From secret golf courses to a $3 million car, here’s how Michael Jordan makes and spends his $1.6 billion fortune

Mary Raleigh
13/09/2023
  • Michael Jordan is considered the greatest NBA player of all time.
  • He’s also the richest former professional athlete in the world with a net worth of $2 billion.
  • Since he retired in 2003, he has built a lucrative career and uses his wealth for philanthropic purposes.
  • He also indulges: He has a secret golf course, sprawling estates, an NBA team, restaurants, interest in DraftKings, and even a $3 million car.Who has more money, Michael Jordan or LeBron James? | Marca

Michael Jordan was already a billionaire, and now he just added to his fortune.

The NBA announced that Jordan was selling his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets for $3 billion. Not bad for the $275 million investment he initially made when he bought the club in 2010.

Jordan will keep a minority stake in the franchise.

Before the sale, Jordan was already living the high life. Below we take a look at how he has amassed his fortune and what he spends it on.

Jordan has an estimated net worth of $2 billion.

Michael Jordan Celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Air Jordan At Palais de Tokyo In Paris
Michael Jordan attends a press conference for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Air Jordan Shoe. 
Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

Since Jordan retired 15 years ago, he has built the most successful and lucrative career we’ve ever seen from a former athlete.

He made less than $100 million as the NBA’s greatest player of all time, but that hasn’t stopped him from becoming a billionaire with an estimated net worth of $2 billion.

Jordan was the world’s first athlete billionaire.

Source: Forbes

According to Forbes, Jordan’s yearly earnings were roughly $145 million.

Elsa:Getty michael jordan

Elsa/Getty Images

Source: Forbes

As of 2015, he was reportedly making $100 million a year from Nike and Jordan Brand royalties alone.

michael jordan AP

AP

Source: Business Insider

For comparison, LeBron James was estimated to earn less than $90 million a year from salary, winnings, and endorsements.

Chris Szagola:AP  lebron james michael jordan

Chris Szagola/AP Photo

Source: Forbes

Nike founder Phil Knight called signing Jordan the best decision he ever made, nabbing the NBA rookie for $250,000 a year in 1984.

Phil Knight

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

Jordan reportedly wanted to sign with Adidas in 1984, but they passed because they preferred NBA players who were 7 feet tall.

michael jordan Jonathan Daniel :Allsport

Daniel /Allsport

Source: Business Insider

Nike’s Jordan Brand alone now brings in roughly $3.6 billion in revenue each year.

NBA legend Michael Jordan holds up an autographed AJ19 shoe, the latest design in the Air Jordan shoe line, at a Hong Kong news conference. AP:Anat Givon
NBA legend Michael Jordan holds up an autographed AJ19 shoe, the latest design in the Air Jordan shoe line, at a Hong Kong news conference. 
Anat Givon/AP Photo

Source: Forbes, Business Insider, Los Angeles Times

And MJ’s income now is way more than his total playing salary during his career.

young michael jordan AP

AP

He earned $90 million total in NBA salary, and about $63 million of that came in his final two seasons with the Chicago Bulls.

Source: Forbes, Spotrac, Basketball-Reference

The popularity of Air Jordans has resurged in recent years thanks to celebrity partnerships to connect to a younger audience and new versions of retro styles to reconnect to the older fans.

Rapper Rick Ross performs during his Port of Miami 2 Tour at The Fillmore on October 13, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan.
Rapper Rick Ross performs during his Port of Miami 2 Tour at The Fillmore on October 13, 2019, in Detroit, Michigan. 
Scott Legato/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

Jordan became a billionaire in 2014 when the Charlotte Hornets’ franchise value rose.

michael jordan hornets Abbie Parr:Getty Images

Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Jordan purchased the club for $275 million and he reportedly owned a 97% of the team. He did sell a minority stake in 2019 before selling most of his remaining ownership for $3 billion.

Source: Business Insider, Charlotte Observer

Jordan is still waiting for the day the Hornets win a championship. He has said that winning a championship as an owner would be more gratifying than any of the six rings he won as a player.

Jeff Haynes:Staff:Getty Images michael jordan hornets championship

Jeff Haynes/Staff/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

MJ built his own golf course in 2019.

Michael Jordan loves gold so much, he built his own golf course in 2019.
Michael Jordan loves gold so much, he built his own golf course in 2019. 
Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

Grove XXIII — keeping with his obsession with the No. 23 — opened in the fall of 2019 in Hobe Sound, Florida.

Jordan loves to golf, and his course has quite the nickname. Called “Slaughterhouse 23,” it earned the name since it was designed by Jordan, for Jordan, and aimed at maximizing Jordan’s style of play against his opponents, especially when playing for money against pro golfers.

Source: Insider

The course has lavish amenities, including a drone delivery service that brings beer and other refreshments to the club’s exclusive members.

drone
A drone hovers in the sky. 
Richard Newstead/Getty Images

Source: Insider

Jordan donated $2 million of his earnings from his docuseries “The Last Dance” to Feeding America’s food banks in Chicago and the Carolinas.

The Last Dance Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan donated money to support communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
ESPN Films/Netflix/Mandalay Sports Media/NBA Entertainment

“In these challenging times and in a year of unimaginable difficulty due to COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to pause and give thanks,” he said in a statement.

