Cover Image for Magic Johnson started building his $620 million fortune by meeting gang leaders in LA

Magic Johnson started building his $620 million fortune by meeting gang leaders in LA

Achyuth Jayagopal
|Wed Aug 10 2022


The Lakers were the biggest show in basketball during the 1980s.

The ringleader of the show was a young buck called Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Every bit worthy of his nickname, Magic enthralled and got everybody in attendance off their seats.

Magic’s proficiency in making his teams better with innovative basketball made the Lakers the entertainers they became. High-flying dunks and unbelievable alley-oops became commonplace in LA. The highly energetic core around Johnson became accomplices to the Magic show.

Also read: “Have no fear, F***ING Magic Johnson is here!”: When the Lakers Legend boldly declared his arrival at the NBA Finals by beating Dr. J and the 76ers

Johnson became the face of the franchise, taking over from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. With big shoes to fill, Magic did not disappoint as he kept the purple and gold pride alive and flying.

The city of LA was in love with Magic, and Magic with LA. The starry lights of LA and the spotlight afforded to Magic made him a very wealthy man.

Johnson’s desire to contribute to the community, however, met a major roadblock. Magic overcame it, and his status as a Laker legend helped. Especially with the gangs of LA.

How did Magic’s status as a Laker help him with the gangs of LA?

As we mentioned, the city of LA was in love with the young phenom. And this included the gangs and gangsters of the city too.

Magic had to sit with the gang leaders of the Bloods and the Crips in LA and arrange a meeting. The objective of the meeting? To demand a truce and to call off violence in the streets of LA.

The $620 million worth-Lakers legend wanted to build a movie theater in Southern LA. Magic’s idea was that while it is a business establishment, he wanted to integrate his community into it. Employment and entertainment were to be taken care of with Magic’s investment.

A major roadblock to the peaceful maintenance and reputation of the project was gang violence. To curb this issue the solution was a meeting with Magic himself.

Surprise! The leaders of the gangs were Lakers fans. The fandom was evident as the gangs decided to call it a truce and to endeavor to reduce violence, all on Magic’s word.

Magic, therefore, won LA another battle. The city truly belonged to Magic Johnson.

Also read: “To get $1 million a year for 25 years was great because I grew up poor my whole life”: Magic Johnson details the bizarre contract he signed with the Lakers in 1984


About the author