He’s one of the most iconic, famous and popular basketball players of all time. And with a billion-dollar fortune to his name, he’s also one of the richest. Here’s a look at how NBA superstar Michael Jordan earned and spent his money over the years.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1963, Jordan’s hoop dreams began as a teenager. He later became the star of his high school basketball side and after growing several inches made it into the McDonald’s All-American Team. In 1981 he was recruited on a basketball scholarship by the University of North Carolina.
However, Jordan left the university a year before he was due to graduate and was then selected by the Chicago Bulls in the 1984 NBA Draft. And he wasted little time in making an impression, gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated in his first month as a professional. Jordan also went on to be selected for the All-Star team during his debut season.
And Jordan couldn’t stop breaking records from there on in. He scored the highest points total ever by a single player in a playoff game against the Boston Celtics. In addition, he was just the second player to score 3,000 points in a single season. And, even more impressively, he became the only player ever to notch up 100 blocked shots and 200 steals in just one season.
In 1991, meanwhile, Jordan played a pivotal part in the Bulls’ NBA Finals win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Indeed, he famously cried when he finally lifted the trophy. And just two years later he achieved yet another first when he earned his third consecutive Finals MVP Award.
But although Jordan was earning millions at the time, he was also spending plenty of money as well. In 1993 he confessed that he’d lost nearly $60,000 gambling earlier in the year. Furthermore, the writer Richard Esquinas alleged that he’d been paid more than $1 million by Jordan after winning a golfing bet against him.
Following the shocking murder of his father, Jordan decided to retire from the NBA in 1993. But he added to his fortune just months later when he signed a contract with a minor league baseball team. His second sporting career lasted just a year, and in March 1995 he returned to the NBA.
And Jordan proved to be just as dominant during his second stint in the NBA. By 1998 he’d won his sixth NBA title with the Bulls, as well as a record-breaking sixth Finals MVP. Although he retired again in 1999, Jordan was back in the NBA a year later. However, this time it was as the president and co-owner of the Washington Wizards.
But the lure of the court proved impossible to resist once again. As a result, in 2001 he moved from behind the scenes to center stage as a Washington Wizards player. Jordan finally hung up his sneakers for good in 2003. Nevertheless, he again returned to the NBA in 2006 as a minority shareholder of the then Charlotte Bobcats.
Indeed, this shrewd business investment has significantly boosted his bank balance. When he bought the Bobcats outright in 2010, the NBA team was worth $275 million. Seven years later and the franchise now known as the Charlotte Hornets has nearly tripled in value.
Of course, baseball wasn’t Jordan’s only extra-curricular activity. The NBA icon also owns his eponymous motorsports company and has enjoyed a long and lucrative affiliation with Nike. Moreover, he even starred in his very own movie, the 1996 live action/animation hybrid Space Jam.
Jordan’s enduring basketball career, along with his many lucrative sidelines, resulted in him becoming the first ever NBA billionaire in 2014. A year later he was named by Forbes as the second-richest African American in the world. The magazine put his wealth at around $1.1 billion.
But what does Jordan actually spend his astonishing fortune on? Well as you’d expect, the man nicknamed Air Jordan likes to fly in style. He travels with his very own security team each time he goes overseas. In addition, the NBA legend also has his own private jet.
And Jordan is just as extravagant when out on the open waters as he is while up in the air. In fact, he regularly hires a lavish 154-foot yacht named “Mr Terrible.” And when it comes to moving around on the golf course, he can call upon his very own custom-made cart emblazoned with his famous “Jumpman” logo.
Indeed, Jordan spends so much time on the green that he’s even planning to build his own golf course. He was apparently inspired to do so after becoming exasperated by the sluggish pace of play at his usual course.
And, as may be expected, Jordan also isn’t afraid to splash out when it comes to his living arrangements. Indeed, he spent nearly $13 million constructing his ideal home in Florida. In addition, he owns a house worth $2.8 million in Charlotte. He also had a mansion, complete with basketball court and swimming pool, in Chicago that was put on the market in 2015 for a whopping $29 million.
But Jordan hasn’t just spent his money on himself. He sent both of his sons to a prestigious private Catholic high school in Illinois. In 2006, meanwhile, he donated $5 million to another school in Chicago. He’s also given money to various charities and organizations, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Habitat for Humanity.
And Jordan has managed to attain billionaire status despite reportedly having to pay one of the biggest divorce settlements of all time. In 2006 his 17-year marriage to Juanita Vanoy came to an end. As a result, the star allegedly found himself an eye-watering $168 million poorer.
Still, Jordan did manage to avoid losing another multi-million dollar sum that same year when a judge in Illinois ruled in his favor in a breach of contract claim. Rumored ex-lover Karla Knafel had claimed that the star had agreed to pay $5 million in order to keep their relationship secret. However, her case was later thrown out of court.
But Jordan’s costly divorce settlement didn’t seem to put him off walking down the aisle again. Indeed, the star married Cuban-American model Yvette Prieto in April 2013. She gave birth to their twin daughters Ysabel and Victoria just a few months later.
Incredibly, Jordan is still earning more per annum than any other basketball player past or present. In fact, only a fraction of his fortune was accrued during his NBA career. Jordan raked in a total of $90.2 million while playing but has amassed ten times that from other ventures. That includes an astonishing $100 million per year from Nike.