55 Magic Johnson Quotes on Winning and Success

Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is an American basketball legend renowned for leading the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers to five championships.

His basketball prowess surfaced in high school, winning him the nickname “Magic”. Johnson further displayed his talent at Michigan State University, leading them to an NCAA championship in 1979, before being the first pick in the 1979 NBA draft by the Lakers.

His professional career was exceptional, winning NBA championships in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988 and receiving the NBA finals MVP award as a rookie and the league MVP in 1987, 1989 and 1990.

However, his career took an unexpected turn in 1991 when he announced his HIV-positive status and retired.

Despite this, Johnson contributed to the 1992 “Dream Team” Olympic gold medal win and later served briefly as the Lakers’ head coach.

Post-retirement, he became a successful entrepreneur and HIV/AIDS activist, even purchasing the LA Dodgers in 2012.

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Johnson also served as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations but resigned in 2019.

His impact on the sport was honored with a 2002 induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and a 2022 docuseries, “They Call Me Magic.”

I have collected a list of inspiring quotes by Magic Johnson for you.

Inspiring Magic Johnson Quotes

1. “In life, winning and losing will both happen. What is never acceptable is quitting.” ~ (Magic Johnson).


2. “All kids need is a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

3. “I am a businessman. This is what I do each and every day. I love it. I love coming to work. I never have a bad day.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

4. “I’ve always been a leader my whole life. I’ve always led. I didn’t know how to do anything else.” ~ Magic Johnson.

5. “I like things going on in my life. I don’t want to be on a beach somewhere just relaxing.” ~ Magic Johnson.

6. “I like to take walks in the park by myself, where no one can bother me and I can think.” ~ Magic Johnson.

7. “Life doesn’t stop because something happens to you.” ~ Magic Johnson.

8. “I’m the one who will take chances, not worry about the backlash.” ~ Magic Johnson.

9. “Young people want you to be real with them.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

Best Magic Johnson Quotes

10. “I grew up poor, but I didn’t have poor dreams.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

11. “For me, it always goes back to something I learned in basketball. There’s winning and there’s losing, and in life you have to know they both will happen. But what’s never been acceptable to me is quitting.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

12. “Just celebrate the life you had, not the life you could’ve had.” ~ (Magic Johnson).


13. “A woman always remembers. Remember that.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

14. “Even as a fierce competitor I try to smile.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

15. “Larry, you only told me one lie. You said there will be another Larry Bird. Larry, there will never, ever be another Larry Bird.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

16. “I strive on pressure.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

17. “Don’t give up! Be friends with people who help you work hard.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

18. “I’m a big believer in dreaming. If you don’t dream it, you can’t become it.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

19. “On the best tactic when playing alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar- Just give him the ball.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

Powerful Magic Johnson Quotes

20. “Everybody on a championship team doesn’t get publicity, but everyone can say he’s a champion.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

21. “To me, everything is wonderful. Life is wonderful.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

22. “When you are a successful business person, you are only as good as your team. No one can do every deal alone.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

23. “It’s almost like we have ESPN.” ~ (Magic Johnson).


24. “I love coming to work. I never have a bad day.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

25. “God blessed me with two unbelievable parents, and I am just like both of them. I have the smile and charisma of my mother and the big heart of my mom, because she wants to save the world and help the world, so I am just like her.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

26. “You can’t get AIDS from a hug or a handshake or a meal with a friend.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

Inspirational Magic Johnson Quotes

27. “I want to be here for a long time, so I am going to do everything I have to do to be here.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

28. “When I’m under the gun and I’ve got pressure on me, I don’t panic. I look for the right solution, and then I go for it.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

29. “When you are honest and open with young people, they let you in.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

30. “My father is my idol, so I always did everything like him. He used to work two jobs and still come home happy every night.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

31. “Research your idea. See if there’s a demand. A lot of people have great ideas, but they don’t know if there’s a need for it. You also have to research your competition.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

32. “If the community is happy, then they support your business and if your business is doing well, then you can give back even more to the community.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

33. “They said playing basketball would kill me. Well, not playing basketball was killing me.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

Famous Magic Johnson Quotes

34. “If people around you aren’t going anywhere, if their dreams are no bigger than hanging out on the corner, or if they’re dragging you down, get rid of them.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

35. “I enjoy being the messenger for God in terms of letting people know about HIV and AIDS.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

36. “A lot of black guys always ask me, ‘Did Larry Bird really play that good?’ I said, ‘Larry Bird is so good it’s frightening.’” ~ (Magic Johnson).

