Magic Johnson has officially cut ties with the franchise that made him a household name… on paper anyways.
Johnson confirmed he’s sold his 10% stake in the LA Lakers for an undisclosed amount to a man he describes as a “super fan.”
Johnson sold his stake in the Lakers to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, an accomplished businessman, prominent UCLA surgeon and Lakers season-ticket holder for 25 years, for an undisclosed sum, the team announced Monday. Johnson, who was believed to own as much 10 percent of the team, purchased his share in 1994 for a reported $10 million.
Johnson’s motivations for selling his share of the franchise were not revealed, but now that he’s done so, he’s free to acquire a stake in another NBA franchise. Johnson, a native of Lansing, Mich., has previously admitted interest in having a role with the Detroit Pistons.
“After heavy deliberation and a weighing heart, I have decided to sell my share of the Lakers to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong,” Johnson said in a statement released by the team. “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
“I am truly humbled to have been a Lakers player for 13 years and an owner for over 10 years. I thank Dr. 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.”
Yeaaaaa… But you were just talking about buying the closest thing you’ve got to a hometown team, the Detroit Pistons.
“Somebody back there has to be the majority owner. Be the owner,” Johnson said in August about potentially having a role with the Pistons. “That wouldn’t be me. But if Ilitch or somebody — you’ve got a good guy back there already in (team president) Joe Dumars. If somebody said, ‘Hey, can you come and think about helping Joe Dumars?’ then I would think about it.
“Just like the Lakers. It’s not the full (ownership). You just get a little piece. But then you are involved in the basketball, how the decisions are made.”
We’re sure the full reason behind him leaving the Lakers after 10 years won’t ever come out. You don’t develop $700 million brand by telling folks all your business.