FOX Sports: Magic Johnson sold his small ownership stake in the Los Angeles Lakers to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong on Monday, possibly clearing the way for the Hall of Famer to own a bigger portion of another NBA team in the future.
Johnson bought shares representing about 4.5 percent of the Lakers in June 1994 for a reported $10 million. Johnson said the sale was strictly a ”bittersweet business decision,” but the five-time league champion has long been interested in taking a larger ownership role in an NBA franchise.
”I thank Dr. (Jerry) Buss from the deepest part of my heart and soul for allowing me such an incredible opportunity,” Johnson said in a statement. ”I will continue to work alongside Dr. Buss, Jeanie Buss and (general manager) Mitch Kupchak in their efforts to continually build and maintain the best NBA franchise in the league.”
Johnson spent his entire 13-year playing career with Los Angeles, including a 32-game comeback in 1996 nearly five years after his retirement. He has been a successful businessman since leaving the sport, excelling in commercial real estate ventures including movie theaters, restaurants and health clubs.
”The sale of Earvin’s share of the team is a business decision which will not change our relationship,” Buss said. ”Our friendship goes well beyond business. Patrick is a longtime and passionate Lakers fan, and we are delighted to have him as a partner.”