Lakers Now

Round-the-Clock Purple and Gold

« Previous Post | Lakers Now Home | Next Post »

Magic Johnson sells his share of the Lakers

Nujohnson_410 Magic Johnson will forever be connected with Lakers history, but he can't be called part-owner of the team any longer.

Johnson sold his ownership stake in the Lakers, about 4.5%, to influential season-ticket holder Patrick Soon-Shiong, the team said Monday.

Johnson, who holds assets in many business sectors, including commercial real estate, health clubs and restaurants, said in a statement that his decision was reached after "heavy deliberation and a weighing heart."

"Dr. Soon-Shiong is a super Lakers fan, an outstanding businessman, a dedicated philanthropist and one of the most active community leaders in Los Angeles,” Johnson said. “I am truly humbled to have been a Lakers player for 13 years and an owner for over 10 years. I thank Dr. [Jerry] 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.”

Based on a valuation by Forbes magazine that the Lakers were worth $607 million last December, Johnson's stake was worth about $28 million, though exact terms of the sale were not disclosed.

"The sale of Earvin’s share of the team is a business decision which will not change our relationship," Lakers owner Jerry Buss said in a statement. "Our friendship goes well beyond business. Patrick is a long-time and passionate Lakers fan and we are delighted to have him as a partner.”

-- Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Magic Johnson in 2005. Credit: Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (51)

The comments to this entry are closed.


My idol will be one of the owners of the team I hate the most.......

this means he is looking to buy a team of his own. he wants a controlling share and i wouldnt doubt Magic buying a franchise shortly.

Magic wasn't going to get a controlling share of the Lakers, so best of luck to him on whichever team he buys (didn't someone mention the Pistons earlier?).

His first move if I were him? Somehow beg, borrow or steal Jerry West into GM'ing for him. THEN I might not wish him such good luck.

Thank Goodness! I never liked Magic whatsoever!! The Lakers will continue to be great without him as an owner! Best of luck, I hope you go to the Pistons!

Although I'm not looking forward to rooting against a Magic owned team(only when his sqaud is battling the Lakers) someday, it seems like this is likely to happen in the near future.

I wish him all the best and hope that he can make a big impact on a struggling franchise. One thing's for sure, he can't do any worse than Jordan has.

The question now becomes, which team is Magic buying?


First thing to do when you gain control of the Pistons -- fire Joe Dumars. He may have been a great player; but his GM skills are seriously lacking. Trading Mr. Big Shot for AI??? It took Detroit for a perennial playoff team to permanent cellar dwellers. If ever there was a team that deserved to be broken up and revamped, it was the Pistons. Good luck with that Magic!

Melo is waiting for which team Magic will buy before signing a new contract...

Just a feelin I got...who knows...all these dark going ons underneath it all...

Hate to say, I saw the writings on the wall with his behaviour and comments the last 2 years...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...(this ain't your Magic's Lakers)

#17 Coming Up!!!

@Jim R. If you never liked Earvin Magic Johnson "whatsoever"- you are not a Laker fan. If you never liked Earvin Magic Johnson you are not a fan of the NBA. The man changed the game with his charisma, competitiveness, and unselfish play. You Fail.

Man... Bird in Indiana. MJ in Charolotte. McHale back home in Minn - while it lasted. Can we see Magic in his hometown as the owner of the Pistons? I certainly hope so. I love it when the GOATs hold these high power positions in their home states & towns. That has to be one of those "dreams come true" scenarios.

That's why it was probably hard for Ariza to roll up and I don't know what was on Farmar's mind - glad he chose to leave though.


I rarely agree with Charlie Rosen , but this quote made me laugh out loud:

"Kwame Brown and Nazr Mohammed make up one of the worst center rotations in the league."

Fully agree with And The JellosJigglin. I wish Magic the best luck in all his endeavors. Just don;t beat the Lakers!


Back to Matt Barnes from the Walton thread. I'm not forming any opinions and hope he works out as everyone belives he will, too, but here's a list of his transactions in the NBA. Interesting stuff:

August 27, 1999: As part of a 3-team trade, traded by the Orlando Magic to the Vancouver Grizzlies; the Vancouver Grizzlies traded Steve Francis and Tony Massenburg to the Houston Rockets; and the Vancouver Grizzlies traded Lee Mayberry, Makhtar N'diaye, Rodrick Rhodes and Michael Smith to the Orlando Magic.

June 26, 2002: Traded by the Memphis Grizzlies with Nick Anderson to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Wesley Person.

June 26, 2002: Drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2nd round (46th pick) of the 2002 NBA Draft.

October 18, 2002: Waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

January 18, 2004: Signed two 10-day contracts with the Los Angeles Clippers, then signed a contract for the rest of the season.

October 1, 2004: Signed as a free agent with the Sacramento Kings.

February 23, 2005: Traded by the Sacramento Kings with Michael Bradley and Chris Webber to the Philadelphia 76ers for Brian Skinner, Kenny Thomas and Corliss Williamson.

