One of the most iconic basketball players of all time, Michael Jordan and his on-court exploits don’t need much of an introduction. And many people know all about the star’s successful business and charitable endeavors, too. Yet away from the game, Jordan has been surprisingly close-lipped about his private life. That’s why it was so shocking when the legend finally opened up about a new addition to his family – and could hardly hold in his emotions.
Who is this new addition? Well, in 2014 Jordan became a father for the fourth time when his wife, Yvette Prieto, gave birth to identical twin girls, Ysabel and Victoria. And five years later, at the age of 55, Jordan became a granddad. Yes, in 2019 his oldest daughter, Jasmine, and her boyfriend, Rakeem Christmas – himself a basketball professional – welcomed a son into the world.
Jasmine Jordan, a graduate of Syracuse University, and her partner, Christmas, revealed the news with several super-sweet Instagram posts. Firstly, the former uploaded a picture in which a baby boy’s hand can be seen tightly grabbing her finger. Jasmine captioned the photo, “Just in time. I love you son.” She concluded with the hashtag #1stMothersDay. But it was never known how her iconic father felt about the child… until now.
Why had Michael Jordan not spoken up before? It will likely help to take a closer look at the man to find out. You see, in 2003 Jordan played his last basketball game in the National Basketball Association with the Washington Wizards. Sadly, though, it wasn’t exactly a triumphant send-off. That’s because his team was defeated 107-87 at the First Union Center by the Philadelphia 76ers. “It’s tough to play a game when it’s not quite as much emphasis on the game other than to see how Michael Jordan ends his career,” the star later admitted to The New York Times.
Of course, this wasn’t the only time that Jordan had retired from the sport that launched him to fame and fortune beyond his wildest dreams. He first announced he was quitting basketball in 1993, in fact, following the tragic murder of his father. Jordan subsequently enjoyed a brief spell with minor league baseball team the Birmingham Barons in a bid to fulfill his late dad’s greatest ambition.
Jordan’s baseball career never really took off, however. And in 1995 he returned to the NBA, where he boosted his reputation as a sporting genius with the Chicago Bulls. Once his contract ended three years later, though, he announced his retirement for the second time. But the lure of the basketball court again proved to be too strong – and in 2001 he signed with the Washington Wizards.
The ensuing two-year stint with the Wizards didn’t bring Jordan the success he was used to, however. Yet he’d already established himself as a basketball great with his play in the previous two decades. Indeed, Jordan first caught attention way back in the mid-1980s when he signed with the Chicago Bulls from his university team, the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Blessed with an ability to leap higher than any of his fellow NBA stars, the shooting guard soon acquired the nickname of Air Jordan. Yet although he became a firm fan favorite due to his prolific scoring rate, Jordan was also regarded by many as one of the game’s finest defensive players. He had to wait until the early 1990s to pick up his first major championship, though.
But after finally lifting the NBA title with the Chicago Bulls in 1991, Jordan couldn’t stop winning trophies. He helped the franchise defend its championship for the following two years, for instance. And after returning to the Bulls following his brief detour into the baseball world, he guided the team to yet another astonishing “three-peat.”
Of course, alongside his six NBA titles, Jordan also earned many individual accolades throughout his glittering career. The star broke the records for scoring titles and NBA Finals MVP Awards, for instance. And as of early 2020, he still holds the records for the biggest career scoring average in both the playoffs and the regular season.
In 1999 Jordan was also hailed by ESPN as North America’s greatest 20th-century athlete. He finished runner-up to Babe Ruth in a similar poll held by the Associated Press, too. And the star has twice been inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. This came firstly as an individual in 2009 and then six years later as a member of the U.S. 1992 Olympic team.
Famously, too, Jordan pursued various other endeavors while establishing himself as a basketball great. His brand of Air Jordan sneakers for Nike is just as popular today as it was on its 1984 launch, in fact. And he also enjoyed box-office success as the star of the 1996 live-action/animation hybrid Space Jam.
Unsurprisingly, then, Jordan didn’t just sit back counting his millions following his final NBA retirement. The star even initially wanted to stay on with the Washington Wizards as director of basketball operations. But concerns about the inconsistent results of his earlier front-office tenure led franchise chief Abe Pollin to subsequently dismiss the basketball legend.
