“I’ve Never Seen Dresses So Tight or So Short”: Magic Johnson’s Wife Admits Her Initial Disgust with LA

Published 11/27/2022, 3:50 PM EST
BARCELONA, SPAIN: U.S. basketball player Earvin “Magic” Johnson (R) holds his son, Earvin Johnson III, while watching the U.S. women’s basketball team play Spain 03 August, 1992 in Barcelona, Spain. Next to Johnson is his wife Cookie (L) and below them is U.S. basketball player Michael Jordan. (Photo credit should read CHRIS WILKINS/AFP via Getty Images)

To the average visitor of Hollywood in the 80s and 90s, the place was the center of global stardom, a true city of stars. However, with some of the biggest names in the world residing in the region, LA underwent a very liberal and progressive cultural phenomenon. Home to the most glamorous film industry in the world, the city of angels always had an infinite supply of pomp and razzle-dazzle.

However, not everyone could adjust to the dazzling culture of the city. Similarly, the wife of Earvin Magic Johnson had a hard time making herself home.


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Magic Johnson married his college sweetheart Earlitha ‘Cookie’ Johnson after over a decade of on-and-off dating. The two met in Michigan state in the 70s but would soon build their home in LA after the Los Angeles Lakers drafted Johnson. However, on her first-time visit to Hollywood, Cookie Johnson had an interesting experience at a Lakers game. She recently reflected on the same in the new They call me Magic documentary series. 

Cookie Johnson had a wild experience when visiting Magic Johnson in LA

Magic Johnson recently joined the list of the many NBA legends who have had documentaries made about their careers. The 5x NBA champion and Hall of Famer, who had a stellar career with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 80s and 90s, came out with They call me Magic in collaboration with AppleTV. The series revolves around Johnson’s life, career in the NBA, and more. 


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Incidentally, in one of her interviews in the series, Cookie Johnson, the wife of Magic Johnson, reflected on her initial days in Hollywood. Earlitha ‘Cookie’ Johnson, all her life, lived in Detroit, Michigan, before enrolling at Michigan State, where she found her future husband in Magic. After dating for a couple of years, the two moved to LA when Johnson got drafted by the Lakers.

However, the transition from the mid-west life to the glamorous lifestyle of Hollywood was not an easy transition for Cookie. She harped on how, in one of her first games at the then Staples Center, she had an incredulous experience. She had exclaimed, “Oh my God!” I’ve never seen dresses so tight or so short. Heels so high and clothes so see-through. I’ve never seen that before. It was crazy!” 


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In the 80s and 90s, Los Angeles was the cultural hub of Entertainment and the birthplace of Hollywood. Consequently, the Lakers had some tolerant policies in place. From the top down, the entire team lived quite an extravagant and passionate life. The legendary owner Jerry Buss was infamous for having relationships with women half his age. Moreover, over 40-50 women used to wait at hotels after every game for Lakers players, as Magic once himself admitted.

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Amidst these wild times, a young Johnson at the height of his career had to abruptly retire after contracting HIV. However, despite the infidelity rumors, Cookie didn’t leave Johnson, and the two have stayed together for decades.




K Shrijith

308 articles

K Shrijith is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his BBA degree, Shrijith has a keen interest in the world of finance. In fact, he has past experience in equity research and writing research reports on the subject of finance.

Edited By: Satagni Sikder