Magic Johnson says he turned down opportunity to own the Warriors

By Michael Dixon

With Magic Johnson working for the Los Angeles Lakers, all seems right with the world. But it nearly didn’t happen. In fact, Magic was given the chance to work in the front office of at least three other teams.

Included that group is the Golden State Warriors. According to Magic, Joe Lacob and Peter Guber approached him about joining their group as co-owner of the Warriors.

“When Joe and Peter bought the team, they came to me that same summer and said ‘we want you to join us and be a part of the ownership group,'” Johnson said on ESPN. “Joe, this is crazy, Joe came to my fantasy basketball camp years ago and now he’s owning the Golden State Warriors. I’ve done six deals with Peter, Guber and I. We own the Dodgers together, on and on, and on. So again, it was hard to turn them down. These are two friends of mine. But I told everybody the same thing. I’m a Laker.”

Johnson added that he had also been approached by Steve Mills with the New York Knicks and Tom Gores of the Detroit Pistons. But ultimately, those didn’t work out either.

Seeing Johnson affiliated with another team would be hard to get used to. In fact, it’s hard enough seeing him with the Los Angeles Dodgers — a team in the same city but an entirely different sport.

Johnson is an icon whose reach extends well beyond his greatness as a basketball player. But we all got to know him as a Laker. Even if the Warriors, Pistons and Knicks would have been lucky to have him, it seems fitting that his return to the NBA is with Los Angeles.