During a promotional appearance for McDonald’s, Magic Johnson shared an enormous business regret, choosing to sign with Converse over Nike in 1979.
Johnson had been offered a Nike deal but chose the one provided by Converse.
“I never heard of stock at 19 years old, so I took the money,” Johnson said. ” You know, usually [you think] ‘I have got to take this cash!’ Man, I would’ve been a trillionaire by now. Do you think about 1979, getting that stock then, and what it’s worth today? Yikes!
So that kills me every single time I think about that. I’m like, ‘Man, Michael Jordan would’ve been making me so much money.'”
Johnson’s choice was evident during a recent episode of HBO’s “Winning Time.”
The Basketball Hall of Famer, who Quincy Isaiah is portraying, was reported to meet with Phil Knight, Nike co-founder.
While it is not accurate to know the numbers given by the show, we know that Nike had its IPO (initial public offering) in December 1980, debuting at $22 per share. Since then, Nike stock has split seven times on a 2-for-1 basis.
It is tough to find fault in Johnson’s choice, as he was just a teenager. Converse was the better option at that time. Jordan was seen as taking a risky decision when he signed with Nike five years later in 1984.
Johnson also starved in some memorable Converse commercials with Larry Bird and other NBA stars.