NBA icon, Magic Johnson declared a billionaire by Forbes

Former basketball star Magic Johnson has been declared a billionaire by Forbes, making him only the fourth athlete to join the exclusive club after Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and golfer Tiger Woods 


The business magazine estimates Johnson's wealth at about $1.2bn (£990m).   


Magic's wealth has grown since he retired in 1996. He has investments in numerous companies including ownership stakes in various sports teams. 


Forbes reports that his stake in a life insurance company holds most of his wealth


Magic's grown the company's total assets from $16B to $26B, with annual revenues floating around $2.6billion, according to Forbes.


The 64-year-old had one of the most iconic careers in NBA history before retiring in 1996, but it was outside of sport where he made most of his money.


His investments outside of basketball have paid dividends, ultimately paving the way for the five-time NBA champion to become a member of the 10-figure club. 


The three-time NBA MVP has ownership stakes in three Los Angeles-based sports teams, including MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers.


Outside of sports, he has investments in Starbucks, Burger King, 24 Hour Fitness, and the life insurance company EquiTrust.


Johnson earned a total of $40million in a 13-year career with the Lakers, compared to LeBron's $480M and Jordan's $94M.


Earlier this year, Johnson said he could have become a billionaire sooner had he not turned down shares in Nike when he was entering the NBA in the 1970s. He took a deal with Converse, which offered him $100,000 a year, instead.


"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," Johnson said on the All The Smoke podcast. 


"So I passed on the stocks. Can you imagine? 45 years, $5 billion that stock would have been worth today."