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Magical day with Lakers legend is just part of ‘all in’ coronavirus fundraiser

Magic Johnson speaks to the crowd before the NBA All-Star game at United Center in Chicago on Feb. 16, 2020.
Magic Johnson is auctioning off a special fan experience as part of the “All In Challenge” to feed those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images)

As Magic Johnson walked around the trophy room inside his home, he offered anyone watching his Instagram post the chance to spend a couple of days with him.

The Lakers legend said he would fly to your city to spend an hour with you at your house, your work or “your kid’s bar mitzvah.” He would then fly you to Los Angeles to play him in a game of H.O.R.S.E. at Staples Center, get dinner with you and 10 friends, drop your friends off in a luxury suite to watch a Lakers game, and take you to sit alongside him courtside at the game before finishing off your journey inside his trophy room.

Johnson offered up this experience as part of Michael Rubin’s “All In Challenge.” Rubin, a partner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, had an idea April 10 to raise $100 million to feed those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. To get to that lofty number, he needed his friends to offer something more than just tickets and signed memorabilia.

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“I wanted everyone to go all in, which wasn’t just donating something you can normally buy,” Rubin said. “People inherently knew what that meant. Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro donated a part in a Martin Scorsese movie, Meek Mill donated his Rolls Royce Phantom, and Magic was one of the first. When I called him, he told me, ‘I was one of those kids who didn’t know where my next meal was coming from. Of course, I’m all in.’ ”

Johnson’s item had a high bid of $60,000 as of Friday night and is one of 215 auction items as the challenge has raised more than $19 million through 10 days with 100% of the money raised going directly to Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, World Central Kitchen and No Kid Hungry.

“I could never help find a vaccine,” Rubin said. “There are gigantic pharmaceutical companies that are doing that. To me, this was the big issue out there that needed a giant jolt. ... One of the biggest problems out there as a result of this pandemic is hunger, and we’re raising this money for the four leading hunger organizations.”

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Many other Los Angeles sports figures have accepted the challenge as well. Clippers coach Doc Rivers is offering someone the chance to be his assistant coach for a game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts offered up Dodger Stadium for someone to hold a seven-inning softball game between two 25-person teams in front of a crowd of 500 of their friends, and LAFC co-owner and actor Will Ferrell is offering someone the chance to sit next to him in the owner’s box at Banc of California Stadium for a game.


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