Magic Johnson is a legend in the basketball community. During his prime, the Lakers’ star worked wonders on the court. Johnson was a coveted commodity in the early 1980s, and various brands were vying for a chance to work with him.
Johnson was torn between two possibilities at the time: Nike or Converse. According to The Sports Rush, Nike’s presence wasn’t as strong as it is now, so they gave Johnson “[$1] for every shoe that Nike sold, as well as 100,000 shares in stocks at 0.18$ per share.”
Converse, on the other hand, was well-established, and instead of shares, they gave Johnson a salary of $100,000 per year. The Los Angeles Lakers legend chose the latter, and it’s a decision that’s still haunting him. Johnson expressed regret over his Converse deal during a recent press appearance, and speculated on how much money he would have had today if he had signed on the dotted line with Nike.
Now, I’ve never heard of stock at 19-years-old. So, you take this money, I gotta take this cash. Man, I would have been a trillionaire by now. If you think about—in 1979! Gettin’ that stock then! And what it’s worth today!? Yikes! It kills me every single time I think about that. You know, like, man, Michael Jordan would have been making me so much money.
For fans of Magic Johnson, this is a familiar story, but the NBA star has revisited it in the wake of HBO’s new series, Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. We’re confident he’s not the only athlete with similar tales to tell. The sports legend is thought to have missed out on a $5 billion prize. Magic Johnson can be seen in the video below.
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