105 Magic Johnson Quotes

Christian Mba
Jan 15, 2024 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Jul 27, 2022
Edited by Ankit Shinde
Fact-checked by Deeksha Kamath
Here, you can read all the famous Magic Johnson quotes that everyone should know about.
Age: 0-99
Read time: 13.8 Min

Earvin Johnson Jr., better known as Magic Johnson, was born in Lansing, Michigan, on August 14, 1959.

Magic Johnson is a renowned basketball player who used to play as the point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers. Apart from that, he was also the former president of the Lakers' basketball operations.

Early in his life, Magic Johnson played college basketball for Michigan State, where he was named the All-American in the 1978-1979 season. He began his NBA career with the Lakers in 1979 and won the championship five times within a decade.

Here is a collection of some of Magic Johnson's best quotes, including the ones featuring the great baseball game, great ideas, bad dreams, young people, the championship team, and his thoughts about a competitive person.

Funny Magic Johnson Quotes

It is a well-known fact that the legendary point guard has got an outstanding sense of humor. Here are some funny quotes by Magic Johnson that exemplify his simple sense of humor.

"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."

“I’m a free bird.” - April 10, 2019, sportstar.thehindu.com, E. Jay Zarett.

“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.” - November 24, 2004, 'Magin Johnson Pushes HIV Awareness', www.cnn.com, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

"When a woman is frustrated, and it's your wife, you as the husband get that frustration."

“It's almost like we have ESPN.” - On his telepathic understanding with James Worthy. 

"So the ball’s coming at me and I start backing out, and then it broke inside. And the umpire says, ‘Strike one!’ And I’m saying, ‘How is that a strike? It almost hit me!"

"On the best tactic when playing alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar- Just give him the ball."

Inspirational Magic Johnson Quotes

(Here, at Kidadl, you can read the best Magic Johnson quotes that every baseball fan should know.)

Magic Johnson Enterprises is a successful business with a net worth of about $700 million. But the road to becoming a basketball legend was not easy. Magic Johnson is also an inspiration for many people. Here are some of the best Magic Johnson quotes that showcase how inspiring he is as an athlete and as a human being.

"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."

"I like things going on in my life. I don’t want to be on a beach somewhere just relaxing."

“My dad worked two jobs his whole life, and so I told him he's the reason I have 20 jobs.”

“My work ethic is from sports.” - www.imdb.com.

"Being able to touch so many people through my businesses and make money while doing it, is a huge blessing."

"I do not have bad days. I don’t wake up in the morning and think that I’m going to get AIDS. I don’t dream bad dreams about it. If I did, I’d be giving in to the negativity."

"Even as a fierce competitor, I try to smile."

“I’ve always studied business. Even when I was a ball player, I’d read business journals and the business sections of newspapers.” - 1998, www.entrepreneur.com, Janean Chun.

“When you are honest and open with young people, they let you in.” - www.imdb.com.

“I'm the one who will take chances, not worry about the backlash.” - www.imdb.com.

"I was able to see what I wanted to do, I could see the opportunity, even when others could not, and I stay committed to doing it and doing it well, no matter what."

"I grew up a Detroit Tigers fan, and now to be an owner of the Dodgers is amazing."

"I think that there are always goals for me to try to achieve, and I’m going to work toward those goals."

“My having HIV has no bearing on my business.” - www.imdb.com.

"You're the only one who can make the difference. Whatever your dream is, go for it."

"Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates."

“When you are a successful business person, you are only as good as your team. No one can do every deal alone.” - www.imdb.com.

"In life, winning and losing will both happen. What is never acceptable is quitting."

"If you want someone to be your mentor, you better be ready to listen and be humbled."

“Everyone thought I was going to die like a year later, they didn't know. So I helped educate sports, and then the world, that a man living with HIV can play basketball. He's not going to give it to anybody by playing basketball.” - www.imdb.com.

"I grew up poor, but I didn’t have poor dreams."

“I guess when people ask what is the biggest transition to the NBA from college, it is definitely defense and the mental part.” - www.imdb.com.

Famous Magic Johnson Quotes

Johnson is one of the most famous American basketball players of all time. This section contains some of his most famous quotes.

