Michael Jordan is known as the greatest basketball player of all time. He's also the richest.
Jordan Brand via Getty Images
  • Michael Jordan is considered to be the greatest NBA player of all time. He's also the richest former professional athlete in the world.
  • Jordan made less than $100 million while a player in the NBA, but has been a member of three-comma club since 2014. Forbes estimates his net worth to be $2.1 billion (R39 billion).
  • Since Jordan retired in 2003, he has built a lucrative post-basketball career, predominantly through deals with Nike.
  • He's faced his fair share of legal battles and has used his wealth for philanthropic purposes as well as personal enjoyment: He owns sprawling estates, his own golf course, an NBA team, and multiple restaurants.
  • For mores stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Jordan is the world's first athlete billionaire.

Source: Daily Mail


As of 2015, he was reportedly making $100 million a year from Nike royalties alone.

Source: Business Insider


And his income now is way more than his total playing salary during his career. He earned $90 million total in NBA salary, and about $63 million of that came in his final two seasons with the Chicago Bulls.

Source: Forbes, Spotrac, Basketball-Reference


His net worth is now believed to be $2.1 billion (R39 billion) thanks to the skyrocketing value of his NBA team, the Charlotte Hornets ...

Source: Money


... and the Jordan Brand.

Nike

Source: Forbes


He bought the Charlotte Hornets in 2010 for $175 million ...

Streeter Lecka/Getty

Source: Forbes, Business Insider


... and he officially became a billionaire in 2014 when the NBA franchise value rose.

Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


The team is now worth more than $1.5 billion (R28 billlion), and he owns 97% of the equity in the club.

Getty Images

Source: Forbes


Jordan did sell a minority stake in the club in 2019, but he reportedly has no interest in giving up control of the team.

Streeter Lecka/Getty

Source: Charlotte Observer


Jordan is still waiting for the day the Hornets win a championship. He has said that winning a championship as an owner would be more gratifying than any of the six rings he won as a player.

Jeff Haynes/Staff/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


According to Forbes, Jordan's yearly earnings were roughly $145 million.

Elsa/Getty

Source: Forbes


For comparison, LeBron James is estimated to earn less than $90 million a year from salary, winnings, and endorsements.

Source: Forbes


Nike founder Phil Knight called signing Jordan the best decision he ever made, nabbing the NBA rookie for $250,000 a year in 1984.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


Nike's Jordan Brand alone now brings in roughly $3 billion in revenue each year.

Source: Business Insider, Los Angeles Times


The popularity of Air Jordans has resurged in recent years thanks to celebrity partnerships to connect to a younger audience and new versions of retro styles to reconnect to the older fans.

Source: Business Insider


Nike's Jordan Brand has even partnered with the popular video game "Fortnite."

"Fortnite"/Epic Games

Source: Business Insider


Jordan reportedly wanted to sign with Adidas in 1984, but they passed because they preferred NBA players who were 7 feet (2.1 metres) tall.

Jonathan Daniel /Allsport

Source: Business Insider


He has several endorsement deals with companies like Gatorade ...

Ezra Shaw/Getty

Source: Business Insider


... trading card company Upper Deck, ...

Source: Business Insider


... and Hanes. He's been a spokesman for the company for nearly 30 years.

YouTube/Hanes

Source: Business Insider


Jordan said he has always been picky about his endorsements because he wanted to be genuine and also build his own brand. He once rejected a huge endorsement deal with Beanee Weenees because he didn't like the name.

Source: Playboy


Jordan told Playboy, "How can I stand in front of a camera and say I'll eat Beanee Weenees?" He said the deal was close to $1 million per year — at the time, he had made less than $5 million in career earnings.

Tiziana Sorge/Stringer/Getty Images

Source: Playboy


He owns several restaurants including 1000 North in Jupiter, Florida ...

Source: Business Insider, Eater


... Michael Jordan's Steakhouse, which has locations in Connecticut, Washington, and Chicago ...

Steve Kagan/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Michael Jordan's Steakhouse


... and Michael Jordan's Restaurant in Chicago, an upscale restaurant serving "elevated American classics."

