Have you ever wondered what the net worth of Michael Jordan is? Well, most NBA fans know him as the greatest basketball player who’s ever lived. Having spent the entirety of his NBA basketball career with the Chicago Bulls, Jordan made a fortune. He did this not only with his basketball prowess but with his lucrative endorsement deals throughout his career as well.
Michael Jeffrey Jordan was born in the Fort Greene neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, on February 17, 1963. His mother, Deloris, was a bank employee, while his father, James, was an equipment supervisor. At just five years old, Michael and his family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina. He attended Emsley A. Laney High School, where he tried his hand at a few different sports.
Jordan played basketball, baseball, and even football in high school. However, he famously did not make the varsity basketball team in his sophomore year for apparently being “too short.” He was 5’11” at the time.
What you’ll often not hear, though, was Michael Jordan’s performance on his junior varsity team. Determined to prove his worth, he performed like a young superstar, accumulating several 40 point games. He continued to hone his craft and train nonstop the following summer, all while going through a 4-inch growth spurt.
It might go without saying, but Michael made the varsity team the following school year and never looked back. He immediately made a stellar impact, averaging over 25 points per game in his only two seasons of varsity basketball. He was even able to participate in the McDonald’s All-American Game, a collection of the country’s best high-school basketball talents. Jordan would score 30 points in that game, solidifying himself as one of the nation’s top college basketball prospects. As a result, he drew significant interest from the following top-tier college basketball programs:
- Duke University
- University of North Carolina
- University of South Carolina
- Syracuse University
- University of Virginia
Jordan would ultimately accept a basketball scholarship from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill). There, he majored in cultural geography.
Michael Jordan’s Basketball Career
Unsurprisingly, Micahel Jordan put on a show in his first year at UNC. The ACC named him Freshman of the Year after he averaged 13.4 points per game while shooting over 50% from the field. He even defeated future NBA All-Star Patrick Ewing and the Georgetown Hoyas in the 1982 NCAA Championship game. Jordan hit the game-winning jump shot, which he later proclaimed to be the major turning point in his basketball career.
In both his sophomore and junior seasons, Jordan made the NCAA All-American First team. He also won both the Naismith and Wooden College Player of the Year awards. Following his rapid success, Jordan left UNC one year before graduation to enter the 1984 NBA Draft. He did end up returning to UNC to complete his degree in 1986, though.
Michael Jordan’s college basketball career was so successful that he made the ACC 50th Anniversary men’s basketball team in 2002, which honored the 50 greatest basketball players in ACC history.
Michael Jordan began his storied NBA basketball career when the Chicago Bulls selected him with the 3rd overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft. The Bulls were able to draft Jordan after the Houston Rockets selected Hakeem Olajuwon and the Portland Trailblazers selected Sam Bowie. While Olajuwon went on to have a storied career in his own right, the Trailblazers organization drew severe backlash for missing out on Michael Jordan. In addition, the fact that Sam Bowie had a largely underwhelming NBA career added insult to injury.
Shortly after, Jordan signed his rookie contract with the Chicago Bulls on September 12, 1984. He signed a seven-year, $6 million deal. The team’s drafting of Jordan alone skyrocketed fan interest and ticket sales. The Bulls were a largely unsuccessful team before his arrival, after all.
Anyway, needless to say, Michael Jordan took the NBA by storm in his rookie year. He averaged a whopping 28.2 points per game while shooting over 50% from the field. As his star shone brighter with every passing game, he became a fan favorite even in opposing arenas.
Jordan was so popular during his rookie year, in fact, that it irritated current NBA All-Stars. During the annual NBA All-Star game (which MJ made during his rookie year), NBA players like Isiah Thomas even refused to pass him the ball. They were allegedly uncomfortable with the level of praise Jordan received at such an early stage in his career. Nonetheless, Jordan continued his dominance and led the Bulls to the playoffs in his first year. Unfortunately, they would ultimately lose to the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. But there was no denying it: The Chicago Bulls had a superstar talent on their hands.