37. “Once Michael gets up there he says, ‘Well, maybe I’ll just hang up here in the air for a while, just sit back.’ Then all of a sudden, he says, ‘Well, maybe I’ll 360. No I changed my mind. I’ll go up on the other side.’ He’s just incredible.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

38. “I only know how to play two ways: reckless and abandon.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

39. “It’s a burden trying to keep a secret. It’s hard. It probably takes more out of you trying to hold it and keep it than it does for you to really let it out.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

40. “A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom. Just like right now with the whole mortgage crisis, I want to help people get back into their homes.” ~ (Magic Johnson).


41. “People don’t stop eating, and they don’t stop drinking coffee.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

Great Magic Johnson Quotes

42. “I’m at peace with myself. The main thing is not letting people dictate what I do or what I am.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

43. “My diet is mostly chicken and fish. I make sure I get a lot of vegetables, a lot of fruit. I am a big fruit man, I am a vegetable man anyway. And I also get a lot of rest. That’s the key I may be up early, but I’m in bed early too.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

44. “I tell you, it’s funny because the only time I think about HIV is when I have to take my medicine twice a day.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

45. “As an athlete, I understood the value of my health insurance. I knew that in my profession, injuries were common and could happen at any time.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

46. “If you hate to lose, you do whatever you need to do to make sure your business is successful.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

47. “I was around when my father finished the last payment of his house. I remember like it was yesterday. He had worked all those years to own that house and he cried. He was so excited and so happy and I want to see other people get that feeling, too.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

Motivational Magic Johnson Quotes

48. “The important thing is this, just because I’m doing well doesn’t mean that they’re going to do well if they get HIV. A lot of people have died since I have announced. This disease is not going anywhere.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

49. “Most people who are healthy, and I’m healthy, can’t even live my life. Trust me. I get up 530-6 every morning. I’m in the gym. I run a couple miles. I lift weights, and then I’m at work until 8-9 o’clock at night.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

50. “You know I was a shy guy and people didn’t know that and still don’t know it today. I’m sure basketball brought my shyness out because of the fact that you have to do interviews, and that people are always talking to you in terms of the fans and everything.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

51. “When you face a crisis, you know who your true friends are.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

5.2 “Talent is never enough. With few exceptions the best players are the hardest workers.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

53. “HIV changed my life, but it doesn’t keep me from living.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

54. “You’re the only one who can make the difference. Whatever your dream is, go for it.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

55. “If you want someone to be your mentor, you better be ready to listen and be humbled.” ~ (Magic Johnson).

Short Biography of Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson, born in 1959, is celebrated as one of basketball’s all-time greats, particularly known for his time as a point guard with the Los Angeles Lakers.


His basketball journey began with a notable college championship at Michigan State, leading to his first overall selection by the Lakers in 1979.

Johnson’s career was marked by five NBA titles, numerous awards including three MVPs, and a record for average assists. His rivalry with Larry Bird is legendary.

Full Name Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr.
Born 14 August 1959 (age 64 years), Lansing, Michigan, United States
Net worth 1.2 billion USD (2024) according to Forbes
Spouse Cookie Johnson (m. 1991)
Children EJ Johnson, Andre Johnson, Elisa Johnson
High school Everett (Lansing, Michigan)
College Michigan State (1977–1979)
Teammates Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, MORE
Height 2.06 m
NBA draft 1979: 1st round, 1st overall pick
Number 32 (Los Angeles Lakers / Point guard), 33 (Michigan State Spartans men’s basketball / Point guard)
Position Point guard / shooting guard
Playing career 1979–1991, 1996, 1999–2000

Despite an abrupt retirement in 1991 due to HIV, Johnson made a brief comeback and has since excelled as a businessman and advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness.

Growing up in Lansing, Michigan, in a hardworking family, Johnson’s early life was filled with basketball influences and challenges, including racial tensions at school.

He earned the nickname “Magic” in high school, a prelude to a stellar career that began earnestly at Michigan State, driven by his love for the game and a desire to stay close to home.

