They Call Him Magic: How Earvin Johnson Worked Wonders And Parlayed It Into A $600M Empire
Photo Credit: Michael Loccisano

They Call Him Magic: How Earvin Johnson Worked Wonders And Parlayed It Into A $600M Empire

Not a lot of basketball players have laid the foundation that someone like Magic Johnson has.

Whether it’s through his activism or his business prowess, the man born Earvin Johnson has become a figurehead for all the world’s possibilities, and for overcoming even the worst of adversity.

He is one of the richest athletes in the world, and his three children are carrying on a legacy that is incomparable.

And now, Ebony Magazine has revealed that his story will forever be immortalized on film. The outlet reports that his new documentary, “They Call Me Magic,” is premiering at SXSW in 2022.

And that’s only the first film about Magic Johnson that’s coming down the pipeline. HBO Max has just released “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,” which USA Today is reporting takes a dramatic look at Johnson’s rookie year with the Lakers.

“That’s because while ‘Winning Time’ is a basketball story, it’s just as much a Hollywood story, and the star of both is Magic Johnson. He’s played here by newcomer Quincy Isaiah, who captures Johnson’s swagger and charisma but also his not-so-secret weapon: his smile,” reports the outlet, which gave the series high marks for its tight storyline, realistic take on his life, and depiction of tragedy over triumph when he received his HIV-positive diagnosis.

Through it all, Johnson persevered, and today, he’s revered as an elder of the beloved sport. He’s made wise investments through the years, and it’s these business moves and impressive salary that have earned him a $600 million net worth (per Celebrity Net Worth).

Let’s take a look at all the ways Magic makes his money.

Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from a variety of online sources.

NBA Salary

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According to Sportrac, Magic Johnson earned more than $39 million throughout his NBA career. Those earnings came over the course of 31 seasons.

Sports Team Ownership

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As AfroTech previously reported, Magic Johnson became co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers back in 2012. According to his official bio on the Dodgers’ page, he also “co-owns the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA and Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club.”

Magic Johnson Enterprises

 

Photo Credit: Isaac Brekken

As AfroTech previously reported, Magic Johnson’s eponymously-named celebrity investment firm takes Black-owned business ownership seriously. Of all the Black celebrities with their own investment firms, Johnson is the only one who almost exclusively invests in Black-owned businesses. He’s also joined the board of directors at Uncharted Power, a Black-owned energy startup company. CrunchBase, meanwhile, reports that of Magic Johnson Enterprises’ eight total investments, seven of them were considered “diversity investments.”

Other Investments

Photo Credit: EquiTrust

Back in 1990, UPI reported that Magic Johnson bought into a PepsiCo bottling plant — and at that time, it became the largest minority-owned bottling plant in the United States.

And that was just the first of many investments made by the NBA legend.

In 2015, USA Today reported that he acquired 60 percent of an ownership stake in EquiTrust Life Insurance Companies, whose valuation at the time was $14.5 billion. In 2020, AfroTech reported that EquiTrust allocated more than $100 million in federal loans for Black-owned businesses that were hit the hardest during the pandemic.

AfroTech also reported that in 2020, he teamed up with Cigna to combat the racial disparities amongst small business owners.

Real Estate

Photo Credit: TheMLS

According to Curbed, Magic Johnson and his wife Cookie live in the ritzy Beverly Park district of Beverly Hills, CA. Per Zillow, the seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom home boasts 10,000-square-feet and has an estimated value of more than $9 million. He also owns a home in Dana Point, CA, which is located in Orange County. According to Berg Properties, he paid $7.6 million for more than 7000-square-feet of property.

Prior to this, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Johnson put his old Beverly Hills mansion estate on the market back in 1998, and he listed it for $7,932,000.

Hawaii Life also reported that Magic Johnson once owned a home in Hawaii, which is valued at more than $20 million.