NBA icon Magic Johnson has amassed a massive fortune off the court — accumulating an estimated wealth of $680million.
Yet, the former Los Angeles Lakers superstar passed on a business deal at the start of his career that’s costing him $5.2billion and counting.
NBA legend Magic Johnson won a championship in his first season with the Lakers in 1979Credit: Getty
After his rookie season, Johnson turned down a Nike deal that would’ve netted him $5.2billion and countingCredit: Getty
Drafted first-overall pick by the Lakers in 1979, the 6-foot-9 Johnson became an instant star, helping the team win an NBA title in his rookie season alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabaar.
He would go on to win four more championships and three MVPs as he spent 14 seasons in Los Angeles.
In January, Magic appeared on the All The Smoke podcast and discussed the business offers he received after his first championship run.
The 63-year-old Johnson spoke on the fact he was given offers in 1980 from three companies — Converse, Adidas, and Nike.
The NBA Hall of Famer then recalled the fact he denied a Nike deal in favor of Converse.
He said: “Nike was just a year or two old. And so, Converse offered me the most money. So, you know, when you grow up broke, you take the money.”
Magic then went into further detail on why he chose Converse over Nike when he was 20 years old.
“Phil Knight (Nike co-founder) came in (and) said, ‘Hey I can’t offer you the same type of money, but I can offer you stock.”
“I wasn’t (trying to hear that) and I didn’t know nothin’ about it.”
“My family didn’t come from money.
“That’s one thing that hurts us sometimes when you don’t come from money.
“I didn’t even know what stocks were at that time… so I passed on the stocks.”
Nike shares have now surged by over 70,000 percent since 1979 when the offer was made.
According to Cassius, Nike offered Johnson $1 for every pair of shoes sold and 100,000 shares of the company’s stock at $0.18 per share.
“Can you imagine 45 years, $5 billion (is what) that stock would have been worth today,” the NBA legend added.
Magic would still negotiate a $460,000 deal as a rookie, which was a record at the time.
On the court, he earned close to $40million from his Lakers contracts.
After Johnson’s NBA career, he formed Magic Johnson Enterprises, which is estimated by Pompliano to have holdings in excess of $1billion.
He has also invested in the Lakers and other Los Angeles sports clubs including soccer team LAFC, the Sparks, and the Dodgers.
Despite his immense wealth, Magic is behind basketball legends Michael Jordan and LeBron James on the NBA rich list.
Both MJ and LeBron have officially been declared billionaires by Forbes.
Johnson went on to win four more titles and three MVP awardsCredit: Getty
Despite taking a Converse shoe deal over Nike, Magic still has a net worth of $680millionCredit: Getty