Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Lon Rosen, Magic Johnson team up
By Ramona Shelburne
Just how serious is Magic Johnson about acquiring a professional sports franchise?
Serious enough that he recently convinced his longtime agent, Lon Rosen, to leave Lagardere Unlimited, and work for him exclusively as an executive vice president at Magic Johnson Enterprises.
"I didn't leave my previous job because anything was wrong," Rosen said. "I left because Magic Johnson Enterprises is a hugely successful company and this is a great opportunity.
"He's looking for a professional sports franchise. That's not a secret. I've been involved in that already as his agent. He's looking to continue to expand his company and build his brand in a lot of different ways and this is the best way for me to be a part of it."
In October Johnson sold his 4.5 percent share of the Los Angeles Lakers and his 105 Starbucks stores, fueling speculation that he was positioning himself to buy into an NBA or NFL franchise.
In December he announced that he has joined with Tim Leiweke and the Anschutz Entertainment Group's bid to bring the NFL to Los Angeles.
He has also publicly acknowledged an interest in buying into an NBA franchise.
"I want to definitely be a part of the NFL because I love the game, so, if it comes back to L.A., I want to be a part of it," Johnson told ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin in November. "Now, the NBA, I'm a basketball player. I'm a basketball man. That's a natural thing for me. So, is it something right now? No. Is it something with possibilities? Of course."
Rosen, who previously worked for the Lakers, has represented Johnson since 1987 and is also one of his closest friends. He will work on a variety of projects in his new position. His clients include Minnesota Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis and Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro.
Ramona Shelburne is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.