Magic Johnson reveals unbelievable regret that cost him millions of dollars

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Magic Johnson's life has been a wild ride between the highest of highs and lowest of lows. 

Being forced into early retirement after the stunning news that he was HIV positive changed everything. Magic has taken the world off the court by storm since then. He's now back with the Los Angeles Lakers, replacing Jim Buss as the leader of the franchise's front office. 

Clearly he's been massively successful since leaving the NBA as a player, but that success would be even larger if not for a decision that angers him to this day. Johnson had a once in a lifetime opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a huge company but declined it. 

You may have hard of the company that wanted Magic to wear their shoes when he made the jump from Michigan State to the NBA. It was a brand by the name of Nike, and at the time they didn't even have cash to offer Magic. 

Instead, Nike offered him stock options. Magic, being young and in a time where stocks weren't nearly as understood and refined as they are today, decided to go with cash and the known brand of Converse. 

"It still haunts me today Ellen. When I first came out of college all the shoe companies came after me... all the other companies offered me money, but [Nike] couldn't offer me money because they just started," Johnson said while appearing on the Ellen Degeneres show. 

"I didn't know nothing about stocks, I'm from the inner-city. We don't know about stocks at that time. Boy, did I make a mistake. I'm still kicking myself, every time I'm in a Nike store I get mad. I could've been making money off of everybody wearing Nike's right now," Magic said. 

That's the kind of mistake that keeps people up at night, re-imagining life if they had just made one different choice. Sure, Johnson luckily found plenty of success since then, but getting in early on Nike stock options would have been extremely lucrative.

Let's stop and consider, for a moment, that in 2015 Nike generated $30.6 billion in revenue and employed 62,600 employees. Johnson likely would have had premium stock options as the No. 1 pick heading to the Lakers. That's a huge amount of money he missed out on.

Nike was just a baby at the time, though, and projecting their brand to skyrocket would have been nearly impossible. It took a huge helping hand from Michael Jordan down the road to really send Nike into orbit. 

Nike hasn't looked back since, but the Magic Man certainly has. 

Shaquille O'Neal
Magic Johnson
Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Kobe Bryant
D'Angelo Russell

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