stake to Magic for $19 million, but this was sold to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong in 2010.

Know about the success of Magic Johnson in the professional ranks and his business interests after retirement.

Magic Johnson and the LakersMagic Johnson and the Lakers

Whenever people talk about the GOAT basketball player, the name Magic Johnson pops up. Magic is a 13-year NBA player with impressive credentials who started and ended his career wearing the Lakers jersey.

Earvin Jr.’s passion for basketball started at a young age, admiring players like Bill Russel and Earl “The Pearl” Monroe. Sportswriter Fred Stabley, Jr. called him “Magic” during his sophomore year at Everett High School for his dazzling ballhandling and creativity on the court. 

College teams trained their eyes on Magic, and eventually, he chose to play for Michigan State, which was close to home. 

Magic Johnson’s NBA Career with the Lakers

After two years of college basketball, Magic did not pursue his communication studies; instead, he joined the 1979 NBA Rookie draft. Magic Johnson was the Los Angeles Lakers’ first choice in the draft to play alongside Kareem Abdul Jabbar. The franchise was hoping to end their championship drought with their new acquisition.


Magic’s impact was felt in his rookie year, the Lakers regular season record (60-22) was the NBA’s best, and the franchise was one of the two teams left standing in the 1980 NBA Finals. The Lakers had the upper hand (3-2) in the series against the Julius ” Dr. J” Erving-led Philadelphia 76ers. Unfortunately, Kareem could not play in Game 6 due to a sprained ankle in Game 5.

Coach Paul Westhead used Magic as a center in Game 6, but he played all positions during the game to a T. It was a runaway win by the Lakers, 123-107, with Magic posting a double-double of 42 points and 15 boards with seven dish outs and three steals. For his feat, Magic became the only rookie to bag the NBA Finals MVP plum and only one of four players who transitioned from college to pro basketball and won consecutive championships.


The Lakers missed advancing to the finals in 1980-81, suffering an upset from the lowly-ranked Houston Rockets in the first round.


The Lakers made it into the NBA Finals in the 1981-82 season facing the Philadelphia 76ers once again with coach Pat Riley calling the shots for the Lakers team. The series had the same result, with the Lakers on top 4-2, and Magic bagged his second NBA Finals MVP.


It was the same story in the 1982-83 season: the Lakers faced the Philadelphia 76ers for the third time for the NBA championship, but a twist made the ending different. The Sixers signed Moses Malone, and the Lakers’ James Worthy, Norm Nixon, and Bob McAdoo were on the injured list. It was sweet revenge for the Sixers sweeping the Lakers in the Finals.


It was another finals appearance for The Lakers in the NBA 1983-84 season. Magic is now facing his old college rival Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics. The series went the full route. The Celtics were up by three in the final minute when Celtics’ Dennis Johnson swiped the ball from Magic, ending the Lakers’ hope of tying the game.


The Lakers and Celtics were at it again in the 1984-85 season. Thirty-eight years old, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar found his old form and was instrumental in the Lakers’ win in six games.


The Lakers were a no-show in the 1986 NBA Finals. The Houston Rockets defeated the Lakers in five games for the Western Conference Finals.


In the 1987 Finals, the Celtics and Lakers square off for the third time. The series changer was Magic’s buzzer-beater hook shot over the Celtics’ bigs for a 107-106 win in Game Four. It was the Lakers in six games, the fourth NBA ring for Magic, and his third Finals MVP award. 


Coach Pat Riley assured a Lakers two-peat before the 1987-88 season started. Riley’s prediction came to fruition with the Lakers facing Magic’s buddy Isiah Thomas and the “Bad Boys” of the Detroit Pistons like Laimbeer, Salley, Vinnie Jonson, and Rodman. The teams split the six games. James Worthy displayed his deadly Finals MVP form to give the Lakers the championship, 108-105.


The 1989 NBA Finals was a rematch between the Lakers and the Pistons’ Bad Boys. Misfortune hit the Lakers in game 2; Magic suffered a hamstring injury in the third period and was sidelined. He tried to play in Game 3 but left after a few minutes and was out of the series. The Pistons swept the Lakers, and Magic got his second MVP award.


The Phoenix Suns eliminated the Lakers in the 1990 Western Conference Finals. Magic was named MVP for the third time.


It was back to the Finals for the Lakers in 1991 against the Michael Jordan -led Chicago Bulls. The Bulls won in five games, the last NBA Championship appearance for Magic.

The physical test result in the 1991-92 NBA season indicated that Magic was HIV positive; he announced his retirement on November 1991.

How Much of the Lakers Did Johnson OwnHow Much of the Lakers Did Johnson Own?

Franchise owner Jerry Buss (deceased) held dear the Lakers team and had a close connection with Magic and the Black Mamba. This relationship gave Magic Johnson the coaching chore for the Lakers in the 1993-94 season, and he acquired a 4.5% stake in the franchise for $19 million in June 1994.

Why Did Magic Johnson Sell His Lakers' StakeWhy Did Magic Johnson Sell His Lakers’ Stake?

After being a minority owner for over a decade, Magic Johnson sold his shares to 25-year season ticket holder Patrick Soon-Shiong in 2010. A medical practitioner by profession, Dr. Soon-Shiong created Abraxane, a wonder drug that benefits lung, breast, and pancreatic cancer patients.

Magic will always be a Laker, and his decision to sell his stakes was purely a business matter. 

According to Magic, Mike Ilitch offered to include him in the group that would own the Detroit Pistons. And there was a meeting with investors planning to buy the Golden State Warriors. Nothing materialized.

Who Owns the Majority of the LakersWho Owns the Majority of the Lakers?

When Jerry Buss passed away in 2013 due to cancer, his 66% control of the Lakers franchise was divided equally among his six children; each had 11% ownership.

Part of the succession plan was for Jeanie Buss (daughter) to be the president and controlling owner of the franchise. Other minority stakeholders are Philip Anschutz, Ed Roski Jr., and Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong.

The value of the Lakers franchise is at $5.9 billion as of 2022.

What Other Business Does Magic Johnson OwnWhat Other Business Does Magic Johnson Own?

Magic Johnson’s net worth is $620 million as of May 2023, earned from various business investments.

Sports Team

  • Los Angeles Dodgers, Baseball Team
  • Los Angeles Sparks, WNBA Team
  • Washington Commanders, NFL Team
  • Los Angeles Football Club
  • Team Liquid, eSports
  • SimWin Sports, Digital Sports

Good Service

  • Sodexo
  • TGI Friday
  • Burger King

Other Business Interest

  • 24-Hour Fitness Center
  • Movie Theaters
  • Radio Stations
  • EquiTrust Life Insurance Company

Wrapping Things Up: Does Magic Johnson Own the Lakers?

Magic Johnson was a former minority owner of the Lakers. How much does Magic Johnson own of the Lakers? The late Jerry Buss sold 4.5% of the franchise to Magic worth $19 million in 1994, but the stake was sold to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong in 2010.

It was rumored that Magic would be using the money to invest in the Detroit Pistons franchise, and he was part of the group interested in buying the Golden State Warriors organization. After he let go of his part-ownership of the Lakers franchise, Magic never owned an NBA team again.

However, he was co-owner of the Los Angeles Sparks in 2014, which won the 2016 WNBA Finals.

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

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