So Jordan switched his focus to other areas. What did he do? Well, the icon became a regular on the charity celebrity golf tournament circuit, grew into a keen motorcyclist and further developed his Jordan Brand apparel company. Jordan even founded his own motorsports team, Michael Jordan Motorsports, which participated in the MotoAmerica Superbike contest up to 2013.
But, inevitably, Jordan couldn’t keep away from the NBA for too long. In 2006 he invested in one of its franchises, the Charlotte Bobcats, and was given the post of managing member of basketball operations as a result. Only Robert L. Johnson, the principal owner, had a bigger stake in the Bobcats than Jordan.
Yet Jordan had ambitions to become the majority owner himself, and in 2010 his group, MJ Basketball Holdings, agreed a deal with the Bobcats to make this happen. So, following endorsement from the NBA Board of Governors, Jordan became the only ex-NBA player ever to hold such a position. At the time, it also meant he was the sole African-American to be an NBA franchise’s majority owner.
Jordan soon courted controversy in his new role, however. That’s because he fronted a group of approximately a dozen majority owners who had one goal in mind. They believed that the share of NBA players’ basketball-related earnings should be capped at 50 percent – at the very most. FoxSports.com’s Jason Whitlock subsequently described Jordan as a “sellout” – claiming that the star was simply expecting “current players to pay for his incompetence” as an owner.
Things didn’t get much better for Jordan on the court throughout the 2011-12 campaign, either. In fact, the Charlotte Bobcats’ winning percentage of .106 was officially the lowest since the NBA began. Despite selling part of the franchise to Daniel Sundheim and Gabe Plotkin in 2019, though, Jordan remains the majority owner.
But what about away from the basketball court? Well, Jordan has become a notable philanthropist. Alongside his first wife, Juanita, he donated $5 million in 2006 to Hales Franciscan High School in Chicago. The star has also brought in a similar amount as a chief wish ambassador for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. And he’s given money to the likes of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Habitat for Humanity as well.
Jordan continued to display his generous streak in 2017 when he donated a whopping $7 million to two family clinics in North Carolina, too. Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Florence a year later, the sporting hero also pledged $2 million to the same state’s relief efforts. Of course, these seven-figure sums still barely left a dent in Jordan’s bank account.
After all, in the summer of 2010, Forbes ranked Jordan at No.20 on its list of the world’s most powerful celebrities. The magazine claimed that the star had raked in more than $50 million in the previous 12 months alone. And four years later Jordan was declared the first-ever NBA star to be worth one billion dollars.
Jordan has only continued to become richer as well. His net worth, as of February 2020, is reported to be close to $2 billion. This figure places him fourth on the list of the wealthiest African-Americans, behind businessmen David Steward and Robert F. Smith and talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey.
The NBA great has shared his colossal wealth with several loved ones over the years, though. Jordan first walked down the aisle in 1989 with Juanita Vanoy, for instance. The pair later welcomed three kids into the world: Jeffrey, Marcus and Jasmine. And the two boys would go on to follow in their father’s footsteps.
Indeed, in 2007 Jeffrey made his debut on the college basketball circuit. He then spent three years with the University of Illinois team before moving to the University of Central Florida. This was the same school attended by his brother, Marcus, who also went on to enjoy three seasons of collegiate basketball.
By this point, though, their parents had gone their separate ways. Jordan and Vanoy had first filed for divorce in 2002, you see. But they initially managed to patch up their differences and spent a further four years together. Yet in 2006 Vanoy received the celebrity world’s biggest ever divorce settlement: a whopping $168 million.
But despite losing a chunk of his significant fortune, Jordan wasn’t deterred from saying “I do” for a second time. Yes, in 2011 he asked Yvette Prieto, an American-Cuban model he’d dated for several years, for her hand in marriage. And two years later, the pair wed at a ceremony in the Florida town of Palm Beach.
