In a quiet sort of way, Magic Johnson mentioned last summer that he wanted to be paid as much as the other top players in the NBA.
His Los Angeles Lakers' teammate, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, had just signed a two-year contract that would pay him $2 million in the first year, $3 million in the second.Johnson, who at the time had just collected the NBA playoffs Most Valuable Player Award to go with his regular-season MVP trophy, was making $1 million per year.
On Tuesday, Lakers owner Jerry Buss announced that an agreement had been reached to restructure Johnson's contract, which had called for him to receive $1 million a year for 25 years.
Although no financial terms of the new deal were announced, the contract will run through the 1993-94 season and Johnson said he wasn't really getting a raise, just having the contract condensed.
He is in the fourth year of his 25-year pact, so if the remaining $21 million was condensed into seven years, that would mean $3 million a year for Johnson.
Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics reportedly makes more than $2 million per year, and former Navy center David Robinson who has yet to play his first NBA game has agreed to a reported $26-million, eight-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs.
When Buss gave Johnson the 25-year contract, it was considered one of the richest in the NBA.
But escalating salaries since then have made it seem less lucrative.