'The Grow Wire Show' Episode 01: Magic Johnson's Growth Beyond the Court

'The Grow Wire Show' Episode 01: Magic Johnson's Growth Beyond the Court

  By Kendall Fisher, executive producer at Grow Wire


In short:

  • Aside from being one of the best basketball players of all time, Magic Johnson is also a baller businessman: He has his hand in several LA sports teams, is the CEO of a multi-million dollar business and is heavily involved in his namesake foundation.
  • Johnson invested in businesses in urban communities before starting his own enterprise.
  • On this episode of "The Grow Wire Show," we chat with Johnson about how he grew his business career, bringing magic beyond the court.



We all know Earvin “Magic” Johnson thanks to his supernatural talents on the basketball court. Arguably one of the best athletes to come out of Michigan, this NBA legend led the Los Angeles Lakers to five championships and will forever be known as one of the greatest point guards of all time.

Johnson has also created magic far beyond the basketball court.

Johnson abruptly retired from the NBA in 1991 after announcing he contracted HIV. His retirement was not only shocking but incredibly disappointing to basketball fans around the world.

Instead of dwelling on a career cut short, Johnson made the courageous decision to pivot and focus his energy on another dream: becoming a businessman.

He began investing in businesses in urban communities. One of his first big investments was a Starbucks in the Crenshaw community of Los Angeles. Johnson convinced Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz that opening one of the coffee shops in an underserved area would not only be lucrative but also create more jobs for the community. Fast forward to 1998, when Johnson opened the first of what would eventually become 105 Starbucks stores he owned in urban communities throughout the nation. Eventually, Johnson sold them back to Schultz for a hefty chunk of money—and we’re sure that Johnson, being the human he is, never once said, “I told you so.” (His smile likely did all the talking).

Today, Johnson maintains his position as CEO of the multimillion-dollar conglomerate, Magic Johnson Enterprises, and holds part-ownership of several Los Angeles sports teams, including the Dodgers, WNBA’s Sparks and the newly-established major league soccer franchise, the Los Angeles Football Club. Sports aside, he’s still heavily involved in giving back to underserved communities across the United States as well as combating HIV through education and awareness with the Magic Johnson Foundation

Now, you’re probably sitting there, cocking your head to the side and wondering: How did Johnson do it? How did he convince the world he could be a successful businessman and then go on and actually become one? What’s his secret?

Well, we got the chance to sit down and ask the legend himself, and his answers are sure to inspire you.

Watch the video above for a story of magic beyond the basketball court.