Then, as we mentioned earlier, along came the grandchildren. Yet Rakeem Christmas decided to be a little more creative with his Instagram post announcing the birth of his son. In fact, the basketball star uploaded a Family Guy-inspired image of himself, his wife and his newborn posing in a basketball top emblazoned with Syracuse 25. “I don’t know what I did to deserve you and our awesome kid, Happy 1st Mothers Day!” was his message to Jasmine Jordan.
Jasmine and Rakeem had revealed their engagement almost a year before the birth of their first child, too. The former has also called herself and her partner “Mr. and Mr. Christmas” in her Instagram posts. However, it isn’t yet certain whether the pair have walked down the aisle together. But, the all-important question is, how did her father feel about the new addition?
Heartwarmingly, Jordan couldn’t stop gushing about being a grandfather for the first time. In October 2019 he gave an interview to NBC’s Today in which he described the joy of spending time with the tot, named Rakeem Michael Christmas. “It’s fun, because I can actually hold him and play with him, and I’m having fun watching him,” Jordan said.
And what does Jordan think of his grandson’s distinctive name? “It’s actually beautiful,” he told Today’s Craig Melvin. His daughter, Jasmine, had previously hinted that she would be honoring the former Chicago Bulls star in her first-born’s name after sharing baby shower photos on Instagram that featured the initials RMC.
And the birth of Rakeem Jr. appears to have inspired his grandfather to further embrace his generous side. Speaking about his charitable efforts, Jordan said, “My purpose for doing it is because I see a certain need. I feel a certain warmth about it. If I feel like I’m making a difference, that’s all that matters to me.”
Jordan also admitted that he’s become more aware of the world’s wider issues since leaving the NBA. “When I was playing, my vision and my tunnel vision was my craft. I was a professional basketball player, and I tried to do the best I could,” he said. “Now I have more time to understand things around me, understand causes, understand issues and problems and commit my voice, my financial support, too.”
Rakeem Jr. also received a shout-out when Jordan gave a speech at an October 2019 event in Charlotte. Speaking about the two health clinics he helped to fund in the area, the star told the crowd, “I stand here before you as a proud parent, son, obviously a member of this community. My mother, my brothers, my daughter, my grandson, we all represent the name Michael Jordan.”
The NBA icon then struggled to hold back the tears as he explained how much his family and community means to him. “You see my name,” he added. “But yet you see a lot of people behind me and the commitment, especially from my mom, about caring for other people and being a part of a community that matters.”
“I think the partnership goes a long way in providing needs to this community here, [to] less than fortunate people,” Jordan told the crowd. “The money doesn’t matter, the name really doesn’t matter. It’s the commitment that I partnered up with unbelievable partners to see a need within this community.”
And just a few months later, Jordan made headlines for another heartfelt speech. On this occasion, though, it was a tribute to the close friend who’d just lost tragically his life. In this address, Jordan described Kobe Bryant as “like a brother” after the basketball icon died alongside his daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter accident.
“I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing,” Jordan revealed in an official statement made just a day after the incident that shocked the world. “Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much.”
An emotional Jordan then went on to further sing the late basketball star’s praises. He added, “[Kobe] was a fierce competitor. One of the greats of the game and a creative force. Kobe was also an amazing dad who loved his family deeply and took great pride in his daughter’s love for the game of basketball.”
That same week, Jordan traveled to Paris with the Charlotte Bobcats for an NBA game against the Milwaukee Bucks. And he openly admitted in an interview with The Athletic that he’s unsure whether he’d make the same impact in the sport if he was just starting today. “I think you’ve got a lot of different descriptions of how I would play against these guys,” he said. “I’m pretty sure I would make my adjustments.”
“I think the game would still be played with a sense of passion,” Jordan continued. “I don’t think the passion in the game of basketball has changed. I think the talent’s changed. I think the versatility has changed. Now, would I have had as much success? We’ll never know. I’ll let you guys speculate on that. But I think my passion for the game would’ve been the same. I love the game of basketball.”
So how does Jordan stack up financially against his fellow players? Well, it’s fair to say that these past and present NBA legends have done all right for themselves in the amassing-a-fortune stakes. And while each is blessed with world-class basketball ability and a healthy dose of business acumen, they all have something else in common too: the backing of an exceptional woman. Read on to discover more about the women behind the scenes.
