In the last few days, Magic Johnson has sold his share of the Los Angeles Lakers and his stake in 105 Starbucks franchises for a rumored sum in the neighborhood of $100 million. So, uh, what's going on there?
Needless to say, these sales sparked some discussion, mainly: Why would Magic be doing this? Is he having money trouble? Does he have some sort of scheme up his sleeve? It's still not 100% clear. Yesterday, after not commenting on the previous sales, Magic was quoted as saying it was "a business decision" to sell his stakes in the Lakers and Starbucks. But a business decision to what end? It's not like the Lakers and Starbucks will be depreciating any time soon.
As the Los Angeles Times's Broderick Turner points out, Magic isn't planning on joining the new ownership groups for the Warriors or Pistons, nor he is planning on buying into the Dodgers—presuming the team will be sold once McCourt divorce is finalized—so what is he going to do with the extra ~$100 million burning a hole in his pocket? Could it be the 33rd NFL franchise?
Saying he "really, really wants the NFL to come back to L.A." Magic hedged by confirming that he had not talked specifics with anyone about such a move. Obviously this would be a huge development for the NFL, and there are enough possibilities for relocation—Chargers, Jaguars, Raiders, to name three—that if Los Angeles weren't granted a new franchise, a new team could be trucked into town rather easily.
This has been an interesting week for Magic, and we're curious to see just what he's planning to do going forward. Let's just hope he's not expanding his theater chain, since all those places will be closed in a few months because of bed bug infestations. That wouldn't be a good business decision, Earvin.
Magic Johnson sells his 105 Starbucks franchises [LA Times Lakers Blog]
Magic Johnson sells Lakers for business reasons; would like to see NFL team in L.A. [LA Times Lakers Blog]