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Sixty Thoughts on Magic Johnson’s 60th Birthday Lists

To celebrate his entry to the seventh decade of life, the former Laker/Lakers executive released lists of his favorite films, TV shows, places to travel, and athletes turned entrepreneurs. Here are our thoughts on said lists.

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

How Magic Johnson spends his time has always been something of a national obsession. Before the NBA Hall of Famer was a front-office executive with the Los Angeles Lakers, he was an active tweeter who sent out ernest—albeit often misguided—thoughts on the league. After joining the fray as the team’s president of basketball operations in 2017, Magic was sanctioned a couple of times by the NBA for tampering with other stars, most notably when he tried to recruit Paul George to the purple and gold on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

After these incidents, Johnson clamped down on his Twitter account. Gone were the wide-ranging musings of a fan; in their place sat the thoughts of an executive. Clearly, the move wore on him. Stories came to light regarding dysfunction in the Lakers front office, and in April, after two years at the helm, Magic abruptly stepped down, saying, “I want to go back to having fun. I want to go back to being who I was before taking on this job. … I have a beautiful life, and I’m going to go back to that beautiful life.”

And like that, Johnson was free to resume his Twitter escapades. On Tuesday, erstwhile Lakers executive and noted Tweet God celebrated his 60th birthday—albeit a day early—by sharing four lists of his favorite things: his 60 favorite films, his 60 favorite places to travel, his 60 favorite athletes turned entrepreneurs, and his 60 favorite television shows.

Since today is Magic’s actual birthday, we thought we’d celebrate with him. But first, we just have a few thoughts about his lists.

1. Wait, so Magic made four lists of his 60 favorite things. Does he do this every year?

2. Was there a list of his 59 favorite things he wrote in private last August that he added to yesterday?

3. It seems like this list is mostly in alphabetical order, but why is The Godfather first and The Bourne Identity no. 31?

4. As Twitter user @RobDelVal1 posited, is it because The Godfather is his absolute no. 1 movie of all time, and The Bourne Identity is his clear no. 31?

5. Magic Johnson and I have really similar taste in movies.

6. What do you think Magic has against There Will Be Blood?

7. Seriously, or Inglourious Basterds.

8. He did include Django Unchained so he’s definitely seen some Tarantino.

9. Do you think Magic would come see Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood with me?

10. Magic names two Bond movies—Dr. No and Goldfinger. Do you think he dislikes Daniel Craig? Or is this more of a pro-Sean Connery thing?

11. Of course Magic would like Beverly Hills Cop. It’s prime Eddie playing a superstar who makes his name in Los Angeles after growing up in Michigan.

12. I wonder if Magic was as pumped as The Ringer was about the trailer for new Top Gun movie.

13. Magic Johnson has for sure hummed “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling” while idling in traffic on Melrose.

14. Being a Bourne Identity fan, does Magic have strong thoughts on the installment after Jeremy Renner was handed the keys to the franchise?

15. I bet Magic has thought about downloading the Jeremy Renner app.

16. Magic’s list of his favorite places to travel is a great reminder that he has been exorbitantly wealthy much longer than I’ve been alive.

17. Some of these are cities and some of these are countries. Does Magic love the country of the Bahamas and the city of Munich equally?

18. Magic has checked six continents off his list, if we’re to believe this is a full account of his travels.

19. Do you think he has his sights set on Antarctica?

20. Can you imagine Magic Johnson hanging out with some penguins?

21. I wonder if Big Boi still thinks about that time he got to meet a penguin.

22. Magic visited four places beginning with St., another with San, and one with São.

23. He also loved visiting Nevis, but not its sister island, St. Kitts.

24. Does Magic have something against St. Kitts?


26. Do we think Magic went to any clubs when he was there?

27. If so, is it because he loves EDM?

28. Magic Johnson spin me and impale me with a turntable needle.

29. Unless Magic is going to these places one at a time, he’s probably making these visits in groups.

30. He most likely saw Auckland, Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth on the same leg of his adventures.

31. If you’re going to New Zealand, why stay only in Auckland? Queenstown is way better.

32. I’m thinking of going to Nashville in the fall to see a concert. It’s not EDM, but I wonder if Magic would want to come? Nashville isn’t on his list.

33. Magic Johnson, like the Pro Football Hall of Fame, has immense respect for Ty Law.

34. Did you guys know Ty Law makes his post-NFL money by operating a trampoline empire?

35. Has Magic ever patronized one of Ty’s trampoline establishments?

36. I know it’s alphabetical, but Aaron Rodgers’s placement at no. 1 on this list makes me certain Magic has responded “Jake, from State Farm” to his wife when she asks who’s on the phone.

37. Magic should get a wrestling championship belt for each title he won with the Lakers and then walk around his house doing the Discount Double Check dance.

38. Magic Johnson’s website,, is hosted by GoDaddy.

39. Did Danica Patrick’s GoDaddy commercials inspire him to use that company?

40. If Danica had done commercials for Wix or Squarespace, would he have his personal site there instead?

41. The only soccer players on Magic’s list are Mia Hamm and David Beckham.

42. Lionel Messi is worth like $400 million. When will Magic acknowledge his greatness?

43. I wonder if Magic prefers Maradona, who also reached his peak of fame in the ’80s.

44. Roger Staubach is on this list, but Rolex God, Uniqlo double agent (come back to Nike, please), and Mercedes-Benz spokesman Roger Federer is not.

45. If Magic rooted for Rafa over Fed at Wimbledon this summer, I’ll be really upset.

46. A tweet about Coco Gauff but none about Roger. How come, Chief Willoughby?

47. The TV version of 21 Jump Street made Magic’s list but the film version didn’t.

48. One of Magic’s favorite shows is Ballers.

49. One of Elizabeth Warren’s favorite shows is Ballers.


51. Do you think Magic started watching First Take when it was still called Cold Pizza?

52. I appreciate that Magic separated Law & Order from Law & Order: SVU.

53. They are different programs and should be treated with equal respect.

54. Full confession: I’m pretty surprised he doesn’t also watch NCIS.

55. You can’t tell me Magic wouldn’t love watching Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs solve crimes.

56. Honestly, why wasn’t Mark Harmon on the list of athletes turned entrepreneurs? He was a UCLA quarterback and his dad won the Heisman.

57. Ranking The Sopranos over The Wire—even for alphabetical reasons—probably earned him a few unhappy tweets.

58. The Ed Sullivan Show stopped airing in 1971, when Magic was 12.

59. How much could he possibly remember from watching it when he was that young?

60. For real though, shouts to The Mary Tyler Moore Show.