40. Michael Finley – $65 million
Michael Finley enjoyed a 15-year career in the NBA, most notably winning an NBA title in 2007 as the San Antonio Spurs’ small forward. Nowadays, though, he’s a film producer with credits including awards-bait The Birth of a Nation and The Butler. His net worth is reportedly $65 million.
Finley and Rebekah Hosey were already parents to son Micah by the time they wed in Horseshoe Bay, Texas, in 2006. Previously, Hosey had earned a Business Management degree before becoming a personal trainer and a keen supporter of charities.
39. Elton Brand – $70 million
Elton Brand amassed most of his $70 million fortune playing for five NBA teams, including the Philadelphia 76ers. And the twice-selected NBA All Star has remained within the sport after retiring as a power forward. In 2018, in fact, he was appointed the 76ers’ general manager.
Brand’s wife, Shahara Simmons, is a very talented woman too. She actually met the NBA star while studying at Duke University, and she has an interior design master’s degree from New York’s Pratt Institute. The pair welcomed their first child, Elton Peace Brand, into the world in 2008.
38. Jermaine O’Neal – $70 million
In an interview with the The Boston Globe in 2010, Jermaine O’Neal claimed he “never knew” he was among the NBA’s highest-earning players at that time. The former Boston Celtics star was so well paid, in fact, that he’s now thought to be worth $70 million.
O’Neal has two kids – Asjia and Jermaine Jr. – with his wife Mesha, whom he met aged 17 and later married in the Bahamas. Back in 2010 Mesha appeared on the VH1 show Basketball Wives.
37. Paul Pierce – $70 million
Lucrative marketing deals with the likes of Attitude Drinks and 2014 earnings of $16.8 million have helped Paul Pierce achieve a reported current net worth of $70 million. In fact, in 2013 the now-Los Angeles Clippers small forward was, according to Forbes, the planet’s 82nd-best-paid athlete.
Pierce met his future wife Julie Landrum in 2006, and approximately two years later the couple had their first of three children. They married on the sunny Californian coast in summer 2010.
36. Amar’e Stoudemire – $70 million
With a salary of $22 million and endorsements worth $3 million, Amar’e Stoudemire was, according to Forbes, the 44th-best-paid athlete in the world in 2015. The Miami Heat power forward’s net worth, meanwhile, is believed to total about $70 million.
Stoudemire started dating Alexis Welch in 2002, though he held off proposing for a decade. At that time Alexis described herself as a “hands-on mother,” although in 2014 she also ran the TCS New York City Marathon.
35. Alonzo Mourning – $70 million
The majority of Alonzo Mourning’s 15-season NBA career was spent with the Miami Heat. In fact, he was such a consistent performer that he became the team’s first player to have their number withdrawn. The former center/power forward today has an estimated personal worth of $70 million.
In 2002 Tracy Mourning established the Honey Shine Mentoring Program, which works to improve the lives of young women. She had married Alonzo five years earlier, and they now have three kids.
34. Tracy McGrady – $70-75 million
Former swingman Tracy McGrady turned out for seven NBA teams during his illustrious 16-year basketball career, most notably for the Houston Rockets between 2004 and 2010. Today his net worth is estimated to be between $70 million and $75 million.
McGrady married CleRenda Harris in 2006, some eight years after meeting her in North Carolina. CleRenda herself is a life coach and the founder of Project P.U.S.H, which aims to empower women.
33. Tony Parker – $75 million
Point guard Tony Parker has earned four NBA Championships with the San Antonio Spurs and achieved six NBA All Star selections. Yet Parker, reportedly worth $75 million, also has a secret talent. In fact, he’s released hip-hop records, one of which even reached number one in France in 2007.
Parker became a tabloid regular in the mid-’00s thanks to his three-year marriage to Eva Longoria. But Parker and Longoria divorced in 2010, and in 2013 the NBA star walked down the aisle with Axelle Francine, a French journalist. The pair now have two children together.
