And when you think of him, only one team comes to mind — the Los Angeles Lakers.
Johnson was drafted first overall by the Lakers in 1979. He played 12 years in purple and gold, winning five NBA titles, three MVP Awards and three NBA Finals MVP Awards.
Johnson coached the Lakers for six games at the end of the 1993-94 season. After that, he bought five percent of the team.
Simply put, Magic Johnson defines the Los Angeles Lakers.
But that could all be ancient history now.
Johnson has decided to sell his stake in the Lakers and is considering purchasing a larger stake in another NBA team, most notably the Detroit Pistons.
Magic Johnson in blue and red — are you kidding me?
OK, so he won't actually be wearing the uniform. And yes, he's a Michigan native who played his college ball at Michigan State. That part makes sense.
But ever since he took off the Spartans uniform and replaced it with a Lakers jersey, Johnson's name has become synonymous with the City of Angels.
If Johnson buys a large portion of the Pistons, or any other NBA team, for that matter, it will tarnish one of the most sacred legacies in NBA history.
Not many of the world's greatest athletes can safely say they've been tied to one organization throughout their entire careers. Michael Jordan (Bulls, Wizards and Bobcats) Babe Ruth (Red Sox, Yankees and Braves) have been a part of three. Wayne Gretzky played for four NHL teams and even owned a fifth, the Phoenix Coyotes. Even Joe Montana had a brief stint with the Chiefs after his illustrious career with the 49ers.
The business opportunity for Johnson may be prudent. But in the grand scheme of things, Johnson should not pursue a career with another NBA franchise.
A legacy will always last longer than a few extra bucks.
Do you think Magic Johnson leaving the Lakers for a potential share in another team is bad for his legacy? Leave your thoughts below.
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