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Magic Johnson joins Dan Gilbert in Detroit investment, sets the bar for Tom Gores

Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times (hat tip: I am a GM):

Lakers Hall of Famer and former Michigan State standout Magic Johnson will join Detroit Venture Partners, a venture-capital firm that invests in seed and early-stage technology companies.

“I am investing in Detroit Venture Partners and the city of Detroit because I want to have a positive impact on the biggest downtown in my home state,” Johnson said in a statement. “I believe strongly in the Detroit 2.0 movement.”

Johnson is referring to the initiative originally launched by Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert in which he relocated Quicken Loans and its 1,700 workers from the suburbs in Detroit. Gilbert had purchased the downtown Madison Theatre in hopes it becomes a collaborative entrepreneurial hub for tech companies, such as Skidmore Studios. GalaxE.Solutions also opened a downtown office in the former First Federal of Michigan building.

Obviously, Tom Gores has no obligation to help the city of Detroit, but I think Pistons fans generally appreciate those who do. So, when I see Magic Johnson, who was once possibly part of Mike Ilitch’s ownership bid, and Dan Gilbert, who very well could have owned the Pistons had the timing been a bit different, invest in Detroit, I think of Gores.

There’s so much we don’t know about Gores, but in his introductory press conference, he spoke often about engaging the community. We’ll see how he plans to do that, and he’ll have plenty of time to make his own mark as a public figure in this state.

For now, though, Magic and Gilbert have set the standard.


  • Jul 22, 201112:43 pm
    by Abc


    I am really curious why so many people suddenly wish Dan Gilbert owned the pistons vs gores. Yeah dg is local, but this is also the guy who rather than wait jumped on the cavs band wagon and bought them because they drafted Lebrun the year before, the guy who signed off on or recommended that his gm sign terrible free agents to make the marquee player of his generation leave his home state, a guy who when the player left because of him resorted to public name calling and childish displays, and this isn’t new he got in a fight with a former high profile employee ofnthe mtg biz at a bar mitzvah, a guy who was busted for running a gambling ring in college, a guy who is so pro business that used his parodied his Cavs ownership and Lebron love into getting a monopoly casino business in Cleveland. This isn’t to take anything away from his buying buildingsin Detroit and moving some people down there. I am a fan of that and hopefully it will grow like he says, but the guy is obviously a prima donna who acts badly the second things don’t go his way and drives away talent. I would want to invest money with him, but not have him run my team or replace a class act like Mr. D. Unless you are a fan temper tantrums and squandering a once in a lifetime opportunities for cav fans

  • Jul 22, 20111:47 pm
    by Tiko


    Bringing the Pistons downtown would be a step in the right direction for Tom Gores to invest in the city.  Him and Illitch should form a partnership and build that dual team stadium for the Pistons and Red Wings and have all our Detroit sports teams within a mile radius of one another.  that would open the door to even more future investments in the city.

    • Jul 23, 20111:41 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      I’m all for helping the city of Detroit, and if Gores and Ilitch build a stadium downtown, that would be great. But that will NEVER happen. They’ll ask the city’s residents to build them a stadium, and that’s much less productive. Especially with a fully functional arena already built in Auburn Hills, there’s no need to duplicate that downtown on the taxpayer’s dime.

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