32. Karl Malone – $75 million
Also known as “The Mailman,” serial deliverer Karl Malone played for the Utah Jazz for 18 years – and for the Los Angeles Lakers for one – before finishing his career in 2005. The ex-power forward, who became the Jazz’s big man coach in 2013, has a reported net worth of $75 million.
Kay Kinsey Malone
Malone fell for 1988 Miss Idaho USA pageant winner Kay Kinsey after the pair met at an autograph-signing event in Utah. The couple, who went on to have four children, tied the knot on Christmas Eve, 1990.
31. Jason Kidd – $73 million
Jason Kidd no doubt made a pretty penny when he left one endorsement deal with Nike to join another with PEAK in 2008. Added to his lifetime earnings, it’s estimated that the former New Jersey Nets player has a net worth of at least $73 million.
Kidd tied the knot with ex-model Porschla Coleman – his second wife – in fall 2011. The couple had one child, a boy, before they married and another, a girl, in 2012.
30. Dikembe Mutombo – $75 million
Dikembe Mutombo’s 18-year NBA career stretched between 1991 and 2009, with the celebrated center having turned out for the likes of the Denver Nuggets, the Atlanta Hawks and the New York Knicks. His net worth is believed to be in the region of $75 million.
Mutombo proposed to fellow Congolese-American Rose the moment he met her, with the pair actually marrying in 1996. The couple are both actively involved in the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation and have no less than six children together.
29. Pat Riley – $80 million
Miami heat team president Pat Riley played for the San Diego Rockets, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns during the ’60s and ’70s. The game has certainly been good to the former guard/forward, whose net worth is thought to now stand at approximately $80 million.
Pat married blond, blue-eyed Chris, who was once a marriage counselor, way back in 1970, a couple of years after they met on a beach in San Diego. They have two grown-up children, Elisabeth and James.
28. Juwan Howard – $80 million
Miami Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard enjoyed a 19-year NBA playing career before retiring in 2013. He was such a star that he was the NBA’s first player to be offered a $100 million contract, and he had several lucrative sponsorships. His net worth is estimated at $80 million.
Howard tied the knot with Jenine Wardally on the Turks and Caicos Islands in the summer of 2001, and the couple have since had two sons together. Jenine is the founder of the Juice Foundation, which promotes healthy living to help fight cancer.
27. Chris Webber – $80 million
Chris Webber was named an NBA All-Star five times, and in 2001 he signed an amazing $127 million contract to play for the Sacramento Kings. He’s worked as a TV analyst since retiring in 2008 and also has an investment company. His net worth is thought to be at least $80 million.
Erika Dates Webber
Webber married his long-term partner Erika Dates in 2009, with the pair saying their vows during a private ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s thought that as many as 200 friends and family witnessed the event.
26. Chris Bosh – $80 million
Chris Bosh was, according to Forbes, the planet’s 52nd-best-paid sports star in 2015, with his $20.8 million salary topped up by $3 million of endorsements. Such lucrative deals have undoubtedly helped the former Miami Heat power forward amass a personal fortune said to be in the region of $80 million. Due to a blood-clotting condition, Bosh hasn’t appeared on the court since 2016, but the 11-time NBA All-Star has yet to rule out the possibility of returning to the game.
Bosh tied the knot with Adrienne Williams in 2011, and these days Adrienne Bosh is the owner of Miami Beach-located boutique Sparkle and Shine Darling. The store, which stocks “sparkly-shiny pieces” for women, opened in 2015.
25. Zach Randolph – $85 million
Zach Randolph is something of an NBA journeyman, having played for no less than five teams over the course of his lengthy career. The power forward has also twice been selected for the NBA All-Star team and currently has an alleged net worth of $85 million.
Randolph married his wife, Faune, at a ceremony in Indianapolis in 2014. The pair share three children, MacKenley, MaZiya and Lil Z-Bo, while Randolph also has a couple of other kids from past relationships.
24. Tyson Chandler – $85 million
Tyson Chandler accrued his reported $85 million fortune playing as center or power forward for numerous teams over the years. He’s earned himself plenty of titles too, and in 2012 he even won a gold medal with Team USA at the London Olympics.