Source: Michael Jordan's Restaurant


He also owns a Nissan dealership in Durham, North Carolina.

Google Maps

Source: Business Insider, Michael Jordan Nissan


In 2019, many billionaires lost money — but not Jordan. His net worth rose by $300 million.

Michael Jordan is known as the greatest basketball player of all time. He's also the richest.
Jordan Brand via Getty Images

Source: Forbes


That steady stream of income lets him live a pretty amazing lifestyle.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

He has a private jet. It's painted Carolina blue, and the ID number contains his jersey number (23) and number of titles (6).

Source: Business Insider


He spent $12.8 million building his dream house in Florida in 2012.

Source: Yahoo, Business Insider


He reportedly decided to build a private golf course because he was annoyed by the pace of play at his previous country club.

Isaac Brekken / Stringer / Getty Images

Source: GOLF.com


The Hobe Sound, Florida, course is called Grove XXIII — keeping with his obsession with the No. 23 — and opened in 2019.

Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational

Source: Golf Digest


Jordan even has a custom, Carolina-blue golf cart with the Jumpman logo.

Source: Business Insider


He also has a $2.8 million house near Charlotte.

Source: Business Insider


It has some incredible lake views.

Source: Business Insider


He's selling his compound in Chicago, which was originally listed for $29 million. The estate's gate is emblazoned with his jersey number.

Source: Business Insider


But eight years later, the house is still on the market and the price is down to $14.9 million (R280 million).

Realtor.com

Source: Business Insider, Zillow


It has its own basketball court, as well as a pool with a patch of lawn in the middle of it.

Source: Business Insider


It is estimated that Jordan has paid more than $680,000 (R12 million) in property taxes since he put the house up for sale.

Zillow

Source: Business Insider


And he still pays a full-time staff to keep it up and running.

Realtor.com

Source: Business Insider


Luxury real estate brokers think the amount of customisation the house has undergone in order to become Jordan's personal palace is one of a few reasons why the property hasn't sold yet.

Streeter Lecka/Getty

Source: Business Insider


They also list the mismatch of location and price as a possible reason — homes in the Highland Park area have a median value of $476, 391 (R8 million). Homes at the price point Jordan is listing are typically located closer to Lake Michigan.

Source: Business Insider,Zillow


In 2016, Jordan won a case against a Chinese sportswear company that was using his Chinese name.

Source: Business Insider


The company had been using a logo similar to Jordan's Air Jordan logo, and the symbols used spell out his name in Chinese — Qiaodan Sports. He first sued the company in 2012, but lower-level courts ruled in favour of the company.

Source: Business Insider


That's not the only lawsuit he's been involved in though pertaining to his name and branding. Two supermarkets, Dominick's and Jewel-Osco, associated themselves with Jordan without his permission.

Source: Business Insider


Jordan sued and won millions. But he didn't keep all the money.

Source: Business Insider


Instead, he donated millions to 23 charities benefiting the children of Chicago.

Source: Business Insider


In 2016, Jordan also pledged two large donations to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the International Association of Chiefs of Police's new Institute for Community-Police Relations. This came after a string of police-involved shootings.

Streeter Lecka/Getty

Source: Business Insider


In 2018, he donated $2 million to Hurricane Florence relief efforts.

Source: Chicago Tribune


In 2019, he pledge $7 million to open two medical clinics in Charlotte.

Source: Business Insider


Jordan has three children from his first marriage with Juanita Vanoy.

Source: Biography


The pair married in 1989 and divorced in 2006. The 17-year marriage cost Jordan a whopping $168 million in the settlement.

Source: Biography, NBC Chicago


Jordan's three oldest children have all followed their father into the shoe business. Jeffrey, the oldest, works at Nike in Oregon, and Jasmine, the youngest, has worked for her father's NBA team as well as being an Air Jordan representative in Charlotte.

Source: Business Insider


Marcus, Jordan's second child, opened a boutique sneaker shop in Disney World called Trophy Room inspired by the trophy room in his house growing up.

