Michael Jordan Net Worth: The Billion Dollar Man

The Michael Jordan net worth figure of $1.06 billion comes mostly from his Nike deal and other endorsements and very little from his actual NBA salary. Jordan has earned a total of $1.86 billion in his lifetime, but of course taxes and investments penalize more than half of that. Jordan pays an effective 45% combined state and federal income tax rate and also has cost of living, agent fees and other expenses to deal with.

The past master of hoops sees a nice bonus in about $327 million in investment income since 1985. That means he has pulled in about $2.2 billion total since the early 80’s, but only $96 million or about 5% of that comes from playing basketball. Jordan earned more in 2016 than he did in 15 years of playing basketball. Numbers are current as of 12/13/16.

Michael Jordan Net Worth Facts

Michael Jordan Net Worth Facts
Michael Jordan net worth$1,062,334,964
Michael Jordan net worth vs LeBron James net worth5 times bigger
Michael Jordan net worth vs Steph Curry net worth39 times bigger
Michael Jordan net worth vs Tom Brady net worth6 times bigger
Michael Jordan net worth vs Cam Newton net worth33 times bigger
Michael Jordan net worth vs Tiger Woods net worth30% bigger
Michael Jordan net worth vs Taylor Swift net worth3 times bigger
Michael Jordan net worth vs Hillary Clinton net worth33 times bigger
Michael Jordan net worth vs Donald Trump net worth1/5th as big
Michael Jordan net worth vs typical American family net worth15,623 times bigger

If ever there was proof of the modern equation of fame to endorsements as a path to riches, the Michael Jordan net worth story is it. Jordan may have become a millionaire from his ability to play basketball, but only his fame made him a billionaire.

His wealth dwarfs that of most other celebrities. It is five times bigger than the net worth of current NBA legend LeBron James with $223 million. It’s 39 times bigger than phenom Steph Curry at $27 million. Outside the NBA, Jordan’s net worth is six times bigger than star NFL QB Tom Brady with $172 million and 33 times bigger than new blood Cam Newton with $32 million. Jordan’s wealth even surpasses that of golf superstar Tiger Woods, who has built a pile of $825 million. Looking at the music world, Jordan’s big Nike deal has made him three times richer than pop star Taylor Swift with $309 million. Jordan’s net worth is 33 times bigger than Hillary Clinton’s $32 million. Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has him beat by five orders of magnitude with $5.18 billion.

Michael Jordan Net Worth Timeline

Michael Jordan Net Worth Timeline

Michael Jordan Net Worth by Year
Michael Jordan net worth 1984$436,150
Michael Jordan net worth 1985$1,493,246
Michael Jordan net worth 1988$13,040,864
Michael Jordan net worth 1995$103,833,990
Michael Jordan net worth 2001$261,475,265
Michael Jordan net worth 2007$502,029,913
Michael Jordan net worth 2013$825,198,946
Michael Jordan net worth 2014$899,107,659
Michael Jordan net worth 2015$979,404,840
Michael Jordan net worth 2016$1,062,334,964

Michael Jordan net worthThe table above only shows a few data points for the Michael Jordan net worth growth. That growth started way back in 1984. It took a long time to ramp up to speed but now there’s almost literally no stopping it. In fact, in 2016 alone Jordan earned more than he did from his NBA salary during his entire 15 year career on the court.

The chart above shows the total picture, starting with salary plus endorsements topping out at about $65 million per year total by 1998. By then Jordan had a net worth of about $200 million and his NBA career was effectively over. Any sane observer would probably expect his income to stop at that point except for investment income and business deals but that was far from the case. In fact, Jordan’s earnings potential was just getting started. The NBA legend’s Air Jordan line with Nike continued to sell, snowballing his fame and earnings and leading to still more endorsements. By 1999 Jordan was already making more from endorsements than he ever made from the NBA, and that trend has only deepened as the years have passed. The breakdown of all Jordan earnings data is below.

Michael Jordan Net Worth Breakdown

Michael Jordan Net Worth Sources: NBA Salary, Nike, Other Endorsements

Numbers are great, but nothing shows the Michael Jordan net worth breakdown more dramatically than the chart above. Everything in green (nearly $2 billion in earnings) comes from Jordan’s endorsement deals with Nike, Coke, McDonald’s and other companies.

Everything in red (about 5% of Jordan’s income or $96 million) comes from his NBA salary in the years from 1984 through 1998. In short, basketball made him a rich man but his fame made him a billionaire. It’s somewhat of a chicken/egg argument because he would not have become famous without his basketball success, but the proportions illustrate the modern path to riches. It all comes from fame, which can come from sports acumen or, as in the case of Kim Kardashian, from a leaked sex tape. Once it’s there, it’s there and the money will always follow. The table below shows the plain numbers, including an average salary of over $56 million and a 2016 salary of more than twice that. Yes, that’s right. Jordan earns more now in one year than he did in an entire career of playing in the NBA.