Chandler has three children with wife Kimberly, whom he wed in 2005. But the pair also work together to promote various charities. For instance, following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, they helped suffering families all over New Orleans.
23. Derrick Rose – $85 million
Derrick Rose came out all guns blazing in his early career, winning the Most Valuable Player Award at the record-breaking age of 22. This no doubt helped the point guard bank an estimated $85 million, though he’s also boosted his coffers via deals with Adidas, Powerade, Skullcandy and more.
In 2018 Rose walked down the aisle with Alaina Anderson. The pair then welcomed baby daughter Layla into the world later that same year. Rose also has a son, Derrick Jr., from a previous relationship with Mieka Reese.
22. Stephen Curry – $90 million
Widely hailed as one of the NBA’s greatest ever shooters, point guard Stephen Curry is also one of the richest. In fact, his current contract with the Golden State Warriors is worth a whopping $201 million over five years. This will only add to his presently reported $90 million net worth.
And Curry’s wife is very much a star in her own right. Yes, Ayesha Curry has her own Food Network show and is the author of cookery book The Seasoned Life. She married Curry in 2011, and they now have three kids together.
21. Reggie Miller – $90 million
Shooting guard Reggie “Knick Killer” Miller spent 18 seasons racking up three-point scores with the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. He also won an Olympic gold medal in 1996 on his way to an estimated $90 million fortune. These days, he brings in the bucks as a commentator for TNT.
In 2001 Miller dissolved his eight-year marriage to Marita Stavrou. And it would be another ten years before he apparently settled down with Laura Laskowski. The pair welcomed their first child, Ryker, in 2013 and their second, Lennox, three years later.
20. Steve Nash – $95 million
Steve Nash spent 18 seasons in the NBA – many of those as a point guard for the Phoenix Suns – accruing an alleged net worth of $95 million. He now co-owns MLS team Vancouver Whitecaps FC and is the Canadian national basketball team’s general manager.
Six years after divorcing first wife Alejandra Amarilla, Nash announced his engagement to ex-volleyball player Lilla Frederick. They married shortly afterwards, and in 2017 Frederick gave birth to their first child – and Nash’s fourth – Luca Sun Nash.
19. Ray Allen – $100 million
With the help of past endorsement deals with the likes of Webster Bank and Nike and a previous contract worth $80 million, Ray Allen has reportedly achieved an impressive net worth of $100 million. The shooting guard most recently turned out for the Miami Heat before officially retiring in 2016 – after an impressive 18 seasons in the NBA.
Shannon Walker Williams
In 2004 Allen started dating singer and actress Shannon Walker Williams, who has appeared in former CBS soap As the World Turns. The pair, who now have four kids together, married in 2008.
18. Chris Paul – $100 million
In 2018 Chris Paul was, according to Forbes, the planet’s 41st-best-paid sports star. And with a salary of $24.9 million and an estimated net worth of around $100 million, it’s fair to say that the Los Angeles Clippers point guard has done okay for himself.
Paul met future wife Jada Crawley at high school. They married in 2011 and today reside, with their two kids, in a Bel Air mansion that once belonged to Avril Lavigne.
17. Yao Ming – $120 million
It’s perhaps unsurprising that 7’6” center Yao Ming excelled during his ten years with the NBA’s Houston Rockets in the ’00s. Yet he wasn’t just a star on the court: his reported $120 million net worth is apparently a combination of salaries and lucrative sponsorship deals.
Yao Ming isn’t the only basketball star in his household, though. Wife Ye Li actually competed in the sport for China at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. The pair have been married for 11 years so far, and they share a daughter named Yao Qinlei.
16. Kevin Garnett – $120 million
NBA winner Kevin Garnett has so far amassed a personal fortune of an estimated $120 million, following a 21-year professional career. And his multi-million-dollar salary was consistently topped up by various endorsements.
After a long romance, Garnett married Brandi Padilla in July 2004. “The Big Ticket” missed out on that year’s Olympics in Athens, Greece to tie the knot in California. However, Padilla filed for divorce in 2018 and requested custody of their two daughters.
