*After 10 years of owning a piece of the Los Angeles Lakers, former team member Earvin “Magic” Johnson has sold his share of the franchise to a long time season ticket holder for an undisclosed amount.
Johnson, who played 13 years for the Lakers, originally paid $10 million in 1994 for a 4.5% share of the team, and some speculate that the sale was orchestrated so that he can own a larger portion of another team later on.
“I am truly humbled to have been a Lakers player for 13 years and an owner for over 10 years,” Johnson said in a statement. “I thank Dr. [Jerry] 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 [general manager] 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.”
According to Business and Finance News, there’s talk that Magic could be involved in a transaction to purchase the Detroit Pistons, as the owner of the Detroit Redwings and Tigers is now eyeing Motor City’s basketball team.
Magic’s buyer is Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, chairman of the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation, chairman and CEO of All About Advanced Health and founder of the National Coalition for Health Integration. Soon-Shiong has played a primary role in cutting-edge treatments for a wide variety of cancers. He is also the executive director of the UCLA Wireless Health Institute and professor of Microbiology, Immunology, Molecular Genetics and Bioengineering at UCLA.
“Earvin Johnson is a shining example of excellence on and off the court, and it is a privilege to have acquired his ownership position,” Soon-Shiong said in a statement.