Michael Jordan Net Worth Sources
Basketball Salary$96,055,000
Nike deal$1,158,500,000
Other Business Ventures$20,000,000
Total Michael Jordan Earnings$1,855,755,000
Michael Jordan Salary (average)$56,235,000
Michael Jordan Salary 2016$128,160,000
Michael Jordan Net Worth$1,062,334,964

Michael Jordan Net Worth from NBA Salary: $96 Million

We’ve already made the point above that salary only accounts for 5% of the Michael Jordan net worth sum. While there’s no point beating a dead horse, or any horse for that matter, the table below shows how the horse got that way in the first place. Jordan’s salary was publicly released, as are the salaries of all NBA players. The table below shows his per-year earnings from 1984 through 2003. Jordan started out with an entry level contract with the Chicago Bulls in the 1984-85 season. The contract was for $6.3 million over seven years.

It’s almost impossible not to speculate about the joy he must have felt on signing that deal or how he would have felt if he’d known what his wealth would one day become. His next contract was for $25.7 million over eight years. He then signed two one-year contracts for over $30 million each. That’s a big leap to more than eight times his previous salary level or a 1000% raise. The hiccup at the end of the table shows Jordan’s comeback. The player came out of retirement to play for the Washington Wizards, donating his salary to the victims of the September 11 attacks.

Michael Jordan Net Worth from NBA Salary
Total Michael Jordan Net Worth from NBA Salary$96,055,000

Michael Jordan Net Worth from Nike and Other Endorsements

Endorsements form the real meat of the Michael Jordan net worth total. We considered showing numbers for all the different income streams for every year since 1984 but that would have made this article unnecessarily long. The chart below should serve as a good rough guide for how much money Jordan made for each year. To add further detail, Jordan started out making about $500,000 a year in NBA salary. That rose to $4 million by 1996, then spiked to over $30 million in ’97 and ’98 before the player retired from the game. Those numbers are shown in red below. Jordan’s Nike deal is shown in blue-green. In the early years it matched his salary, then quickly grew to $30 million by Jordan’s retirement year. After that it hit a plateau of roughly $48 million a year based on red hot sales of his Air Jordan shoes.

In recent years Jordan’s shoe sales have picked up and so have Jordan’s earnings from Nike, to the tune of $100 million per year. The light green field below shows earnings from other endorsement deals. Those earnings may look small but that’s only by comparison. They represent contracts signed over the years with Coca Cola, McDonalds, Chevrolet, Rayovac, Ball Park Franks, Wheaties, MCI and Haynes, among many others. Those deals started at a total of about a million a year back in 1985 and swelled to $15 million by the height of Jordan’s career. After the player’s retirement, those “other” endorsement deals swelled to an estimated $28 million a year, where they still sit to this day.

Michael Jordan Income by Year

Business Deals, Movies

An NBA salary and massive endorsement deals are by no means the only sources of the Michael Jordan net worth sum. They’re just the biggest sources. Mike also earns millions from business deals and appearances on TV and in movies. Those other earnings sources are almost insignificant when compared to his primary sources of wealth, but we’ve included them in our calculations anyway. Jordan’s biggest “other” source of income is the 1996 movie Space Jam, for which he was paid a reported $20 million. He is also part owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, the Washington Wizards and even owned a motorcycle road racing team named Michael Jordan Motorsports. He has nearly 100 total credits for appearing in various movies and TV shows, some of them several times each. For most people that in itself would be a hugely successful career, but for Jordan it makes up such a small part of his income that we include it only as a footnote.

Michael Jordan Net Worth Calculations

If net worth was the same thing as earnings, Jordan would have over $2 billion. Since it isn’t, he doesn’t. The Michael Jordan net worth calculations below show how taxes, expenses and investments adjust the total downward to $1.06 billion. Jordan’s residence is in North Carolina. That gives him the state’s highest 5.75% income tax bracket in addition to the top U.S. federal rate of 39.6%. That’s a total tax cut of 45.35%. That’s roughly $841 million in taxes over the course of his career. Agent fees take their slice too, not just for sports agents but for the firms that have put together his stellar endorsement deals. Those expenses plus all other costs come to an estimated 15% per year or $278 million. Investments figured at an average of 6% per year add back $327 million. All three of those adjustments are rolled into one column in the table below.

Michael Jordan Net Worth Calculations
YearMichael Jordan Total EarningsAdjustments (Tax, Expense, Investment)Michael Jordan Net Worth
Michael Jordan Net Worth Totals$1,855,755,000-$793,420,036$1,062,334,964

What Does Mike Do with his Net Worth?

Of course a big question that always crops up whenever someone gets incredibly rich is, what do they do with the money? The Michael Jordan net worth figure is extremely high and it leads to a lot of speculation. Some in the media have speculated that he gambles it all away. That seems unlikely. It’s sexy to talk about losing $100,000 to gambling, but that sum would be hardly noticeable to somebody as rich as Jordan, and there’s no evidence he has a serious gambling problem. He does own several multi-million dollar estates, but even those don’t make a dent in his gigantic fortune. One thing we know Jordan does do with his money is contribute to charity. Jordan has founded and donated money to dozens of charitable organizations around the country. These groups include the Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Club of America, the Kids Wish Network, the UNCF College Fund, LIVESTRONG, the Make a Wish Foundation, Opportunity Village and the Nevada Cancer Institute.

If you liked reading about Michael Jordan’ net worth, try this post about LeBron James’ net worth or this one about Stephen Curry’s net worth. All Michael Jordan net worth data in this article are based on our analysis of income streams, tax, expense and investment calculations, estimates and media reports and are provided here for entertainment purposes only.