ESPN’s documentary series “The Last Dance” has shown viewers how Michael Jordan not only became the best basketball player in the world, but also transformed into a global icon.
Over the course of multiple three-peats with the Bulls, Jordan entered a rarefied air typically reserved for famous figures like actors and musicians, setting the stage for a successful second act following his retirement from the NBA. To borrow a line from Jay-Z, Jordan isn’t just a businessman — he’s a business, man.
Hoops fans and sneakerheads are undoubtedly familiar with the Air Jordan Brand, but there is more to MJ’s empire than the occasional retro release. This is a guy who can turn down $100 million without blinking. That’s more than shoe industry power.
Let’s break down how Jordan has reached an immense level of wealth and where his net worth stands in 2020. (And no, money acquired from gambling on the golf course is not included here.)
What is Michael Jordan’s net worth in 2020?
Jordan is worth $2.1 billion as of May 2020, according to Forbes, making him the richest former professional athlete in the world. The 57-year-old is ranked No. 1,001 on Forbes’ list of billionaires. He joined the billionaire club in 2014 after increasing his ownership stake in the Charlotte Hornets.
Michael Jordan’s NBA career earnings
Despite capturing five MVP awards and winning six championships, Jordan didn’t break $100 million in salary over the course of his NBA career. Jordan earned $93.2 million as a player for the Bulls and Wizards, per Basketball Reference, and more than $63 million of that total came from his final two seasons in Chicago.
The economics of the league have changed greatly since Jordan’s playing days, but to put that number in perspective, Al Horford was guaranteed $97 million on his most recent deal with the 76ers. Jordan was undoubtedly underpaid in his prime based on his on-court performance and value to the Bulls.
Michael Jordan’s businesses
Jordan was estimated to earn $145 million in 2019. Two primary business interests should allow Jordan to increase his net worth long term …
How much is the Air Jordan Brand worth?
No current NBA star even approaches Jordan’s sneaker income. His estimated annual take is $130 million, four times more than second-place earner LeBron James ($32 million).
Jordan Brand brought in $3.1 billion in wholesale revenue over the previous fiscal year, and Nike reported Jordan Brand recently had its first billion-dollar quarter. With the ability to release retro models, create various colorways and increase visibility through the next generation of players — hello, Zion Williamson — Nike and Jordan Brand are in position to dominate the basketball market and stretch beyond just sports fashion.
MJ’s initial contract with Nike signed in 1984 was worth $500,000 annually over five years. It turns out that was a wise investment.
Charlotte Hornets ownership
After serving as a minority investor since 2006, Jordan bought the then-Bobcats from Bob Johnson for $275 million in 2010. However, Jordan reportedly only put up $30 million in cash, a figure that likely wouldn’t be cleared today.
Franchise values have skyrocketed in the last decade, and the Hornets are currently valued at $1.5 billion. Charlotte increased 20 percent in value over the previous year and generated $240 million in revenue.
Jordan sold a large minority share of the Hornets in 2019, but he doesn’t intend to relinquish control of the team.
Other business ventures
In addition to the brand and his ownership stake in the Hornets, Jordan has endorsement deals in place with companies like Gatorade, Hanes and Upper Deck. He also owns multiple restaurants and a car dealership.
While he has been open to teaming up with other brands, Jordan is particular about the use of his image and likeness. He once turned down a lucrative opportunity with Beanee Weenees because he simply didn’t like the name.
“You ever heard of Beanee Weenees pork and beans? It was close to a million bucks a year,” Jordan said in a 1992 Playboy interview. “I’m saying, Beanee Weenees? How can I stand in front of a camera and say I’ll eat Beanee Weenees?”
Michael Jordan’s houses
Jordan reportedly owns homes in Illinois, North Carolina and Utah, though he has been been trying to sell his Chicago mansion since 2012. The price has dropped multiple times over the years and was last listed at $14.9 million. The location and specific customizations for Jordan — there’s even a No. 23 on the front gate — have made it a difficult sell.
MJ’s home in Jupiter, Fla., was built for $12.4 million and includes 11 bedrooms, a pool house, a basketball court and a cigar-friendly media room.
In 2013, Jordan purchased a foreclosed Cornelius, N.C., home for $2.8 million. It has six bedrooms and a pool. He also reportedly owns a condo in downtown Charlotte.
The Park City, Utah, home was listed for $7.5 million in 2019. The layout: five bedrooms, seven-and-a-half bathrooms, a golf simulator and an infinity pool.
Michael Jordan earnings from “The Last Dance”
Jordan will not make any money off “The Last Dance,” as he plans to donate all of his earnings to charitable causes. The proceeds could potentially reach $4 million.
This continues a long history of personal donations and philanthropic work through the Hornets organization.