Quick Facts about Magic Johnson

  • Magic Johnson, born on August 14, 1959, hailed from Lansing, Michigan.
  • He earned the nickname “Magic” for his incredible basketball skills in high school.
  • Johnson’s college basketball career was at Michigan State University, leading to an NCAA championship win in 1979.
  • The Los Angeles Lakers drafted him first overall in the 1979 NBA Draft.
  • Johnson dedicated his 13-season professional career to the Lakers, winning five NBA championships.
  • His basketball journey was paused in 1991 due to an HIV diagnosis, leading to retirement.
  • Johnson made a notable comeback to the NBA in the 1995-1996 season.
  • Throughout his career, he was honored as NBA MVP three times.
  • He was a 12-time NBA All-Star, known for his exceptional passing ability.
  • Johnson holds the NBA record for the highest assist average, with 11.2 assists per game.
  • A gold medalist, Johnson was part of the 1992 U.S. Olympic “Dream Team.”
  • His basketball legacy was cemented with a 2002 Basketball Hall of Fame induction.
  • Post-retirement, Johnson ventured into business, becoming a successful entrepreneur.
  • He is a co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and an advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness.
  • In 2016, President Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • Johnson is also a motivational speaker and founder of the Magic Johnson Foundation.
  • His philanthropic efforts span over three decades, touching countless lives.
  • Johnson’s acting chops were seen in “Space Jam” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
  • He has authored books like “32 Ways to Be a Champion in Business.”
  • The NBA recognized him as one of the 50 Greatest Players in its history.
  • Johnson was the first to achieve a triple-double in an NBA Finals game.
  • His career averages stand at 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 11.2 assists per game.
  • Known for his charisma, Johnson’s infectious smile won hearts worldwide.
  • He champions diversity and inclusion, collaborating with brands like Nike and Pepsi.
  • Forbes has lauded his business acumen, and he was a Lakers part-owner from 1994 to 2010.
  • Johnson’s leadership and work ethic make him a role model for athletes.
  • His urban revitalization projects have significantly impacted U.S. cities.
  • Married to Cookie Johnson, the couple has three children and share a strong bond.
  • Advocating for workplace equality, Johnson emphasizes diverse and inclusive environments.
  • With a net worth over $600 million, his financial success is as impressive as his athletic achievements.
  • His efforts in HIV/AIDS prevention and education have made a lasting impact.
  • Johnson is celebrated as a pivotal African-American figure, influencing many beyond basketball.
  • His life story encourages others to strive for their goals and contribute positively to society.
  • Magic Johnson’s multifaceted legacy spans sports, business, and philanthropy, making him an enduring icon.

Top Questions about Magic Johnson

Q: Why is Magic Johnson renowned?

A: Johnson revolutionized basketball with his versatile play, notably as a rookie in the 1980 NBA Finals where he played all five positions, scored 42 points, and was named NBA Finals MVP.

Q: How many championships did Magic Johnson win in the NBA?

A: Magic Johnson clinched five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Q: What’s the estimated net worth of Magic Johnson?

A: As of 2021, Magic Johnson’s net worth is pegged at about $600 million.

Q: When did Magic Johnson reveal his HIV/AIDS diagnosis?

A: He disclosed his HIV/AIDS diagnosis on November 7, 1991.

Q: Can you list some of Magic Johnson’s successful business endeavors?

A: Magic Johnson has thrived in businesses across real estate, cinemas, eateries, and sports franchises.

Q: Has Magic Johnson been recognized with any awards or honors?

A: Yes, among various accolades, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.

Q: What efforts has Magic Johnson made in the HIV/AIDS awareness and research?

A: He’s been instrumental in promoting HIV/AIDS awareness, funding research, and advocating for early detection and proper treatment.

Q: What is Magic Johnson’s current role with the Lakers?

A: He previously served as the president of basketball operations for the Lakers.

Q: How did Magic Johnson impact the NBA’s growth and popularity?

A: His dynamic play, charisma, and rivalry with Larry Bird significantly boosted the NBA’s global presence and popularity.

Q: What is considered Magic Johnson’s greatest legacy?

A: His greatest legacy lies in his resilience and ability to inspire, demonstrating how one can transcend life’s challenges.

Q: Is Magic Johnson engaged in philanthropic work?

A: Indeed, he focuses on supporting underserved communities and enhancing educational opportunities for youth.

Q: What led to Magic Johnson’s retirement from the NBA?

A: His retirement was prompted by his HIV diagnosis, leading him to focus on his health during what was the peak of his career.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar