With a estimated net worth reported at half a billion dollars, Magic Johnson definitely made a lot of great decisions throughout his career. After being the 1979 No. 1 draft pick, Johnson won his first NBA Championship as a rookie in 1980 and would go on to win four more titles. While he found successful very early on in his career, the retired NBA legend revealed that his deepest regret also comes from the same time period.
In an interview on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Johnson revealed turning down an offer made by Phil Knight for a large amount of stock in Nike. The offer came as sportswear companies looked to Magic for a sneaker endorsement deal.
"All the other companies offered me money, but [Nike] couldn't offer me money because they just started," Johnson said. "So he said something [about] stocks—'I'm gonna give you a lot of stocks.' I didn't know nothing about stocks. I'm from the inner city, we don't know about stocks, you know, at the time."
Magic Johnson ultimately signed with Converse, a company that wasn't related to Nike as it is now. Despite putting out some classic sneakers with Converse, Johnson admitted that not taking Phil Knight's offer was a mistake. "I'm still kicking myself," he said. "Every time I'm in a Nike store, I get mad. I could've been making money off of everybody buying Nikes right now."
According to Investopedia, if you invested $1000 in Nike when the company went public in 1980, around the same time Magic declined the offer, you would be sitting on $729,575 today. While Magic didn't reveal exactly how much stock Knight offered him, it's not hard to imagine that it would be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions.
Aside from the money Johnson missed out on, we can only wonder what the his impact on sneaker culture would be had he been the face of Nike in the '80s.
Watch the full interview with Ellen below.