15. Dwyane Wade – $120 million
High-profile sponsorships and profitable contracts have helped Dwyane Wade’s net worth reach an estimated $120 million. The celebrated shooting guard, who once had the NBA’s biggest-selling jersey, has been with the Miami Heat since 2003, except for a brief stint with the Chicago Bulls in 2016.
In 2009 Dwyane started seeing Bad Boys II star Gabrielle Union. And while work commitments forced them to split temporarily, the pair later got engaged at the end of 2013 and married the following year. In 2018 the couple welcomed their first – and Dwyane’s fourth – child.
14. Carmelo Anthony – $120 million
Houston Rockets small forward Carmelo Anthony was listed by Forbes as the world’s 38th-best-paid sportsperson of 2018, with his earnings coming in at around $33 million. He also has multiple sponsorships as well as a venture capital firm, and his net worth is reported to total about $120 million.
Alani “La La” Anthony
La La Anthony is possibly the most well-known basketball wife and is just as much of a celebrity as her husband. Indeed, she’s a reality star, a TV and radio host, an actress, a writer, and – last but not least – a mother to the couple’s son Kiyan.
13. Russell Westbrook – $125 million
Point guard Russell Westbrook has earned much of his reported $125 million fortune during a lengthy spell at the Oklahoma City Thunder. In fact, in 2017 he signed the most valuable guaranteed contract – worth $233 million for six seasons – ever handed to an NBA player.
And Nina Earl has been with Westbrook since they started dating in college. The pair eventually walked down the aisle in 2015, and two years later they welcomed their first child, Noah, into the world. In 2018 they also added to their family unit with the birth of twin daughters.
12. Tim Duncan – $130 million
It seems Tim Duncan, who was with the San Antonio Spurs from 1997 for 16 years until his retirement, has been handsomely rewarded for his loyalty. In 2012 Forbes named him the planet’s 73rd-best-paid athlete, with his multi-million dollar contract being supplemented by $2 million in endorsements. His net worth is thought to be at least $130 million.
Duncan, who divorced his ex-wife Amy in 2013, is now dating reporter Vanessa Macias. She’s currently the in-house announcer for two San Antonio-based sports teams and is a host on Talk Now SA. In 2017 the pair welcomed a daughter, Quill.
11. Gary Payton – $130 million
Retired point guard Gary “The Glove” Payton may have spent 13 lucrative seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics, but his sole NBA title came while playing for the Miami Heat in 2006. Payton’s net worth is believed to total around $130 million.
Payton wedded Monique James in the summer of 1997, with the couple having met while at high school in Oakland, California. They’ve got three kids: Julian, Gary II and Raquel. Sadly, though, the long-time couple split in 2012.
10. Dirk Nowitzki – $140 million
Despite being described by Fox Sports in 2011 as “the most marketable player on the planet,” Dirk Nowitzki has – Nike shoe deal aside – tended to shun lucrative endorsements. However, the Dallas Mavericks power forward is already thought to have an enviable net worth of $140 million, while, according to Forbes, his total career earnings amass to a giant $242 million.
Nowitzki met Swede Jessica Olsson – the sister of soccer players Marcus and Martin Olsson – in 2010. The pair, who now have two sons and a daughter, married in Dallas, Texas, two years later.
9. Hakeem Olajuwon –$200 million
Celebrated Basketball Hall of Famer Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon’s incredible career came to an end in 2002. But he’s since reportedly made $100 million in real estate deals, while his overall fortune is estimated at a modest $200 million.
In accordance with his Islamic faith, it was prearranged that Olajuwon would tie the knot with the then 18-year-old Dalia Asafi in 1996. He said at the time that she possessed “wisdom beyond her years.” They now share two children, Rahmah and Aisha.
8. David Robinson – $200 million
David Robinson – who spent the entirety of his 14-year professional basketball career with the San Antonio Spurs – won the NBA championship twice and has two Olympic gold medals. Then, after he retired from the court, Robinson entered the world of private equity and is today worth at least $200 million.
Valerie Hoggatt Robinson
The former center married Valerie Hoggatt in December 1991. And the following year Hoggatt was head of the David Robinson Foundation, putting her degree in business and her experience with community outreach to good use.
