Kevin Garnett joins chorus of people speculating teenage Magic Johnson hooked up with Jeanie Buss

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Magic Johnson may have eventually wanted to play for the Detroit Pistons rather than the Los Angeles Lakers, but L.A. may have stolen his heart with a little help from current Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, with social media speculation from Kevin Garnett and others that the two potentially hooked up way back when.


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Johnson was the No. 1 overall pick by the Lakers back in the 1979 NBA Draft. After the selection, he encountered Buss when both were still just teenagers.

That relatively wholesome story relayed by Buss about her dad Jerry – the late former Lakers owner – and Johnson aroused social media with thoughts that there was much more to it than that.

Jeanie Buss story

Jeanie Buss story

In response to a comment on Instagram that Johnson “definitely cracked her boots,” Garnett wrote, “Yea I thought the same,” punctuated by two emojis.

Johnson, of course, never left the Lakers, playing all 13 of his seasons for them, with a four-season hiatus caused by his HIV diagnosis. He went on to become a five-time NBA champion and fashioned one of the greatest and most entertaining careers in league history. Now 64 years old, the Michigan native remains a prominent figure on the American sports scene and in pop culture overall.

The younger Buss ultimately took over the franchise after her father passed away in 2013 at the age of 80. Now 62 years old herself, the younger Buss still cannot avoid tawdry commentary about her personal life.

A recent report related to the passing of Jerry West said the Lakers icon was banished by the younger Buss because she did not approve of his thoughts about her dating then-head coach Phil Jackson. Also, during the 2023-24 NBA season, a viral clip emerged of LeBron James talking to the younger Buss and Linda Rambis during a game, leading to some disturbing comments about the exchange, including from former NFL star Antonio Brown.

Perhaps such comments are just the unfortunate price to pay for a woman having success in a predominantly man’s game. But that certainly hasn’t stopped the younger Buss from keeping the Lakers among the most popular and most interesting sports franchises there are.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.