Former Laker Superstar, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, is no longer part owner of the NBA champion Lakers. Sad, but true. Yesterday, the team announced Johnson had sold his ownership share to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a 25-year season-ticket holder, local businessman, and philanthropist.
Johnson reportedly bought his share for $10 million in 1994. No official word on what it sold for, but according to the Los Angeles Times, Johnson’s stake was about 4.5 percent. Last December, Forbes magazine listed the Lakers as the NBA’s most valuable franchise at $607 million. So that means Magic’s share would be worth around $28 million.
Magic apparently wants to join a group of investors onterested buying the Detroit Pistons. Magic has strong ties to Michigan; he grew up in Lansing and played for Michigan State.
No matter, Magic is forever linked to the purple and gold. In a press released posted on the team website, Magic emphasized his commitment to the Lakers: “I am truly humbled to have been a Lakers player for 13 years and an owner for over 10 years. I thank Dr. Buss from the deepest part of my heart and soul for allowing me such an incredible opportunity. I will continue to work alongside Dr. Buss, Jeanie Buss and Mitch Kupchak in their efforts to continually build and maintain the best NBA franchise in the league. This was a bittersweet business decision made on behalf of my family and myself, and I want to assure all the wonderful and loyal Lakers fans that my decision will in no way affect my dedication and support for the Los Angeles Lakers. I am and will always be a Laker for life.”
Follow the Lakers on this blog. Check the middle column for updates on the players and the franchise.