Michael Jordan is one of best NBA players ever and now one of the wealthiest people in the world. It might be surprising to learn that Jordan has earned most of his fortune from other revenue streams aside from his contracts with the Bulls and Wizards.
Jordan earned a total of $89.77 million over his 15 NBA seasons, per Spotrac. While this is a lot of money, it does not compare to the contracts current NBA players are able to sign. According to ESPN, Steph Curry is the highest-paid player in 2020 with a $40.23 million salary this season. Curry and other current players have clearly benefitted from the groundwork that Jordan laid to help the popularity of the league explode during the 1990s.
Jordan’s salary with the Bulls only topped $4 million in two seasons. The iconic Bulls guard made $30.14 million during the 1996-97 season and his highest salary came in 1997-98 with a $33.14 million price tag.
Jordan’s last contract with the Bulls was just a one-year deal as he likely knew it would be the final season of his Chicago tenure. This also happens to be the season featured on “The Last Dance” documentary. For perspective, Jordan made $2.5 million when he led the Bulls to their first of six championships in 1991.
Jordan Has a Net Worth of $2.1 Billion
There is no need to feel sorry for Jordan as he is the most marketable athlete in the history of sports. Jordan revolutionized the shoe and apparel industry through his partnership with Nike which played a major role in helping to maximize his earnings off the court. Jordan has a net worth of $2.1 billion ranking him 1,001 among billionaires in the world, per Forbes. The legendary guard became a billionaire in 2014.
Jordan is by-far the richest athlete with Tiger Woods a distant second with a net worth of $800 million. Forbes reported that Jordan earned the most money of his career with Nike in 1997 with $78 million, but he has been on an upward trajectory since his playing days ended. As you can see, this was nearly as much as his entire NBA earnings over his career, but it does not compare to the checks Jordan is receiving from Nike in retirement.
Thanks to the re-release of his classic shoes along with the Jordan Brand vertical he earned $145 million in 2019. Jordan’s annual Nike earnings topped $100 million in 2015 and has only gone up each year since reaching the milestone. Jordan also had endorsement deals with any company he wanted including Coke, McDonald’s, Gatorade, Upper Deck and Hanes.
Jordan Is the Owner of the Charlotte Hornets
Jordan continues to stay busy with his shoe company as well as his other business ventures. Jordan is the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, a team he purchased in 2010 for $275 million, per ESPN. The team was known as the Bobcats at the time before re-acquiring the Hornets’ name from New Orleans.
The team’s value has sky-rocketed since Jordan purchased the team a decade ago. According to Forbes, the Hornets are now worth an estimated $1.5 billion. Prior to the 1997-98 season, the six-time NBA champion discussed what would be his final contract with the Bulls.
“This team could have a good chance of winning the championship again,” Jordan said according to Ball Is Life. “Then after that, you don’t know. They may want to take a business approach to it and change the team. And I want to give them the flexibility to do that.”