The 1980s produced many of the most memorable moments in sports history. From Joe Montana’s Super Bowl drive against the Cincinnati Bengals to Wayne Gretzky becoming the best hockey player of all time, the decade was a great occasion to be a sports fans.
The following iconic ’80s athletes are still recognized today. Here’s what happened to some of this time period’s most beloved figures.
Until Tom Brady won his fifth Super Bowl, Montana was considered the greatest quarterback in NFL history. He led the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowls in the ’80s and helped direct a formidable West Coast attack against opposing defenses.
Although he retired over 20 years ago, the now-63-year-old has stayed in the limelight through investments. In 2015, Montana joined a former angel investor to create his seed investment company, Liquid 2 Ventures. More recently, the former QB was among the entrepreneurs who invested $75 million in Caliva, a San Jose-based cannabis manufacturer and distributor.
One of the best tennis players of all time, Chris Evert has won the fifth-most singles titles (18) in women’s Grand Slam tournaments. Since retiring from the sport, the now-64-year-old has maintained a prominent role in tennis. She owns the Evert Tennis Academy based in Boca Raton, Florida. Evert is a writer/publisher for Tennis Magazine. She also joined ESPN as a color commentator during their Grand Slam coverage.
In his prime, Roger Clemens was one of the greatest pitchers to step foot on a baseball mound. He won seven Cy Young awards in his 24 seasons and won championships as part of the Yankees dynasty. Since retiring, Clemens has focused on work with the Roger Clemens Foundation, a program he started with his wife in 1992. The foundation partners with other Texas-based charities to help at-risk children.
When your nickname is “The Great One,” there’s a strong chance you are the best hockey player on the planet. Gretzky turned the league upside during his time with the Edmonton Oilers in the ’80s, finishing his career with 2,857 points. Since retiring Gretzky had a stint as an NHL head coach for the Phoenix Coyotes. He’s also invested in minor-league junior hockey teams.
When you think of the top five players in NBA history, chances are Magic Johnson lands on your list. With infamous matches against the Boston Celtics, the point guard helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships during the ’80s and ’90s. His ability to light up a camera made for a pleasant interview, and he used his charisma to make a name for himself with different businesses based out of LA.
Since retiring, Johnson has made several investments including real estate and a movie theater chain. He’s a minority owner with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Most recently, the 59-year-old served as the Lakers’ President of Basketball Operations, helping land superstar LeBron James. He quit at the end of the 2018-19 season but still helps the team on an unofficial consulting level.