Magic Johnson is officially a billionaire, according to Forbes. This means the Lakers legend will be just the fourth athlete to achieve this benchmark, joining Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Tiger Woods.
Forbes now estimates Johnson’s net worth to be $1.2 billion. After becoming the first overall pick in the 1979 NBA Draft out of Michigan State, Johnson went on to have one of the most iconic careers in NBA history.
Johnson was the NBA’s assists leader four times and steals leader twice. His many accomplishments include five NBA championships and 12 All-Star appearances.
However, Johnson earned most of money after he was done playing. In fact, Forbes reports he made $40 million from his NBA career, and he earned the rest by being a savvy business man who invests in multiple different areas.
Johnson has ownership stakes in three Los Angeles-based sports teams, including the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers and MLS’ LAFC. He also invested in the NFL’s Commanders earlier this year. Johnson’s non-sports investments include Starbucks, Burger King, 24 Hour Fitness and the life insurance company EquiTrust.
Interestingly enough, Johnson actually had a chance to become a billionaire sooner as Converse, Adidas and Nike approached him with shoe deal offers when he was entering the NBA.
Nike allegedly offered Johnson $1 for each shoe they sold, as well as 100,000 shares in stocks at $0.18 per share. But at that time, Nike was still a new company and Johnson didn’t know much about investing. He took a deal with Converse, which offered him $100,000 a year, instead.
“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 said on the “All The Smoke” podcast earlier this year. “So I passed on the stocks. Can you imagine? 45 years, $5 billion that stock would have been worth today.”
But even if he missed out on that deal, Johnson has still become one of the elite athletes who have taken their financial achievements to new heights.