Magic Johnson sold his minority share in the Lakers to a local doctor and longtime season ticket holder, the team announced today. The amount of the sale was undisclosed. Johnson guided the Lakers to five NBA championships in the 1980s, served as a coach briefly in the 1990s and has been a part owner of the team for more than 10 years. He sold his stake in the team to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, chairman of the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation and a Lakers season ticket holder for 25 years.
“After heavy deliberations and a weighing heart, I have decided to sell my share of the Lakers to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong,” Johnson said in a statement released by the team. “Dr. Soon-Shiong is a super Lakers fan, an outstanding businessman, a dedicated philanthropist and one of the most active community leaders in Los Angeles.
“I am truly humbled to have been a Lakers player for 13 years and an owner for over 10 years. I thank Dr. (Jerry) Buss from the deepest part of my heart and soul for allowing me such an incredible opportunity. I will continue to work alongside Dr. Buss, Jeanie Buss and Mitch Kupchak in their efforts to continually build and sustain the best NBA franchise in the league.
“This was a bittersweet business decision made on behalf of my family and myself, and I want to assure all the wonderful and loyal Lakers fans that my decision will in no way affect my dedication and support for the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I am and will always be a Laker for life.”
However, Johnson said during the offseason he would have an interest in joining the group that buys the Detroit Pistons or serving in a front-office capacity. Selling his share in the Lakers clears the way for him to join the Pistons, his hometown team while growing up in East Lansing, Mich., and while attending Michigan State.
“If somebody said, ‘Hey, can you come and think about helping (Pistons GM) Joe Dumars?’ Then I would think about it,” Johnson said in August.