“Magic Johnson took just $100K from Converse over stock from Nike!”: How Lakers legend MAJORLY fumbled bag that could have been worth $5.2 Billion now
|Thu Apr 28 2022
Magic Johnson is worth $600 million currently – he could have been worth almost 10 times that if he made a different career choice.
Magic Johnson is one of the most famous athletes in history – he has one of the best photos from the All-Star game. With his popularity at an all-time high in the 80s, Converse wanted to sign him as the face of their brand with a sneaker deal. Converse was the best footwear brand during that time, and it was no secret that they wanted him.
Phil Knight, the founder of Blue ribbon Sports (the name of the company before it was changed to Nike) approached Magic when he was out of college with a shoe deal of their own. But since it was a new company, it could not offer hard cash – it could only offer stock. Converse on the other hand was offering him $100,000 in cash, and it made more sense to take that deal then.
This was 5 years before Michael Jordan signed on with Nike – a deal that would propel Nike to be the biggest sports manufacturer ever. Magic must be ruing his decision now – the stock option would have been worth $5.2 billion in today’s market. That would make him untouchable as the richest athlete ever – he would be richer than Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James combined.
The world would have been very different if Magic Johnson signed with Nike – he would have influenced Michael Jordan to sign with Adidas
If Nike had signed Magic Johnson before MJ, the sports world would look very different. There would be no Air Jordans with Nike, and in all probabilities, Adidas would have signed him like he wanted them to. The iconic sneaker line would be Adidas, not Nike.
MJ would never sign with a brand that hosted another well-set superstar – he wanted to be the face of something growing and lead it. The name of the shoe Johnson had was called “The Weapon”, but it was a torpedo blowing up his opportunity to be a billionaire.
The worst part is that Converse got acquired by Nike, and Magic’s line is produced under Nike’s banner anyway!