Los Angeles Lakers legend and part-owner Earvin “Magic” Johnson has sold his share of the team to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, it was announced today. The transaction price of Johnson’s share of the team is undisclosed.
Lakers majority owner Dr. Jerry Buss had this comment on the transaction: “The sale of Earvin’s share of the team is a business decision which will not change our relationship. Our friendship goes well beyond business. Patrick is a long-time and passionate Lakers fan and we are delighted to have him as a partner.”
Johnson, drafted by the Lakers with the first overall pick in the 1979 NBA Draft, played 13 seasons with the Lakers, leading the team to five championships (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988) and nine appearances in the NBA Finals. He was named NBA Most Valuable Player three times (1987, 1989, 1990), NBA Finals Most Valuable Player three times (1980, 1982, 1987) and All-NBA First Team nine times. He participated in 12 NBA All-Star games, winning Most Valuable Player honors in 1990 and 1992. A member of the United States Men’s National “Dream Team” that won the Gold Medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Johnson was named “One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History” in 1996 and was subsequently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on September 27, 2002.
“After heavy deliberation and a weighing heart, I have decided to sell my share of the Lakers to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. 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,” said Johnson. “I am truly humbled to have been a Lakers player for 13 years and an owner for over 10 years. I thank Dr. 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 maintain 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.”
Dr. Soon-Shiong, a Lakers season seat holder for more than 25 years, is Chairman of the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation, Chairman and CEO of All About Advanced Health and founder of the National Coalition for Health Integration. He is the Executive Director of the UCLA Wireless Health Institute and Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, Molecular Genetics and Bioengineering at UCLA. Dr. Soon-Shiong is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. In 1993, he performed the world’s first encapsulated human islet transplant and the first pig to man islet cell transplant in diabetic patients. He invented the nation’s first FDA approved protein nanoparticle delivery technology for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, now approved in over 38 countries and currently in trials for lung, melanoma, gastric and pancreatic cancer. He is co-inventor of over 50 issued U.S. patents, has published more than 100 scientific papers and has founded two multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies, American Pharma Partners (APP) and Abraxis Bioscience (ABII). APP was responsible for the only safe supply of Heparin in the United States in 2008, and ABII achieved the nation’s first FDA approved blood-derived nanoparticle for breast cancer, doubling the response rate in patients with metastatic disease.
Dr. Soon-Shiong serves on the RAND Health Board of Advisors and the President’s Council at RAND, the Board of Trustees for Saint John’s Health Center in Los Angeles, the Advisory Board of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA, the Advisory Board for the Institute of Technology Advancement at UCLA School of Engineering, the Arizona Commerce Authority Board and the Board of Councillors of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
“It is an honor for me to be part of the Lakers family and the nation’s foremost basketball franchise,” said Soon-Shiong. “The Lakers’ leadership and spirit of community engendered by Dr. Jerry Buss and his family is an inspiration to us all. Our family looks forward to a future filled with the excitement this team brings to the city and the nation. Earvin Johnson is a shining example of excellence on and off the court, and it is a privilege to have acquired his ownership position.”