Magic Johnson has now achieved billionaire status, exceeding the previous wealth benchmark of $1 million.
Forbes reports that most of the 64-year-old’s riches stem from his shareholding in the insurance company EquiTrust.
As per the report, under Johnson’s leadership, the company’s possessions have increased twofold. A decade earlier, their value was $16 billion.
As reported by CNN, this individual’s billionaire status can be attributed partly to his wise investments in various professional sports teams such as the Los Angeles Sparks under WNBA and the Los Angeles Dodgers under Major League Baseball. Reports from media outlets suggest that he also had financial interests in his former NBA team, the Los Angeles Lakers, for a period spanning from 1994 to 2010.
Johnson, who spent 13 years playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and suddenly retired. He had earned $40 million during his career, which would be equivalent to about $110 million today when adjusted for inflation. In a previous episode of All The Smoke, Johnson expressed regret for declining Nike’s offer of stock payments in 1979 because he did not come from money and did not understand stocks at the time. Instead, he opted for a deal with Converse that paid him $100,000 annually in advance. Under the terms of the agreement, Johnson would have received 100,000 shares of Nike stock and $1 for each pair of shoes sold. Johnson laments not taking a chance on the stocks, since they would have doubled in value to $5 billion over 45 years. Forbes reports that with Johnson’s earnings of $1 billion, he becomes the fourth athlete to join the billion-dollar club, alongside Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James.