7. Grant Hill – $250 million
Former NBA All-Star participant Grant Hill had an amazing 19-season career, including seven years with the Orlando Magic, who got him on their books in 2000 with a contract worth $93 million. In 2018 Hill signed a lifetime endorsement contract with Fila, and today the Hall of Fame player is reportedly worth a whopping $250 million.
Hill married Canadian R&B star Tamia in 1999, with the pair having been introduced in Detroit by Grammy Award-winning singer Anita Baker. They have a couple of daughters together.
6. Shaquille O’Neal – $400 million
Four-time NBA winner Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal’s imposing 7 foot 1 inch frame is eclipsed only by his reputed net worth of some $400 million, which was earned mostly through salary and sponsorships as well as several successful sneaker lines. O’Neal himself sports a considerable size 23 shoe.
Shaq has been dating onetime model Laticia Rolle since summer 2014. But despite vacations to Florida, Paris and London and various engagement rumors, the couple have maintained a relatively low profile.
5. LeBron James – $440 million
Two-time NBA champion LeBron James turned pro in 2003 and has a net worth that some claim tops $440 million. “King James” is, according to Forbes, the world’s 17th-highest-paid celebrity and the 6th-best-paid athlete. As well as being widely regarded as the best ball player in the world, James co-owns a production company and has even had a go at acting, having appeared in 2015’s Trainwreck and HBO show Entourage.
James’ wife Savannah Brinson has long supported him, with the pair’s romance harking right the way back to high school. They already had three kids when they married in September 2013. And the couple aren’t afraid to splash the cash; they own a $23 million LA mansion and a swanky private jet worth around $22 million.
4. Kobe Bryant – $500 million
Veteran Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard – and five-time NBA champion – Kobe Bryant earned a hefty $25 million sum during his final NBA season in 2016. Throughout Bryant’s entire 20-year career, though, he reportedly earned over $300 million – not including an estimated $280 million in endorsement deals. And before his tragic death, his net worth was believed to be around $500 million.
Bryant married dancer Vanessa Laine in November 2001, and the Bryants subsequently had three daughters: Natalia Diamante in 2003, Gianna Maria-Onore in 2006, and Bianka ten years later. The couple briefly split in 2011, but their divorce was later called off.
3. Magic Johnson – $600 million
Five-time NBA champion Earvin “Magic” Johnson was on a salary of $14.6 million a year before he retired from the game in 1996. His net worth today, though, is thought to be a massive $600 million – largely thanks to his company Magic Johnson Enterprises, which operates in the entertainment and promotional sectors. And he consistently appears in Forbes lists of best-paid retired athletes.
Earlitha “Cookie” Kelly
Magic tied the knot with Earlitha “Cookie” Kelly in 1991, shortly before discovering that he was HIV positive – a potentially devastating development that hasn’t, it seems, compromised their marriage. And the couple now share two children – a son, Earvin III, who stars on reality show Rich Kids of Beverly Hills, and an adopted daughter, Elisa.
2. Junior Bridgeman – $600 million
Ulysses Lee “Junior” Bridgeman – whose iconic number 2 jersey was discontinued by the Milwaukee Bucks following his retirement in 1988 – apparently has a fortune of no less than $600 million. How? Largely thanks to his hugely successful Wendy’s franchise empire.
Bridgeman has been married to wife Doris for almost 40 years, with the pair’s three grown-up kids – Ryan, Justin and Eden, pictured here – all doing their bit within the super-lucrative family firm.
1. Michael Jordan – $1.65 billion
Former Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan is perhaps the finest basketball player to have ever graced the court. He earned $93 million in his playing days, but his current fortune has been mainly amassed through endorsements, especially for Nike. Jordan’s net worth today sits at a huge $1.65 billion dollars, comfortably earning him the top spot in this list.
Jordan married his longtime sweetheart, Latin American model Yvette Prieto, in April 2013. The pair met on a night out in 2008, two years after Jordan had divorced from first wife Juanita Vanoy. In 2014 Prieto gave birth to identical twins Victoria and Ysabel.