Basketball has experienced a global surge in popularity in the last few decades, thanks in large part to the Michael Jordan‘s unbeatable run of excellence in the ’80s and ’90s. As a result, the media landscape of today’s NBA is a far different beast than it was in the past. In the age of social media, fans now demand around-the-clock access to the inner workings of the league.
When it comes to reporting on high stakes goings-on, NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski is in a class of his own. Wojnarowski’s name has become synonymous with league-changing Twitter drops — or “Woj bombs” as they are commonly known. Here we take a closer look at Wojnarowski’s career, how he has become the go-to source for insider info, and how much money he’s made so far.
Adrian Wojnarowski’s career as a sports journalist
Wojnarowski was born and raised in Bristol, Connecticut, which is conveniently enough the very same town where ESPN has its headquarters. Of course, Wojnarowski didn’t start out his career with the sports media giant.
After graduating college, he took a position as a columnist for the Fresno Bee. Two years later, he moved back to the east coast to write for The Record in New Jersey.
According to SBU University, Wojnarowski’s writing for The Record helped to bring him national attention, earning him two “Columnist of the Year” awards in 1997 and 2002. In 2007, Wojnarowski took a new position writing national stories for Yahoo! Sports. In 2017, ESPN finally succeeded at luring Wojnarowski away from Yahoo! Sports.
There he is a frequent contributor to news reports. He also makes regular appearances on The Jump, and other NBA news shows. In addition, Wojnarowski has his own podcast, The Woj Pod, in which he interviews players, other media members, and front-office executives from around the league.
The rise of the “Woj bomb”
It was during his tenure at Yahoo! Sports that Adrian Wojnarowski first earned a reputation as one of the most connected insiders in the league. According to ClutchPoints, perhaps his biggest moment came on the day of the 2011 NBA Draft. Wojnarowski up-ended the entire proceedings by tweeting out half of the first-round picks before they were made official on the televised draft.
In the wake of that incident, Wojnarowski was catapulted into the national spotlight, with millions of people flocking to follow him on Twitter. By the time he signed a deal with ESPN, Wojnarowski was the go-to news source not just for fans, but also for players, front office executives, and even other media members. As Wojnarowski’s ESPN colleague Jackie MacMullan succinctly put it in a documentary about him:
“He’s the greatest news breaker of all time in any sport. To me, it’s not even a question.”
Perhaps the only black mark on Wojnarowski’s career has to do with his relationship with superstar LeBron James. These days Wojnarowski has a reputation as a mild-mannered people pleaser.
But back in the mid-2010s, Wojnarowski aimed a suspicious amount of criticism at James — enough that he was criticized by several media for having an unacceptable degree of bias.
Adrian Wojnarowski’s surprising net worth
Even the very best sports journalists only make a sliver of what actual NBA players earn each year. That fact likely holds true for Wojnarowski as well.
Yet nobody knows exactly the terms of the deal that Wojnarowski signed with ESPN back in 2017. At any rate, it seems fair to assume that Wojnarowski is earning as much as — if not significantly more — than any of his peers in the NBA media landscape.
That supposition is borne out by what we know about Wojnarowski’s net worth today. According to COED, Wojnarowski has a net worth of as much as $6 million. Given his seemingly frugal lifestyle and enduring popularity, that number should continue to rise in the coming years.