Shaquille O’Neal is a savvy investor and businessman, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, the former NBA star says that he was bad with money for a long time. What changed was when he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996 and received financial advice from Magic Johnson.
Shaq spoke with “Shark Tank” star Daymond John for a Black Entrepreneurs Day event. He shared his financial journey.
Shaq was so bad with money at first that when he made $1 million from a trading card endorsement deal, he blew it in one day. He spent it on three Mercedes cars for him and his family, some jewelry, and an extravagant trip to Las Vegas.
Shaq spent so much that he was called in by the president of the bank, who advised him to slow down on his spending. That’s when Shaq learned about taxes and the difference between gross and net incomes.
The Big Fella says he didn’t have things under control until he was in his mid-20s and with the Lakers.
“When I first got to L.A., [Johnson] said ’Shaq, it’s okay to be famous and all that but at some point, you want to start owning things,’” O’Neal said.
O’Neal decided he wanted to own a clothing line. From there, he began learning a lot more.
Shaq works as a broadcaster for TNT and has multiple product endorsement deals. He makes more now than we he did as a player. He owns multiple restaurant franchise stores, franchise gyms, several car washes, and he’s on the board for Papa John’s. That’s not at all bad from a guy with an SAT score like Shaq’s.
Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson had some drama surrounding the franchise legend’s abrupt departure from the Los Angeles Lakers last year, but apparently they’re back on good terms.
Johnson said after the Lakers won the NBA championship on Sunday with a 106-93 win over the Miami Heat that he received a call from Pelinka. Johnson said receiving the call made him feel “good.”
That was a thoughtful gesture from Pelinka, who is the Lakers’ general manager and vice president of basketball operations.
The Lakers went through six straight losing seasons and failed to make the playoffs last year in their first season with LeBron James. Johnson surprisingly stepped down as team president last year after two seasons on the job. His plan was to help the team land LeBron, as they did, and then acquire Anthony Davis or another star to pair with James to win the title. He said his plan all along was to eventually cede control to Pelinka.
But you may recall things got ugly when Johnson accused Pelinka of betraying him. Pelinka denied the allegations and called them “saddening.”
For the two men to have smoothed things over and be on good terms a year later is impressive. It also shows that winning really does fix problems.
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Even Magic Johnson had fun at the Clippers’ expense following a playoff series loss to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night.
Magic, who is one of the biggest franchise legends in Los Angeles Lakers history, tweeted a reminder after the Clippers’ exit. Magic reminded everyone that it’s the Lakers who “will always own Los Angeles.”
He also mocked the Clippers for choking.
The tweet holds some significance for a few reasons. The Clippers loaded up in the offseason by landing Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, instantly making them championship contenders. Specifically, they won the Leonard sweepstakes over the Lakers.
Lakers fans likely were feeling somewhat threatened by the Clippers and worried about a playoff series against them. And then guess what happened? The Clippers blew a 3-1 series lead and didn’t even make it a conference finals series against the Lakers.
The Clippers still have never made the conference finals in their franchise history. The Lakers have won 16 championships in their history.
Johnson is right: the Lakers still own LA.
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The Los Angeles Lakers came out flat in the first game of their series against the Houston Rockets, and Magic Johnson seems concerned that it’s not just a fluke.
Johnson had a stark warning for his former team after their 112-97 defeat to the Rockets. He suggested that they’d be in serious trouble if they treated Houston like their first round opponents from Portland.
That wasn’t all. Johnson noted how slow the Lakers were compared to the Rockets, and was immensely frustrated at their inability to control James Harden.
That about sums up how Laker fans will be feeling. The team lost Game 1 to Portland as well, then reeled off four straight wins to advance. It’s clear that Johnson thinks the Rockets are a different animal.
LeBron James is certainly well aware of the team’s issues. The worrying part, however, is Houston’s focus in a part of the game they’re not really known for. It’s safe to say the Lakers have a lot of work to do. Johnson’s concern is definitely warranted.
Magic Johnson has gained some serious popularity on Twitter over the years due to his matter-of-fact takes and often shockingly obviously statements, but apparently we have all been cheated.
The thoughts expressed on Johnson’s Twitter account may be his own, but the wording could be someone else’s. Magic made an appearance on the “Literally! With Rob Lowe” podcast recently, and the actor told him that the “Pardon My Take” podcast guys advised Lowe to ask Johnson if he writes his own tweets. You may be disappointed to learn that Magic says he does not.
“I don’t know. No, I have somebody write them out,” Johnson said, via Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll. “I tell them what I want to say and they write them.”
Johnson didn’t go into detail, so it’s difficult to understand what exactly that means. Some of Magic’s “best” tweets over the years have been the ones that provide painfully obvious analysis, so now we have to wonder if Johnson’s tweet person simply worded them as such or if Magic tells him or her exactly what to write. It’s also possible that Magic knows how much some of his tweets have been mocked and wants to pass the buck.
In addition to the not-so-hot takes, Johnson has also been known to (unintentionally?) burn people with hilarious tweets. Were those tweets also someone else’s doing? We suddenly have so many questions.
David Price has been somewhat of a forgotten man in the trade that sent Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Magic Johnson appears to feel the same way about his team acquiring the left-hander as the general public does.
Johnson, a minority owner with the Dodgers, congratulated the team’s brass on Tuesday for acquiring Betts and Price in a blockbuster deal. Magic initially commended Dodgers executives for landing “one of the games best players Mookie Betts and David Price,” but he quickly deleted the tweet and changed it to “two of the game’s best players.”
