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.

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