Michael Jordan made less than $100 million as the NBA’s greatest player of all time but is now a member of Forbes’ list of billionaires with an estimated net worth of $1.65 billion.
Since Jordan retired 15 years ago, he has built the most successful and lucrative career we’ve ever seen from a former athlete.
From sprawling houses to custom planes to his own golf course, he’s clearly enjoying life after hoops.
Jordan still makes more money than LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, or any other active player.
He reportedly makes $100 million a year from Nike royalties alone. LeBron is estimated to make less than $90 million a year, including salary and endorsements.
That’s way more than he made in salary while he played. He earned $93.8 million TOTAL in NBA salary, and $63.3 million of that came in his final two seasons with the Chicago Bulls.
His net worth is now believed to be $1.65 billion thanks to the skyrocketing value of his NBA team and the Jordan Brand.
According to Forbes, Jordan is the 455th-richest person in the US.
Nike founder Phil Knight called signing Jordan the best decision he ever made, nabbing the NBA rookie for $250,000 a year in 1984. Nike’s Jordan Brand alone now brings in more than $3 billion in revenue each year.
Jordan wanted to sign with Adidas, but they passed because they preferred NBA players who were 7 feet tall.
Jordan bought the Charlotte Hornets for $275 million in 2010. They’re now worth more than $1 billion and he owns 90% of the club.
He makes additional income from endorsement deals with Hanes, Gatorade, and Upper Deck. MJ has been a spokesman for Hanes for nearly 30 years.
It is estimated that he has made $1.85 billion in his career in salaries and endorsements, the highest ever for an athlete.
That steady stream of income lets him live a pretty amazing lifestyle …
He has a private jet. It’s painted Carolina blue, and the ID number contains his jersey number (23) and number of titles (6).
He spent $12.8 million building his dream house in Florida.
He reportedly decided to build a private golf course because he was annoyed by the pace of play at his current country club.
The Hobe Sound, Florida, course will be called Grove XXIII — keeping with his obsession with the No. 23 — and is expected to be open in 2019.
Source: Golf Week
He even has a custom golf cart with the Jumpman logo.
He also has a $2.8 million house near Charlotte.
It has some incredible lake views.
He’s selling his compound in Chicago, which was originally listed for $29 million. But six years later, the house is still on the market and the price is down to $14.9 million.
It has its own basketball court, as well as a pool with a patch of lawn in the middle of it.
It is estimated that Jordan has paid more than $680,000 in property taxes since he put the house up for sale.
Jordan has won millions in lawsuits against companies that used his name or likeness without permission. He then donated all the money to 23 children’s charities. The total amount was not reported, but Jordan was awarded $8.9 million in one case.
In 2016, Jordan also pledged two large donations to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s new Institute for Community-Police Relations after a string of police-involved shootings.
Jordan’s three oldest children have all followed their father into the shoe business. Jeffery Michael and Jasmine both work with Nike and Jordan Brand.
- embed type
Marcus opened a boutique sneaker shop in Disney World called Trophy Room.
- embed type
The elder Jordan is also investing in tech startups. MJ was reportedly one of several famous people who invested heavily in Gigster, a Silicon Valley startup that connects companies to freelance software developers, designers, and project managers.
He is also a minority owner of the Miami Marlins, having been part of Derek Jeter’s investment group. MJ is said to have a small stake.
Jordan is also a famous gambler. According to Charles Barkley, MJ would wager “hundreds of thousands of dollars” on rounds of golf.
“We’d be playing golf with certain people, and we’d be playing a couple hundred dollars a hole,” Charles Barkley told Dan Patrick. “And he’d be playing some guy for, like, a $100,000.”
“He’s, like, ‘Charles, pick that up,'” Barkley said, imitating Jordan. “I’m like, ‘This putt is for $200.’ ‘Pick that up, Charles. Get out of my way. You’re in my line.’
“I’d say, ‘Well, how much is that putt for?’ He’d say, ‘$300,000.’ I’d say, ‘Let me get out of your line.'”
He also used to play $100 post-practice shooting games that allegedly ruined Rodney McCray’s career. MJ would reportedly taunt McCray him by yelling: “You’re a loser! You’ve always been a loser!’
He even took $500 from a fan at a charity golf tournament when the fan said MJ couldn’t land the ball on the green.
- embed type
And he wasn’t above cheating to make sure he won, like the time he would bet Scottie Pippen on the outcome of in-game scoreboard races even though MJ already knew the results.
From ESPN’s Amin Elhassan:
“[Jordan] would show up really early to get his shots up on gameday. If you show up to an arena early enough, you’ll see the gamehouse people basically doing a dry run through everything. Everything from the national anthem to … One of the things they have is that thing where it’s like the three Bulls flying, and it’s like ‘Who’s gonna win?’ So Mike is watching this and is like, ‘Oh, so you guys already know [who’s going to win]?’ And the guy says, ‘Yeah we know; it’s all pre-recorded.’ [Jordan says] ‘So you know who’s gonna win tonight, right?’ And he says, ‘Yeah, the red one.’
“Fast-forward to the game. Timeout. Phil is drawing up a play. Mike goes to Scottie and says, ‘Hundred bucks the red one wins.’ And then proceeds to do this for the rest of the season and Scottie never catches on.”
He travels with a security team when he goes overseas. His secret codename is “Yahweh,” the Hebrew word for God.
He rents out this 154-foot megayacht called Mr. Terrible.
It’s one of the most lavish yachts on earth.
Jordan is well known for his love of cigars and told Cigar Aficionado magazine that he smokes six a day.
Beyond money, MJ is married Yvette Prieto.
They had twins in 2014.
At age 55, he still works out. In 2013, he declared he was going to get down to his playing weight of 218 pounds. It is unknown if he reached the goal, but considering his competitiveness, it would seem likely.
He’s also good at video games. He beat level 100 on Bejeweled and became a Bejeweled Demigod, according to ESPN.
His post-basketball career is already influencing the next generation. Kevin Garnett has talked about following in MJ’s footsteps and buying the Timberwolves and it would not be surprising if other players like LeBron and Stephen Curry become future owners.
MJ has said that winning a championship as an owner would be more gratifying than any of the six rings he won as a player.
Now check out just how competitive MJ is.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.