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Magic Johnson is prepared for what will be the biggest stage of his life

HOWIE EVANS AmNews Sports Editor | 4/3/2012, 1:32 p.m.

His infectious smile can light up the darkest room. His wizardry with a round, blown-up ball got him into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

A first ballot inductee, he played the game with a rhythm during his tenure in Converse All-Star sneakers that matched his smile. They named him Earvin, but even his parents and nine siblings knew early on that he was something special. His NBA career was--yes!--magical. And his life after basketball is also something special.

And if the gods continue to be seduced by that ocean-wide smile, one Earvin "Magic" Johnson will continue to cast a magic spell over those sharing space with him.

Most of us know Johnson began to dip into the world of business after he retired. We know of one particular franchise early on-- Starbucks--and later on, several others enhanced their bottom lines when he joined them in lucrative business ventures.

Johnson has an undeniable business sense that has seen him brighten the lights in his Magic Johnson movie theaters around the country.

With all that he has done with his entrepreneurial instincts, that sense of business has moved him toward another challenge: joining a team of multibillionaires to restore the face of a once-proud business known once upon a time as the Brooklyn Dodgers, who moved West and changed their name to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Countless entrepreneurs bid for this franchise when it went south. The bidding was intense, the chips were stacked high, but it ended when Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig awarded the ownership rights to Partners Guggenheim for an astounding, record $2 billion that ended the stormy reign of Frank McCourt.

It was a long and grueling fight, and Johnson, the one everyone knew and knows, stood tall in the saddle in the biggest and, for sure, the most meaningful full-court game in his life.

He had prepared himself for this moment. For sure, Johnson will be the most visible partner in Partners Guggenheim--not the richest, but one wise enough to know when to roll the dice. And that's what it's going to be: a crapshoot.

McCourt dogged this legendary franchise with his personal and over-the-top lifestyle that put this franchise in the basement. But that's the challenge. You know Johnson's history on the court, and you know what he's done off the court.

He isn't gambling. He knows and is ready for the next chapter in his life--on the biggest stage he'll ever walk on.