Magic Johnson Sells Lakers Stake to Try His Luck in Detroit

According to a team announcement, Ervin Magic Johnson has sold his stake in the Los Angeles Lakers to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a Lakers season ticket holder for 25 years, for an undisclosed sum. 

In Johnson's own words, “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.”

A business decision. Really?

Magic is nothing if not a savvy businessman. In his time away from the court he has built a virtual empire of real estate, restaurant and movie chains, among other investments that have paid him handsomely.

However, despite his championship at Michigan State, Magic is and will always be linked to the Lakers. So why sell his stake of the very team he led to five championships during the showtime era to sludge through the muck and mire that has become the Detroit Pistons? 

In a word, control.  More than a savvy businessman, Johnson is a competitor.  He competed and succeeded on the court, in business and now, he longs for the impact that comes from competing on the highest level of ownership.  

He, as many players who have long since passed their playing days, wants an opportunity to affect the outcome of a team's future. Maybe he can succeed where thus far, his contemporaries, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan, have failed.

For as long as anyone would listen, Magic's made no secret of his desire to explore situations that presented a significant ownership stake, as well as a meaningful front office position.

He recently flirted with a group that attempted to buy the Golden State Warriors with similar promises. Though that situation never manifested, Johnson clearly hasn't been resting on his laurels.

During t...

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