The way Magic worded the initial tweet makes it seem extremely unlikely that it was a typo. In reality, he had it right the first time. While Price will be a nice addition to the middle of LA’s rotation and it helps that the Red Sox are paying almost half of the money remaining on his contract, he’s certainly not one of the best players in baseball anymore. Betts, on the other hand, is a perennial MVP candidate.
Price had some highly publicized issues with the local media in Boston because he was so sensitive, so hopefully Johnson’s tweet doesn’t offend him.
Former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin recently questioned whether LeBron James still wants to win as badly as he did earlier in his career, and Magic Johnson insists Los Angeles Lakers fans do not have to worry about that.
In a series of tweets on Friday, Johnson defended LeBron’s hunger to win and said James is fully committed to bringing an NBA championship back to LA. He also spoke about the difficulty of winning a title even when you have great players.
That seemed like a direct response to what Griffin said in a Sports Illustrated feature that was published this week. The former Cavs GM, who was recently hired as the executive vice president of basketball operations for the New Orleans Pelicans, questioned how motivated LeBron was after he fulfilled his promise of delivering a title to Cleveland.
“There wasn’t a lot else for him,” Griffin told SI. “I don’t think he’s the same animal anymore about winning.”
Griffin also said he grew tired of having to build a roster around LeBron every year and described it as “inorganic and unsustainable and, frankly, not fun.”
Johnson played a major role in helping to get James to sign with the Lakers, so he should have a pretty good idea of where LeBron’s head is at. Magic also recently predicted that LeBron will win NBA MVP next season. For his part, LeBron has indicated that he could be on the verge of blowing up on Griffin and his other critics. Stay tuned.
Magic Johnson thinks LeBron James is primed for a major season.
Magic sent some Los Angeles Lakers-related tweets on Saturday, the day Anthony Davis was introduced at a press conference. He talked up Davis:
He praised LeBron for attending the presser:
And then he offered his LeBron for MVP prediction.
James has been voted league MVP four times in his career. His last MVP award came in 2012-2013 as a member of the Miami Heat. He’s finished second twice, third twice and fourth once since then. Last season he was 11th largely because he only played in 55 games.
The prediction from Magic seems like wishful thinking. Due to James’ age, the likelihood of him playing enough games and minutes to win the award does not seem strong, especially when there are younger players like Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden who can lap him in that regard. Steph Curry also should be due for a huge statistical season since he will be needed to do more for Golden State in the wake of Klay Thompson’s injury and Kevin Durant’s departure. However, if James is able to avoid an injury unlike last season, he should still figure in the top five for the award.
Kawhi Leonard did not sound too interested in joining an existing superteam with the Los Angeles Lakers especially after he took down the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. Why would he need LeBron James and Anthony Davis when he won it all with Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam? But what also didn’t help the Lakers’ case to sign him was the leaks from Magic Johnson.
Cris Carter, who has been on top of the Leonard free agency story, reported that Leonard wasn’t in favor of forming a superteam after taking one out. He also said Magic’s leaks didn’t help either.
All the information about Kawhi Leonard’s free agency process was as quiet as could be. Information was hard to come by, with most of the random rumors coming from unreliable sources. None of the typical credible reporters were providing information.
But there was one piece of information that came out, and it was the details of Magic Johnson’s conversation with Leonard and his manager, Uncle Dennis. Brad Turner reported several details on Spectrum SportsNet of Magic’s conversation with Leonard. Where else did that information come from if not through Magic? It’s obvious Johnson yapped.
Kawhi’s camp did not like that, just as was reported during the week.
Meanwhile, there was not one leak from the Clippers all along. Not one. They proved they were trustworthy, and they ended up with the biggest prize of all.
Leonard probably was unlikely to choose the Lakers. The fact that the only leak about his free agency came from them probably cemented things in his mind.
Magic Johnson confirmed on Sunday that he spoke with Kawhi Leonard about the possibility of the NBA Finals MVP joining the Los Angeles Lakers, and the reported details of the conversation make it seem like Leonard is genuinely considering teaming up with LeBron James.
Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times said in an appearance on Spectrum Sportsnet Sunday that Leonard and his uncle and business manager, Dennis Robertson, have spoken with Johnson several times. One question they asked is whether or not the Lakers tried to trade for Kawhi prior to last season, to which Magic said the team did but would have had to give up too much because of Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs being hesitant to do business with them. Leonard and Robertson also asked about the dysfunction in the Lakers organization.
“(Robertson asked) is it as dysfunctional as we’re reading and hearing?'” Turner said, as transcribed by Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll. “And the response was, ‘We had some issues, but we’re past that. I’m past that. We’re still a family, such as you fight with your brothers and sisters sometimes, well, I had somewhat of a disagreement with my sister. And Rob Pelinka, yes, I said he was a back-stabber, but that happened then. Now I want the Lakers to be a championship team. Having Kawhi here would do that.'”
Leonard also asked if the Lakers would be open to adding some of his personal medical people to the team’s staff, and Magic said they had done that with LeBron James and he believes they would make the same accommodations for Kawhi.
The overall takeaway here is that Leonard doesn’t seem like the type of guy who wants to waste time, and asking those types of questions must mean he is legitimately interested in the Lakers. We may have to wait a while for his decision, but the Lakers are clearly in the running.