19-year-old Magic Johnson Once Visited $100 Million Playboy Mansion Thanks to Jerry Buss

Trikansh Kher
|Published 16/01/2023

As a nineteen-year-old, Magic Johnson was once treated to a night he would never forget by any other than the Laker’s owner Jerry Buss. Buss, the legendary Lakers owner, took the teenage Magic to Playboy Mansion for a party soon after he signed a five-year, $2.3 million deal with a signing bonus of $175,000.

Also read: “Never Tried to Get All the Named Dudes”: Magic Johnson Reveals the Reason for Never Teaming Up With Michael Jordan

Magic and the ‘Showtime Lakers’

Magic Johnson’s antics on and off the court make up a major part of his legacy. A number of them come from his time at the Lakers. One of the greatest ever to play the game, Johnson was marked out from the beginning as a special talent. The number one pick in the 1979 draft class, Johnson would be signed by the Los Angeles Lakers who were about to embark on one of the greatest runs in history.

In the 1980s the L. A Lakers changed basketball. Owner Jerry Buss dreamed of assembling a team that would bring to life a ‘Hollywood flair’ and the result was the ‘Showtime Lakers’. A team built around a philosophy of playing quick, scoring, and importantly entertaining basketball, the Lakers would win five rings in the Showtime era, powered by Johnson’s visionary passing and Kareem’s prodigious scoring. The owner lived his team’s philosophy and was the one to introduce Johnson to the clubbing scene in L. A.

A Night to Remember

Magic had grown up in Lansing, Michigan, and was a stranger to the fast life in L.A. He later admitted that he would never forget that night, as it gave him a taste of the superstar life. As Johnson narrated in the book ‘When the Game Was Ours’ the night at Playboy Mansion was one of many nights where he and Buss would go out.  The teenage Magic would call his friends that very night, eager to tell them about where he was.

Magic’s taste of the life of the superstar hooked him. It also led him to contract AIDS years on, the disease that would bring his career to an end. Magic has been very open about that era and how he has come to terms with it. The five titles the Lakers would win meant that Johnson would seal his place in the Hall of Fame, but there could have been more. The night out with Jerry Buss would set in motion events that led to the life and legend of Magic Johnson as we now know.

Also read: “Magic Johnson was not a good defender. Advantage Michael Jordan”: George Karl Disagrees With RHCP Guitarist Over NBA Goat Debate

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About the author
Trikansh Kher

Trikansh Kher

Trikansh Kher is a writer at The Sports Rush. A lawyer by education, Trikansh has always been around sports. As a young track athlete Trikansh was introduced to basketball through 'street ball' mixtapes. He was hooked and it has been 'ball is life' ever since. Trikansh is a designer by profession, but couldn't keep away from basketball. A regular on the blacktop, his love for the game goes further than just hooping. If Trikansh isn't going through box scores for last night's game, you can find him in his studio working on his designs or playing squash at the local club.

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