Post Rookie Year
Following his fifth season, MJ agreed to an 8-year, $25 million contract extension. At the time, it was the largest contract extension in NBA history, and rightfully so. But, again, Jordan solidified himself as the best the game had to offer.
After winning three straight NBA titles between 1991 and 1993, he decided to “retire” from basketball. I say that with quotes because he left the game to try his hand at minor league baseball, a venture that was overall unsuccessful. However, he would ultimately return to the Bulls in 1994, where he led the team to another three straight NBA titles from 1994-1996. As a six-time NBA Champion and NBA Finals MVP, Jordan cemented himself as the greatest basketball player in NBA history.
After another retirement followed by a brief stint with the Washington Wizards, MJ finally officially retired. He earned an unbelievable $93.7 million in NBA salary alone during his 15-year NBA career. Today that would be the equivalent of having earned $161 million in salary after considering inflation.
Michael Jordan Net Worth: Endorsement Deals
Although he boasts the most illustrious basketball career of all time, this is not where most of MJ’s net worth comes from. Instead, the basketball mogul made most of his fortune after retiring from the game.
The net worth of Michael Jordan shot up when he signed his deal with Nike in 1984, while he also changed the sneaker game forever. What initially started as a bidding war between Nike and Converse ended with His Airness signing one of the most lucrative shoe deals of all time with Nike Shoes.
Since signing his shoe deal in 1984, the Nike Air Jordan brand has been estimated at around $3 billion in value. In addition, Michael Jordan earned over $1.3 billion from the shoe deal: a far cry from his $90 million in NBA earnings. Not only did Jordan reset the shoe market forever, but he also put Nike on the map for good. You see, at the time, Nike was not the household name it is today. Believe it or not, the company struggled to compete with more established basketball shoe brands like Converse and Adidas. At the time, many even considered Converse shoes synonymous with the NBA.
Nike famously projected $3 million in Air Jordan sneaker sales at the end of the four-year deal. But in the first year alone, Nike sold over $125 million worth of shoes! This huge overperformance was no small part of Michael Jordan’s rising star but still impressive for the company.
In a poetic, full-circle moment, Nike would acquire Converse for just $309 million in 2003. They would also purchase Reebok for $3.8 billion a couple of years later. Altogether, the Jordan Brand deal put the rest of the shoe industry on notice forever.
Michael Jordan Net Worth 2021
As of 2021, the net worth of Michael Jordan is $1.6 billion. While that number is extremely high, that’s a $500 million decline from when Forbes last reported it in 2020. What caused the drop? Well, some suspect that it may have to do with the mysterious surge in GameStop stock prices earlier in the year. But the exact reason has not been made public.
The net worth of Michael Jordan has also exploded thanks to his purchase of the Charlotte Hornets in 2010. He bought the NBA franchise for $175 million, which proved to be a lucrative deal for him, as the value of NBA franchises has skyrocketed over the past decade. Now, the franchise is worth around $1.5 billion.
Aside from his most noteworthy investments and business moves, MJ also owns many restaurants across the United States and apparel and leisure brands.
Michael Jordan Net Worth: Key Takeaways
- Trust the game: Michael Jordan once said, “If you do the work, you get rewarded. There are no shortcuts in life.” In his mind, no matter who you are, you will get out exactly what you put in. This concept applies to any profession and any industry. If you do the work, you’ll get rewarded. “If you try to shortcut the game, then the game will shortcut you.”
- Don’t listen to the noise: Michael Jordan once secribed tghe importance of not trying to please everybody. “I can’t live with what everyone’s impression of what I should or what I shouldn’t do.” Keep in mind, MJ faced a ton of pressure early on in his career. The NBA world expected many things out of an early 20-year-old. A major key to his success was avoiding the noise.
- Failure is a positive: “Failure makes me work even harder.” This quote is a sentiment shared by some of the most successful entrepreneurs of our generation. Michael Jordan knows failure better than most. He famously didn’t make the Junior Varsity (Junior!) team in high school. He also didn’t enjoy much team success early in his career. But the adversity only made him push harder.