Source: Business Insider, Bleacher Report


Jordan married Yvette Prieto in 2013, and they welcomed twin daughters, Victoria and Ysabel, in 2014.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Source: USA Today


Jordan has invested some of his fortune in tech startups. He was reportedly one of several celebrities who invested heavily in Gigster — a Silicon Valley startup connecting companies to freelance software developers, designers, and project managers.

Gigster

Source: Business Insider, Gigster


He is also a minority owner of an MLB team — the Miami Marlins — having been part of Derek Jeter's investment group.

Source: Business Insider


Jordan is also a famous gambler. Charles Barkley told Dan Patrick Jordan used to wager hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single hole when he played golf. While others, like Barkley himself, would wager a few hundred dollars.

Source: Business Insider, Dan Patrick Show


He also used to play $100 post-practice shooting games. One source said Jordan's taunting of Rodney McCray may have ruined McCray's career.

Jonathan Daniel /Allsport

Source: Business Insider


He even took $500 from a fan at a charity golf tournament when the fan said Jordan couldn't land the ball on the green.

Isaac Brekken/Getty

Source: deepac66 via YouTube, Golf Digest


And he reportedly cheated in some bets with his teammates to make sure he won. ESPN's Amin Elhassan said Jordan would bet his teammate, Scottie Pippen, on the outcome of mid-game, animated Jumbotron races, even though Jordan already knew which animated character would win.

Source: CBS Sports


He's also reportedly competitive at other kinds of games. He reportedly won $500 beating his business manager Estee Portnoy in sudoku.

Source: ESPN


Jordan plays a lot of golf. But, as Barkley put it, what's the point in playing the sport if not for some cash?

Isaac Brekken / Getty

Source: Dan Patrick Show


He started playing the game while at UNC in a threesome with his then-roommate and Davis Love III.

Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


Jordan reportedly took Love's driver for a test-run once and ended up breaking the club completely. Love had to replace it, and it seems to have worked out in his favor — he went on to win 12 PGA Tour events during the 12 years he was using the replacement driver.

Isaac Brekken/Getty

Source: Business Insider


Jordan reportedly never travels overseas without a security team, which sets him back a cool $1,000 (R18,000) to $1,500 (R28,000) per hour. His codename is reportedly "Yahweh," a Hebrew word for God.

Source: ESPN, Money


Other travel setbacks include this 154-foot (46 metres) rented mega yacht named Mr. Terrible.

YouTube/zdoryan95

Source: Business Insider, ESPN


The yacht is complete with its own branding.

Source: LaserAdvertising


The very first cars Jordan bought after he received his reported $10 million signing bonus from the Chicago Bulls were a collection of Mercedes and Pontiacs. He bought seven cars at once for himself and his family members.

Source: D Magazine


Since his rise to fame, he's been spotted in all kinds of cars, from Ferraris to Land Rovers.

BRIAN BAHR/Stringer/Getty Images

Source: Cheat Sheet


Jordan is well known for his love of cigars and told Cigar Aficionado magazine that he smokes six a day.

Source: Cigar Aficionado


At age 57, he still works out. In 2013, he declared he was going to get down to his playing weight of 218 pounds (98kg) — it is unknown if he reached the goal.

Source: ESPN


His post-basketball career is already influencing the next generation. Kevin Garnett has talked about following in Jordan's footsteps and buying the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Source: USA Today


In addition to winning six NBA championships, Jordan had won other prestigious awards. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom because, as Obama joked, Jordan is "more than just an Internet meme."

Source: Sports Illustrated


Jordan has been been a preferred meme for years — many still post this photo of Jordan crying during his 2009 Basketball Hall of Fame induction speech all over social media.

Source: Know Your Meme


Jordan provided a moment of levity at the memorial service for Kobe and Gigi Bryant in February 2020: "Now he's got me — I'll have to look at another crying meme for the next three years."

Source: Business Insider


"Everyone always wants to talk about the comparisons between he and I," Jordan said at the memorial. "When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died."

Source: Business Insider


The beginning of ESPN's highly anticipated docuseries about Jordan's time on the 1997-1998 Chicago Bulls team drops on Sunday, April 19.

Source: Business Insider

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