Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 13 seasons. After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996, at age 36, to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time.
Johnson’s career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. He led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA’s all-time leader in average assists per game, at 11.2. Johnson was a member of the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team (“The Dream Team”), which won the Olympic gold medal in 1992. After leaving the NBA in 1992, Johnson formed the Magic Johnson All-Stars, a barnstorming team that travelled around the world playing exhibition games. Johnson was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996.
Johnson is one of only seven players in history to win an NCAA Championship, an NBA Championship, and an Olympic Gold Medal. He became a two-time inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame—being enshrined in 2002 for his individual career, and again in 2010 as a member of the “Dream Team”. He was rated the greatest NBA point guard of all time by ESPN in 2007. His friendship and rivalry with Boston Celtics star Larry Bird, whom he faced in the 1979 NCAA finals and three NBA championship series, are well documented.
Career highlights and awards
5× NBA champion (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987–1988)
3× NBA Finals MVP (1980, 1982, 1987)
3× NBA Most Valuable Player (1987, 1989–1990)
12× NBA All-Star (1980, 1982–1992)
2× NBA All-Star Game MVP (1990, 1992)
9× All-NBA First Team (1983–1991)
All-NBA Second Team (1982)
NBA All-Rookie First Team (1980)
4× NBA assists leader (1983–1984, 1986–1987)
2× NBA steals leader (1981–1982)
J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (1992)
NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
No. 32 retired by Los Angeles Lakers
NCAA champion (1979)
NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (1979)
Consensus first-team All-American (1979)
No. 33 retired by Michigan State
In January 2012, Johnson joined with Guggenheim Partners and Stan Kasten in a bid for ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. Together with Guggenheim, Johnson was also involved in the February 2014 purchase of the Los Angeles Sparks team in the WNBA. Johnson announced his co-ownership of a future Major League Soccer expansion franchise based in Los Angeles on October 30, 2014.
Johnson runs Magic Johnson Enterprises, a company that has a net worth of $700 million; its subsidiaries include Magic Johnson Productions, a promotional company; Magic Johnson Theaters, a nationwide chain of movie theaters; and Magic Johnson Entertainment, a movie studio. In addition to these business ventures, Johnson has also created the Magic Card, a pre-paid MasterCard aimed at helping low-income people save money and participate in electronic commerce. In 2006, Johnson created a contract food service withSodexo USA called Sodexo-Magic.
In 2004, Johnson and his partner Ken Lombard, sold Magic Johnson Theaters to Loews Cineples Entertainment in 2004. The first Magic Johnson Theater located in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, closed in 2010 and re-opened in 2011 as Rave Cinema