“With businesses, you go to the same places because you like the service, you like the people and they take care of you. They greet you with a smile. That's how people want to be treated, with respect. That's what I tell my employees - customer service is very important.” - 1998, 'Making Magic', www. entrepreneur.com, Jenean Chun.

"Sometimes friends move apart from each other for whatever reason."

"No one plans to get sick or hurt – I certainly didn’t – but most people will need medical care at some point in their lives."

“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.” - November 24, 2004, www.cnn.com, Sanjay Gupta.

“I’m the one who started redevelopment in South Los Angeles, not Jan Perry. I did it. I love Jan. She’s a good person, and she did a wonderful job with what she did downtown, but in L.A., South L.A., I’m the one.”

“Athletes don't like to get up early, but it never bothered me.” - www.imdb.com.

"I’m at peace with myself. The main thing is not letting people dictate what I do or what I am."

“I love putting people to work of color.” - www.imdb.com.

"If you want to be successful, you have to be willing to use every connection you’ve got."

"I'm from there. You know, when you grow up with these people and see them every day and then you look at the numbers it was easy; it was a no-brainer. And when Sony took a look, it was a no-brainer to them, too."

“I enjoy being the messenger for God in terms of letting people know about HIV and AIDS.” - www.imdb.com.

"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."

"We are a company that lives and breathes a philosophy that's centered on not only making sound business decisions but also personally and professionally finding ways to contribute to the well being of society. We are also a company that understands community."

"I like to take walks in the park by myself, where no one can bother me and I can think."

“I wanted to do two things when I was growing up, about your age. I wanted to play in the NBA, and I wanted to be a businessman after my basketball career was over, and that is what I am doing now.” - www.imdb.com.

“Any guy who can maintain a positive attitude without much playing time certainly earns my respect.” - 'My Life', William Novak, Earvin Johnson, 2012.

"When I grew up, my family, we sat down, all of us to watch ‘Good Times,’ ‘Sanford and Son,’ all those shows that were out at that time."

“Magic is crazy. He is that crazy wild guy on the basketball court that is very intense and very serious. He is the guy who lives and eats and breathes basketball.” - www.imdb.com.

"It’s a lot of energy that goes into winning a championship…I’m not settling for anything less than winning."

"I'm the biggest music lover in the world. I mean, I have seen everybody. I went on tour with Michael Jackson and the Jacksons four or five times."

"They said playing basketball would kill me. Well, not playing basketball was killing me."

“I am and will always be a Laker for life.” - www.imdb.com.

"Urban America is like a foreign country in a sense."

"Assists is what Earvin is all about. That’s what my whole life has been, assisting others."

“Magic is who I am on the basketball court. Earvin is who I am.” - 'My Life', William Novak and Earvin Johnson, 2012.

“People don't stop eating, and they don't stop drinking coffee.” - www.imdb.com.

"If you hate to lose, you do whatever you need to do to make sure you’re business is successful."

“ObamaCare is working. I talk to a lot of CEOs of hospitals. It is working.” - www.imdb.com.

"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."

“I'm gonna love my son until the end.” - www.imdb.com.

"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."

“I don't care who is attacking my son. I still support him; I still love him.” - www.imdb.com.

“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.” - November 7, 2011, www.pbs.org, Sarah Moughty.

"I respect women to the utmost."

"A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom."

“I love to be in the ballpark. I love to just go in and enjoy a great baseball game, a great pitchers' duel.” - www.imdb.com.

"All students should have the opportunity to receive their high school diplomas and be fully prepared for college or the workplace."

"I only know how to play two ways: reckless and abandon."

"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."

"I have a fond place in my heart for Seattle, so I hope that an NBA team comes back to this great city, this great sports city."

“If you’re a competitive person, that stays with you. You don’t stop. You always look over your shoulder.” - July 1, 1998, 'Making Magic', www.entrepreneur.com, Janean Chun.

“I met wonderful people playing in the NBA. Whether it is the officials, the scorekeepers, all the people who work for the NBA, not just for the Lakers, but I'm talking about just for the league itself.” - www.imdb.com.

“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'.” - www.imdb.com.

