Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr.’s magic touch extends far beyond his legendary basketball skills to a place that most envy - his bank account. As of 2022, the basketball icon is estimated to have a net worth of $620 million dollars (insert ‘gasp’ here).
Considering he retired from the hardwood in 1996, we wondered how Magic’s net worth is higher than his hook shot when his yearly salary was roughly $1 million per year. The answer can be summed up with one word: entrepreneurship.
Magic the Entrepreneur
Magic Johnson has a list of business ventures that rivals his professional basketball stats. That is to say, there are a lot. We have focused on a few of the most profitable ones that have contributed to his net worth.
1991: Magic Johnson retires with just over $18 million dollars in endorsements and his NBA salary. That’s a basketball sized court distance from his current $620 million dollar net worth.
1992: The Johnson Development Corporation was formed under the Magic Johnson Enterprises umbrella. It is here that most of the seeds for Magic’s money were planted.
1995: JDC partnered with Sony to create Magic Johnson Theaters. The first theater was opened in Los Angeles and quickly became a chain of theaters across the nation.
He would later sell the theaters to Loews Cineplex Entertainment in 2004 before it was taken over by AMC Entertainment in 2006.
1997: Magic creates Magic Johnson Entertainment. Here films, television, publishing and animation are made.
1998: Magic opens first Starbucks store in Ladera Heights, CA. From ‘98 to 2010 Magic’s company would buy over 100 chained coffee stores before selling them back to Starbucks. That deal alone is reported to have garnered Johnson $100 million dollars.
2001: Magic partnerships with Fatburger and 24 Hour Fitness are made.
2004: Magic partnerships with Burger King corporation and opens 29 restaurants.
2012: Magic joins Guggenheim Baseball Management to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball Team. The MLB team would win the World Series in 2020. Oh, and he also launched the new TV network 'ASPiRE.'
2014: Magic leads a group to purchase the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks who would win the WNBA Championship in 2016. And, he becomes a member of the group that owns the MLS franchise, The Los Angeles Football Club.
2016: Magic invests in Mitú. The Latino-fueled media brand and digital network connects thousands of Latin content creators with viewers around the world.
2017: Magic is named President of Basketball Operations for the Los Angeles Lakers.
2021: Magic Earvin is appointed to Fanatics Board of Directors.
Having focused on just a few it is easy to see why Johnson is quick to show that million dollar smile. Or, shall we say, the $620 million dollar smile.
Johnson’s Basketball Bio
Before Magic became “Magic”, he was simply Earvin Johnson Jr. He would win championships in both high school and college. In 1979 he was drafted first by the Los Angeles Lakers. His first few seasons were enough to earn Magic one of the first over the top NBA contracts; $25 million for 25 years.
Magic played his entire professional career with the Los Angeles Lakers. In his 13 years as a point guard he would help the Lakers win five NBA Championships, win NBA’s “Most Valuable Player” three times and lace up for the All-Star Team 12 different times.
In November of 1991 he stunned the world when he announced his retirement from the Lakers after testing positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The following year, Magic played alongside Michael Jordan and Larry Bird on the Olympic “Dream Team” in Barcelona, Spain where they would win the gold medal.
For a short time in the ‘93-’94 season Magic took on the role of Lakers head coach. Then in the ‘95-’96 season he returned as a player for an ever so brief time. He was a minority owner of the franchise from 1994 to 2010.
Want even more Magic? Try watching either the documentary, “They Call Me Magic” on Apple TV+, or the drama series “ Winning time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” on HBO Max.