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NBA legend Magic Johnson joins Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and LeBron James to become fourth athlete billionaire

Five-time NBA champion Magic Johnson has joined an exclusive list to become just the fourth sporting billionaire.

According to research from financial outlet Forbes, the former LA Lakers superstar is now worth $1.2billion [£1bn] thanks to a multitude of smart investments.

Johnson was part of a sporting dynasty at the LA Lakers

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Johnson was part of a sporting dynasty at the LA LakersCredit: Getty

The 64-year-old joins fellow Americans Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Michael Jordan as the only professional athletes to hit the incredibly high watermark.

Unlike the other megastars, the majority of Johnson’s success has come in retirement, having played for one of US sports most successful teams in the Lakers before calling it a day in 1996.

Johnson’s sporting investments include stakes in the NFL’s Washington Commanders, MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers, the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks and MLS outfit LAFC.

His biggest earner, though, is life insurance provider EquiTrust, but the legendary point guard’s portfolio is rather extraordinary, ranging from real estate, fast food and healthcare.

A three-time NBA finals MVP during the Lakers dominance in the 1980s, Johnson was likely one of the highest paid athletes of that decade, but that’s nothing compared to now.

Forbes estimate that the former point guard earned around $40m [£33m] during his 13-year career, less than a tenth of LeBron’s $479m [£395m] and counting.

Speaking earlier this year, Johnson insisted he could have become a billionaire sooner had he not turned down shares in Nike in the 1970s.

Instead, he penned a $1m [£820k] yearly deal with Converse.

The majority of Johnson's money has come during his retirement

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The majority of Johnson’s money has come during his retirementCredit: Getty
NBA icons James and Jordan are two other billionaire athletes

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NBA icons James and Jordan are two other billionaire athletesCredit: Getty
Gold legend Woods is another who has hit the ten-figure mark

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Gold legend Woods is another who has hit the ten-figure markCredit: Getty

Appearing on the All The Smoke podcast, he said: “My family didn’t come from money, that’s one thing that hurt us sometimes.

“When you don’t come from money, you don’t know. I didn’t even know what stocks [were] at that time.

“So I passed on the stocks. Can you imagine? 45 years, $5bn [£4.1bn] that stock would have been worth today.”


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