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Magic Johnson Signed A 25-Year, $25 Million Contract With The Los Angeles Lakers In 1981

Magic Johnson Signed A 25-Year, $25 Million Contract With The Los Angeles Lakers In 1981

Magic Johnson is one of the greatest players in NBA history. Many consider Magic Johnson's rookie year in the NBA the best ever, as he made the All-Star team in his rookie season, and helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to the 1980 NBA Finals.

He even improved upon that when he helped the Lakers defeat the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Finals, winning Finals MVP in his rookie year. Johnson was a made man and a certified superstar in the NBA after his first season. So it made sense for the Lakers to immediately try to lock down his future.

But what they offered Johnson to keep him with them was truly spectacular. In a contract that has not been seen since, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Magic Johnson to a 25-year, $25 million contract extension effective from 1984, when his rookie contract expired, paying him $1 million a year at the time and making him the best-paid player in sports at the time.

Johnson's contract extension would mean that he would get paid by the Los Angeles Lakers much after he would conceivably retire, as the contract ran till 2009. The contract extension was a success, as it meant the Lakers kept Magic for a while, as he brought for more NBA championships during his career.

Johnson only played in the NBA for about 12 years, as an HIV diagnosis cut his career short. And throughout his entire time in the league, he was always a Los Angeles Lakers star. Magic went on to solidify himself as one of the greatest players in the history of the league.

We will probably never see a contract extension the likes of which Magic got anytime soon. With the player empowerment era, NBA stars are choosing to sign short-term contracts to keep their options open. So it is unlikely that a team will offer the kind of contract the Lakers offered Magic.