October 6, 2005: Signed as a free agent with the New York Knickerbockers.

December 3, 2005: Waived by the New York Knickerbockers.

December 9, 2005: Signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia 76ers.

October 20, 2006: Signed as a free agent with the Golden State Warriors.

July 22, 2008: Signed as a free agent with the Phoenix Suns.

July 23, 2009: Signed as a free agent with the Orlando Magic.

This is all about Magic's ultra competitiveness and MJ owning an NBA team.
Simple as that.

Et tu, Magic? Et tu?
I fricken hate the Pistons.
Urgh. MAN...
What do we play for? RINGS!!!
Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

Again, it is time to separate Magic (the great Laker) and Earvin (the businessman). I'll never root against Magic, but Earvin will get as much of my wrath as Marc Cubin does now. Darn you Earvin, Darn you to heck!


Sorry ... the post by Jim R was not by Jim R but by someone who thought it a funny pratical joke. I am Jim R and the clown that poseted it undr my name did it knowing that I have been a Laker fan since the 60's and Magic is my favorite player of all time.

Magic, like Chick and Jerry are the ulitmate Lakers. Losing any of them in any way is nto a happy day for the Lakers.

Hey guys. I'll have a more comprehensive post about Magic's decision later tonight. I'm going to hold off a bit just to allow Mike to do any reporting he might be doing for the print edition because I remain reluctant to give takes on things without some of the necessary facts in place.

We'll have some material from practice shortly


Best of luck, Ervin Johnson!! Whichever team Magic buys, that team will be my second favorite team in the league.

What kind of lame reporting is this?! Cut and paste what a publicist gives you?! What's the REAL REASON Magic sold his stake in the team? NBA rules require it, if he wants to buy a stake in another NBA team? What!?!

I'm pretty sure Magic owning another team is imminent. I can't imagine he'd let his Laker stake go without that being the case.

At least we won't have to listen to his inane rambling on the NBA broadcasts any more either.

He'll still always be my favorite Laker player and favorite late night talk show host. The Magic Hour was a train wreck so perfect in every way. Who could turn away from that? I was almost as sad when that show went off the air as when Mike T was banned from the blog.

I'll admit that I am surprised by this news. This only makes sense to me if Magic is going to make a move to try to buy another NBA franchise. I see no immediate need for him to sell his ownership share in the Lakers. He has plenty of money, so it's not like he has some sort of cash flow problem.

Who cares.

Don't hate on Magic for selling his (minority) share of the Lakers. His stated goal for some time has been to assume a controlling share of an NBA franchise and I have no doubt he has his sight set on his home state Detroit Pistons.

This can only be a good thing for the NBA. Having it's ex-greats maintain a presence within the league gives it a credibilty un-heard of in other major sports. How many ex-NFL or MLB players own teams?

Another, possible, boon would be the upcoming CBA negotiations. I think the Players Union would be more willing to accept numbers from teams run by ex-players. That alone will not save next year...but if Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson told you, "Hey, I lost $16.5 mil last season because we only sold out 10 out of 41 games." You don't automatically assume they're trying to pull one over on you.

At the end of the day, I'll always detest the Pistons, not as much as the Celtics...but close. However, if as widely assumed, he gains a controlling share of the Pistons, I'll root for them to do well as long as they lose to the Lakers.

He knows when to stop riding a dead horse....

Maybe Magic isn't buying another team. Maybe he needs the $28 million. After all, now would be a bad time to be an owner of commercial real estate and restaurants.

Come on! THE PISTONS!?!?!?
I still have nightmares due to our 2004 loss to the Pistons in the Finals!
What do we play for? RINGS!!!
Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

I'm curious if Magic "owns" a team (possible Pistons), what his game plan will be. With the more-than-likely lockout next year, I'm interested what his scenario for winning will be.

With MJ's none-too-stellar job on his team (a lot of which seems like trying-to-stay-in-the-limelightitis), it'll take some real thought to move ahead; especially with the superteamism developing.

If, as someone suggested, Magic has an "in" with Mello, that would be a great ace-in-the-hole. If not, I'm anxious to see.

Again Espn ranks the Grizzlies 20th!!! WTF!!!
They're gonna surprise people this year. This young team is hungry but beyond that they have the right group people to make them my second favorite team after the Lakers. Remember who talked about them first people.

johnny boy

Magic should buy the Grizzlies


Nice to see a reality check on Barnes. I never thought much of him before and it seems his only claim to fame is a fake ball pass to Kobes face, not very impressive to me. I have been dubious about him since he signed but since he is now a Laker and appears to have Kobe's support I hope he does well. I figure Kobe must know more than me but I have the Missouri attitude, show me.

Glad to hear Luke is doing better health wise, Lakers will need all hands on deck this season, it's going to be a tough one. Lakers need Bynum.

