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Magic Johnson And Those Washington Mutual Loan Centers

Magic Johnson
AP
Magic Johnson

Story after story paints Magic Johnson as an unbelievable businessman and his name certainly means a lot to the urban communities where he has done business.

But what's amazing about Johnson is that when something negative happens with his business enterprises, there's almost no coverage.

With the subprime crisis, I decided to figure out what happened with the 26 Washington Mutual home loan centers he co-sponsored beginning in 2003. Johnson didn't lend his own money to these home loan centers. It was a just a name. But his name is connected with the idea of the subprime mortgage. Well, it wasn't connected until now.

After not finding a single article on the status of these specific centers, whose purpose was to give what can be classified as high-risk loans to minorities in urban communities after they completed an educational program, I wrote Washington Mutual to find out what happened.

Predictably, given the subprime mortgage mess, I was told that the closing of the Johnson-affiliated home loan centers were closed when Washington Mutual closed all its stand alone home loan centers in April.

Update: A Washington Mutual spokesperson said that these lending centers did not engage in subprime lending and that the company did not consider these loans to be higher risk.

    • WaMu Surges on Report of Possible JPMorgan Bid

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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