Magic Johnson is once again making history. The former basketball star has officially been declared a billionaire by Forbes.
Johnson is now only the fourth athlete to join the Billionaires Club with a net worth of about $1.2 billion. He joins prominent Black athletes such as Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and LeBron James.
Johnson’s total net worth comes from his investments in numerous companies including ownership stakes in various sports teams. But Forbes reports that his stake in a life insurance company holds most of his wealth.
Although he had a very substantial NBA career, his wealth from his athlete days are only a fraction of his total wealth. Forbes reports he made $40 million from his NBA career.
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.
Johnson’s wealth could have accumulated faster had he not turned down offers from athletic shoe brands at the start of his career. Nike, Converse and Adidas each reached out to the then-budding star.
Nike allegedly offered Johnson $1 for each shoe they sold, as well as 100,000 shares in stocks at $0.18 per share. Back then, Nike was still a new company and Johnson was not too familiar with 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.”