In the NBA, there have been plenty of iconic duos. The Los Angeles Lakers were lucky enough to have both Magic and Kareem and Shaq and Kobe; few men combined as well as Karl Malone and John Stockton. In terms of pure fame, however, it’s hard to compete with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
While Pippen was a talented player in his own right, it’s impossible to steal the spotlight from Michael Jordan. But how do their net worths compare today? Is His Airness still on top?
Michael Jordan’s legendary NBA career
Jordan’s basketball exploits need no introduction. After playing his college ball at the University of North Carolina, he landed with the Chicago Bulls. While the team had some collective struggles getting past the Detroit Pistons, MJ was a star from the start. He averaged 28.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists as a rookie and only improved from there; by the time he retired for good, Jordan had done virtually everything possible on the court. Among other accomplishments, he scored over 30,000 points, won six championships, and six MVP awards before riding off into the sunset.
His star status, however, also brought plenty of business opportunities. Jordan endorsed everything from Gatorade and his signature sneakers to underwear and fast food. He also owns restaurants, a car dealership, and most of the Charlotte Hornets.
Scottie Pippen is no slouch, though
During his time with the Bulls, Scottie Pippen was cast as Michael Jordan’s right-hand man. While there’s no shame in playing number two to the greatest star in NBA history, Pippen deserves some praise, too.
After playing his college ball at the University of Central Arkansas, Pippen arrived in Chicago as a talented, but raw rookie. Jordan saw potential in him, however, and helped mold him into a legitimate pro. While he was a capable scorer, Pippen shone on the defensive end of the floor, doing the little things that enabled the Bulls to succeed.
Although he was underpaid during his time with the Bulls, Pippen is still doing well financially. Despite rumors that he went broke, the former forward hasn’t blown through all his money; in addition to cashing in on some big contracts after leaving Chicago, he’s returned to the Windy City in retirement, working as a senior adviser in the front office.
Michael Jordan still overshadows Scottie Pippen
While Scottie Pippen was a capable player, it’s impossible to stand shoulder to shoulder with Michael Jordan. The same is true when it comes to comparing net worths; you’re always going to come up short against his Airness.
During his playing career, Scottie Pippen took home a little over $100 million in salary. Today, he’s worth roughly $50 million; that’s a far cry from bankruptcy, but still pales in comparison to Jordan.
While Jordan’s NBA salary was actually a bit lower—he took home just under $90 million during his time with the Bulls and Wizards—he made up the difference off the court. He’s worth an estimated $2.1 billion; a good deal of that worth comes from his ownership stake in the Charlotte Hornets, but MJ still brings in plenty of money from his Jordan brand and other endorsements.
With all due respect to Scottie Pippen, Michal Jordan is still on top. When you’re going up against the greatest player in NBA history, it’s hard to compete.