Magic has earned the right to do whatever he wants, it's his life. I can only imagine going back to my home town as an owner of a major sports team. I hope he can turn them around and make them a force in years to come and will root for him against every other team except the Lakers.
I cannot imagine any Laker fan would stop supporting him because of this, but then, I am not very imaginative.

Can we get him to buy the Dodgers, too?

The problem is that Memphis is a crappy market. There's no real money there.
What do we play for? RINGS!!!
Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

I wish the Luke Walton thread had a more of a chance to gain momentum. Frankly, it is more relevant than Magic selling his ownership shares, but because we are talking about Magic Johnson, Luke quickly became the afterthought that he already is in the minds of many Lakers fans.

Luke has played ONLY for the Lakers entering his eighth season and should not be treated as a "what have you done for me lately" player. He bleeds Purple and Gold as much as any player on the team. When I think of the rotations to start this season, don't be surprised to see a second unit that has Luke ahead of Barnes. Who would you rather have out there helping Steve Blake organize the triangle, Barnes or Luke? Even on defense, Luke will be ahead of Barnes in understanding the Lakers' schemes at this point. Give me his 7 years of Phil Jackson-coached experience to go with his high basketball IQ to be a coach on the floor over a player who can't stick with one team, even if he is more talented for now. Remember folks, this is journeyman Matt Barnes we're talking about, not Ron Artest.

Anyway, while some fans will point out that the only reason Luke is still on the team is because of his contract, he is not an afterthought to me. He has been a sometimes intangible, other times very tangible part of the Lakers' success.

Wow... it's amazing this blog is full of HATERS, quit hating on the greatest laker of them all.


Thanks, man. I just finished my follow up post on the Barnes-Walton issue and then saw your most excellent post from a fan who knows his team!

Magic IS buying into another team, an expansion football team, which will share a new stadium downtown with the Chargers. Remember where you heard this.

SAY NOOOO... Shannon, don't fall in the black hole.

If Bill Walton's son's last name was "Walker", he probably wouldn't even be in the league and definitely not on the Lakers.

Steve L, you sound like a proponent of prob 19


Then we all suc - cause we're all sick. Great post - do you blow your nose for an encore?

Charles Freeman- yeah, or 'Parker' or 'Brown' or 'Brown' or 'Ariza' or "Radmonovic' or... wait, he outplayed all those guys, and I don't know their dads.

phred - No he didn't out play them, he just out last them, he's a LOOSER.

Maybe he will use the proceeds to pay back the ill gotten gains from the shady mortgages that he was pushing to people of color. Anyone remember his affiliation with the largest bank failure in US history...Washington Mutual?

I do! Remember when he was on the Radio(Steve Harvey Morning Show) telling people that he could help them get a house back in 2005?

I do!

Although I didn't fall for the sham. I lost all of respect for the man when he teamed up with Washington Mutual to push toxic subprime loans to Blacks and other minorities from coast to coast.

It seems like no one remembers the role he played in the forclosure debacle. But I do and will never forget!!!

Anyone else remember?

I knew Magic wanted to buy a team of his own, but I kept hoping it wouldn't actually happen. Oh well, this move makes pretty clear that that's what he's planning to do. What a strange predicament that'll be! Wanting the best for Magic but having to root against him.

Doesn't matter. Magic is still a Laker for life. TOP 3 player in the history of the NBA. Kobe, Jordan, Magic

Me worry?
Magic's ego will get in the way of any success of any organization Magic is put in charge of.
Magic as coach of the Lakers before he quit when things were a little tough and...
Magic's continuous quiting and coming back as a player (a la Brett Farvre) to massage his ego while the continuity of the Laker team suffered?
Good riddance.
Hope your head can fit through the exit door, Magic.

I have mixed feelings about this.

I took notice of Magic when he was at Michigan State. I liked him when he was drafted to the Lakers. I was a fan for life when Kareem went down and he played center in Game 6 of the 1980 finals and posted 42 points, 15 boards and 7 assists and 3 steals. But his recent revelation about how he helped to freeze out Isaiah from the Olympic team and his anti-Kobe attitude and his everybody gonna win but the Lakers last year just kinda didn't sit right with me. Magic will always be one the greatest to ever play the game, he was once everything I thought a great man should be but some of his off court actions have given me pause.

Still I say Good luck to him, but better fortunes for the Lakers!

I hope the Best For Magic I love what he's done for the Lakers and the Community. YOU WILL ALWAYS BE A LAKER!!!! I want what you want and that's to own a team. Do your thing MAGIC MUCH LOVE FROM All LakerNation

i just want to know how much in $ did the sale amount to? 30 million?


What kind drinks did they give u magic to make u sell ur part of ur inrest in the lakers thats just crazy!!!



In Case You Missed It...


All Things Lakers »

Your database for all things purple and gold.

Find a Laker

Search a name

Select a season

Choose one of our lists



About the Bloggers

Bleacher Report | Lakers

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More Lakers on Bleacher Report »

Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists:

In Case You Missed It...