NBA Legend Michael Jordan may have just joined one of the most exclusive clubs in the world: the billionaire’s club. At least, that’s the thinking according to a new report opining on the all-time-great’s total worth. But could Jordan actually be worth even more than previously estimated?
It’s been more than a decade since Jordan played professional basketball, and even longer since Jordan played any basketball that we actually count as part of his legacy. Still, the NBA great pulls in millions upon millions year after year due to the otherworldly success he had as a player.
Jordan gets a percentage of every Jordan shoe Nike sells, as well as any other Nike sports gear that’s under the Jordan brand. Jordan also gets still gets residuals from Gatorade, Upper Deck, and Five Star Fragrances, as well as 2K Sports and Novent Health.
There’s also the matter of those Hanes commercials. You know the ones: Jordan never really says or does anything except to give lesser beings that “I am Jordan” look, and then the Hanes logo flashes. Yeah, he gets paid Michael-Jordan-money for those.
All of those, Forbes has previously estimated, pull in about $90 million a year for MJ, but they’re not the whole reason the billionaire’s club just gained a new member. Jordan passed the 10-digit mark thanks in part to his ownership of the Charlotte Bobcats… er… Charlotte Hornets.
(Did you know that happened? Who knew that happened?)
Back in 2006, Jordan put his millions toward an investment in the Bobcats – humbly named after then-owner Bob Johnson. In 2010, Jordan took over as the controlling owner, buying Johnson’s share for $175 million. Sources tell Forbes that, over the past few months, Jordan has increased his ownership stake in the team to 89.5 percent.
Forbes cites sports bankers in valuing the Hornets at between $600 million and $625 million, just above the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s then just a simple matter of taking Jordan’s previously estimated net worth – about $750 million – Jordan’s equity in the team, and the Hornets’ current debt, carrying the four, dropping the remainder down, and somehow you wind up with Jordan’s net worth outside of his Hornets stake being at about $600 million. Counting his ownership of the Hornets, that bumps Jordan to somewhere north of $1 billion.
Not bad for the North Carolina-born son of an equipment supervisor.
Jordan’s push-off from basketball to billionaire is about as impressive as his 1998 push-off from Byron Russell – #NeverForget – but Forbes may be wrong in its estimation; Jordan may have even more money than they say he does.
With the Clippers caught up in the neverending saga of Donald Sterling, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer offered to buy the franchise for a mind-blowing $2 billion. That sort of price tag set observers to recalibrating the valuation of each team in the league, with Forbes‘ figures as a basis. According to the new figures, Jordan’s Hornets could be worth $1.43 billion, or more than twice what Forbes currently estimates. That means His Airness could be quite a bit higher up than we’d previously thought.