Michael Jordan isn’t just one of the greatest athletes to ever live. He’s also the richest.
In 2020, Jordan saw his net worth explode to $2.1 billion, which made him the richest athlete on the planet. With the Charlotte Hornets (the NBA team Jordan owns) increasing in value and numerous brands still throwing millions of dollars at the NBA legend every year, one would think Jordan would only grow wealthier with each passing year. But the newest Forbes update shows that Jordan’s net worth has taken a mysterious $500 million hit since 2020.
Michael Jordan only earned $93 million in the NBA
In the NBA today, $100 million contracts have basically become the norm. Role players have consistently been awarded six-figure contracts as the NBA salary cap explodes to new levels. Hell, even Al Horford, who is the epitome of mediocre in today’s NBA, was given a $109 million contract two years ago.
But Michael Jordan, who’s widely regarded as the greatest basketball player of all time, only earned $93 million over his entire 15 seasons in the league. Boy, how the times have changed.
After winning six NBA titles in the 1990s, it’s safe to say the Bulls got their money’s worth. And although Jordan was grossly underpaid as a basketball player, he more than made up for it in retirement.
MJ’s net worth exploded to $2.1 billion in 2020
The NBA might’ve made Michael Jordan a worldwide phenomenon, but it was his endorsement deals and business savvy that made him rich.
In 1984, when he was just a rookie, Jordan signed a five-year deal with Nike worth $500,000 a year. Eventually, Nike’s Jordan Brand took off and became one of the most popular brands in sports. As of 2020, Jordan has earned more than $1.3 billion from Nike alone, according to Forbes. He also still holds endorsement deals with Gatorade, Hanes, Upper Deck, and more.
In 2006, Jordan purchased a minority stake in the Charlotte Bobcats (now called the Hornets), and he took majority ownership in 2010 for an estimated $180 million. In 2019, he sold a minority stake in the franchise that valued the Hornets at $1.5 billion. Not a bad investment, huh?
Last year, Jordan was ranked No. 1,001 on Forbes‘ list of billionaires for 2020 with a $2.1 billion net worth.
Michael Jordan’s net worth has taken a $500 million hit
Jordan made history last year by breaking the $2 billion net worth mark and solidifying his place as the richest athlete in the world. But, mysteriously, $500 million of his fortune has since vanished.
In Forbes’ newest wealth update, Jordan’s net worth has dropped to $1.6 billion as of March 2021. There are a few possible reasons for this dip, but the NBA losing money due to COVID-19 seems like the most logical one.
Because COVID-19 is still affecting the NBA, franchises have been bleeding money this year due to a lack of fans attending games. Some teams will end up losing hundreds of millions of dollars in 2021 because they can’t fill their arenas this season. The Hornets generate $240 million in revenue from fans every season, so losing a big chunk of that sum is surely hurting Jordan’s pockets.
Although Jordan has seen $500 million of his net worth vanish into thin air, it’s most likely just a blip in the radar for a man who rakes in six figures every year because of his name alone.