There’s nothing wrong with the current stars of the Los Angeles Lakers but there is one thing that we can say without being wrong: they will never be as famous as some of the team’s legendary players. These are the ones that made a name for themselves not only in the US but overseas, too, whose faces are there on the walls of the NBA fans’ sports-themed man-caves everywhere from China to Australia. Let us dedicate a few lines of text to them below and take a look at their careers after retiring from the NBA.
Shaq joined the Lakers in 1996 after four seasons at Orlando Magic, the team where he made his professional debut, after being part of the US’s Olympic Gold winning basketball team. After the team’s first full day at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the media announced that he joined the Lakers, signing a seven-year, $121 million contract.
After eight years with the team, he spent four years with Miami Heat, then moved on to the Phoenix Suns, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Boston Celtics for a year each, announcing his retirement in 2011.
Since his retirement, Shaq has received an educational doctor’s degree in Human Resource Development (2012) and revealed that he plans to continue to learn, eyeing a degree in law. His long-time fascination with law enforcement has resulted in him being sworn in as a sheriff’s deputy in Jonesboro, Georgia. He was also active as a television analyst, a Krispy Kreme owner, a restaurateur, an eSports investor, and a rapper, releasing a dis-track at LaVar Ball in 2017.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson
“Magic” Johnson played his entire professional career with the Lakers. He retired from the team three times – first, in 1991, after announcing that he has contracted HIV, then after the 1992 all-star game, and finally in 1996, after returning to the Lakers and playing 32 games. The list of awards and recognition he collected during his time with the team would be too long to put in here – so let’s take a look at his life after the Lakers.
After leaving the court, he tried his hand as a talk show host, a music promoter, a motivational speaker, an NBA commentator for Turner (he stayed with the network for seven years) before becoming a studio analyst for ESPN. He runs Magic Johnson Enterprises, a company worth $700 million, encompassing a production company, a chain of movie theaters, a film studio. He is currently the president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kobe Bryant, an 18-time All-Star and a 15-time All-NBA Team member, spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers. His retirement was a sad moment for all of the team’s fans, meaning the end of an era.
Off the court, Kobe has become a successful businessman. In August 2016, he and his business partner Jeff Stibel launched a venture capital firm called Bryant-Stibel, funding startups like Brand Networks, FocusMotion, and Reserve.com. Bryant’s $6 million investment for 10% of Bodyarmor SuperDrink has already turned heads with Coca Cola taking a stake in the company. And last year, he launched Art of Sport, a body care brand created specifically with athletes in mind.