"Manhood is taking care of your family and being able to bless other people. Not yourself – but whether you can bless other people."

"I have to tell you, I’m proudest of my life off the court. There will always be great basketball players who bounce that little round ball, but my proudest moments are affecting people’s lives, effecting change, being a role model in the community."

"Everyone should have the opportunity to get affordable, quality health coverage."

"People see me high-fivin' and smiling on the court, and they don't think that's me. But it is. I just want to go out and be myself."

"We all have to play as a team to make the world a better place."

“Young people want you to be real with them.” - www.imdb.com.

“The backstabbing, the whispering, I don’t like that.” - 2019, sportstar.thehindu.com, E. Jay Zarett.

"I'm building shopping centers and movie theaters in the inner cities. So that means supplying jobs and letting blacks understand that we have to build our communities back, not looking to anybody else."

Motivational Magic Johnson Quotes

This section features motivational Magic Johnson quotes to help you get back on track and focus on your goals.

"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."

"I'm a big believer in dreaming. If you don't dream it, you can't become it."

"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."

“If somebody says no to you, or if you get cut, Michael Jordan was cut his first year, but he came back and he was the best ever. That is what you have to have. The attitude that I'm going to show everybody, I'm going to work hard to get better and better.” - www.imdb.com.

"I get up 5:30-6 every morning. I’m in the gym. I run a couple of miles."

"I’ve always been a leader my whole life. I’ve always led. I didn’t know how to do anything else."

“All kids need is a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them.” - www.imdb.com.

"I motivate others by making sure that they understand to go after their dreams and don't let anyone tell you you can't. If you are motivated enough and put the work in that you can achieve anything in life that you set your mind to."

"I tell people to look at me and understand that everybody first told me that I couldn't be a 6-foot, 9-inch point guard, and I proved them wrong."

"I think you just have to keep knocking down doors, you have to keep being aggressive, and even if somebody says 'No', then you have to knock on the next door."

“The first year was hard for me to deal with. The second year was a little bit easier, but still difficult. It took me five years to get it out of me. It was a difficult moment, a difficult time.” - November 24, 2004, www.cnn.com, Sanjay Gupta.

"Talent is never enough. With few exceptions, the best players are the hardest workers."

“Life doesn't stop because something happens to you.” - www.imdb.com.

"For a long time, I'd work until 10 or 11. When I work, I'm on. I'm 'Magic.' I love it, but it takes a lot out of me."

"I look three to five years ahead, not 10 years behind."

“Just celebrate the life you had, not the life you could've had.” - www.imdb.com.

“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.” - July 1, 1998, 'Making Magic', www.entrepreneur.com, Janean Chun.

“When you face a crisis, you know who your true friends are.” - www.imdb.com

"The best doctors and medicine in the world can't save you if you don't do what you're supposed to do."

"Everybody on a championship team doesn't get publicity, but everyone can say he's a champion."

"Every kid, every minority kid can be so successful if they focus on their education."

“I try to hire people I don't have to motivate. But I do motivate the people working with and for me.”

“I want to be here for a long time, so I am going to do everything I have to do to be here. And I want to walk my daughter down the aisle and give her away to somebody someday.” - 2004, www.cnn.com, Sanjay Gupta.

"Even when I went to the playground, I never picked the best players. I picked guys with less talent, but who were willing to work hard and had the desire to be great."

"You don’t have to be Magic to be special. You’re already special, you’re you."

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

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Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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Fact-checked by Deeksha Kamath

Bachelor of Architecture

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Deeksha KamathBachelor of Architecture

With a Bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Manipal School of Architecture and Planning, Deeksha is a goal-oriented and creative individual with excellent organizational and management skills. She embodies innovative thinking and has experience editing articles to ensure they are clear, concise, and well-researched. During her undergraduate studies, she was recognized for her talents by making it to the Top 50 at the SundarBari International Student Design Competition and winning at the Toy Make-a-thon, Innovation Centre, Manipal. Deeksha is also a polyglot, speaking five languages, including English, Hindi, Konkani, Kannada, and French. In her free time, she enjoys pursuing creative endeavors like sketching, painting, photography, and traveling.

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