Magic Johnson's business tip: Take ego out of it


(CBS News) - Basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson led his LA Lakers to five NBA championships. He now leads a group of investors who are buying MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers.

"Magic" day for Dodgers fans

So what makes Johnson such a successful businessman?

"I took my ego out of it, and I had great mentors," Johnson said Tuesday on "CBS This Morning."

He formed great partnerships that allowed him to better understand business. He said he took that model and took it over to Earvin America to make that successful.

"Magic/Bird," a new play based on the NBA's best rivalry in the 1980s, opens on Broadway this week. It chronicles the battle between Johnson and Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics for NBA supremacy.

Now great pals with Bird, Johnson said it wasn't always that way. "We hated each other," Johnson said.

He said Bird's mother played a key role in their friendship. While shooting a Converse commercial at Bird's house, the crew broke for lunch, and Johnson thought he would eat in his trailer. Instead, Bird invited Johnson up to the house, where his mother had prepared lunch for them.

Johnson said one hug from Bird's mother relaxed him. "As soon as I walked through the door, his mom just hugged me... that disarmed me, and made me relaxed."

Johnson called it the beginning of their friendship.