Source: NBC News, Variety

In 2020, Jordan and Nike’s Jordan Brand pledged to donate $100 million over 10 years to organizations fighting for ‘racial quality, social justice, and greater access to education.’

michael jordan Marcio Jose Sanchez:AP Images
Michael Jordan is actively donating to organizations fighting for racial quality. 
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images

The June announcement came amid nationwide Black Lives Matter protests over the killing of George Floyd.

Source: Insider

In March, Jordan was part of a $305 million investment in Dapper Labs, the startup behind virtual trading-card platform NBA Top Shot.

NBA Top Shot Press Logo_Collectibles_
Dapper Labs has a $2.6 billion valuation after the round, a source close to the company said. 
NBA Top Shot

Other investors included Will Smith, Kevin Durant, and 2 Chainz.

Source: Insider

DraftKings announced in 2021 that Jordan took an equity stake in the sports betting company, along with a special adviser role.

michael jordan AP Photo:Thibault Camus

AP Photo/Thibault Camus

The company’s shares surged 12% immediately following the announcement.

Source: Business Insider

He has several endorsement deals with companies like Gatorade …

Ezra Shaw:Getty gatorade michael jordan

Ezra Shaw/Getty

Source: Business Insider

… trading card company Upper Deck …

Susan Ragan:AP michael jordan

Susan Ragan/AP Photo

Source: Business Insider

… and Hanes. He’s been a spokesman for the company for about 30 years.

michael jordan YouTube:Hanes

YouTube/Hanes

Source: Business Insider

He once rejected a huge endorsement deal with Beanee Weenees because he didn’t like the name.

michael jordan beanes

Amazon

Jordan said he has always been picky about his endorsements because he wanted to be genuine and also build his own brand.

Jordan told Playboy, “How can I stand in front of a camera and say I’ll eat Beanee Weenees?” He said the deal was close to $1 million per year — at the time, he had made less than $5 million in career earnings.

Source: Playboy

He owns several restaurants including 1000 North in Jupiter, Florida …

michael jordan Lee L.:Yelp

Lee L./Yelp

Source: Business Insider, Eater

… Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse, with locations in Connecticut, Washington, and Chicago …

Steve Kagan:Contributor:Getty Images  michael jordan

Steve Kagan/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse

… and Michael Jordan’s Restaurant in Chicago, an upscale restaurant serving ‘elevated American classics.’

... and Michael Jordan's Restaurant in Chicago, an upscale restaurant serving 'elevated American classics.'

Diana Q./Yelp

Source: Michael Jordan’s Restaurant

In 2019, Jordan and a team of four others created Cincoro tequila.

Cincoro tequila
Michael Jordan’s tequila company opened in 2019. 
Rachel Askinasi/Business Insider

Jordan is one of many celebrities to start a tequila business. His brand had a co-starring role in his “The Last Dance” docuseries as it was often by his side during the on-camera interviews.

Source: Insider

He also owns a Nissan dealership in Durham, North Carolina.

Nissan signs are seen outside a Nissan auto dealer in Broomfield, Colorado Google Maps
Nissan signs are seen outside a Nissan auto dealer in Broomfield, Colorado 
Google Maps

Source: Business Insider, Michael Jordan Nissan

In 2019, many billionaires lost money — but not Jordan. His net worth rose by $300 million.

Michael Jordan is known as the greatest basketball player of all time. He's also the richest. Jordan Brand via Getty Images
Michael Jordan is known as the greatest basketball player of all time. He’s also the richest. 
Jordan Brand via Getty Images

Source: Forbes

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 has a private jet. It's painted Carolina blue, and the ID number contains his jersey number (23) and number of titles (6).

YouTube

Source: Business Insider

Jordan even has a custom, Carolina-blue golf cart with the Jumpman logo.

michael jordan golf cart

@Jeff_Ritter

Source: Business Insider

He spent $12.8 million building his dream house in Florida in 2012.

He spent $12.8 million building his dream house in Florida in 2012.

Google Maps

Source: Yahoo, Business Insider

He also has a $2.8 million house near Charlotte.

mj house charlotte

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/18227-Capstan-Greens-Rd_Cornelius_NC_28031_M59685-34239 and Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

It has some incredible lake views.

mj house porch

Realtor

Source: Business Insider

He’s selling his compound in Chicago, which was originally listed for $29 million. The estate’s gate is emblazoned with his jersey number.

He's selling his compound in Chicago, which was originally listed for $29 million. The estate's gate is emblazoned with his jersey number.
A gate with the number 23 controls access to the home of basketball legend Michael Jordan. 
Concierge Auctions

Source: Business Insider

But 10 years later, the house is still on the market and the price is down to $14.9 million.

But eight years later, the house is still on the market and the price is down to $14.9 million.

Realtor.com

Source: Business Insider, Zillow

It has its own basketball court, as well as a pool with a patch of lawn in the middle of it.

michael jordan house17

Concierge Auctions

Source: Business Insider

It is estimated that Jordan pays more than $100,000 in annual property taxes.

Michael Jordan house

Zillow

Luxury real estate brokers think the amount of customization the house has undergone in order to become Jordan’s personal palace is one of a few reasons why the property hasn’t sold yet.

They also list the mismatch of location and price as a possible reason — homes in the Highland Park area have a median value of $476,391. Homes at the price point Jordan is listing are typically located closer to Lake Michigan.

Source: Business Insider

In 2016, Jordan won a case against a Chinese sportswear company that was using his Chinese name.

In 2016, Jordan won a case against a Chinese sportswear company that was using his Chinese name.

Aly Song/Reuters

The company had been using a logo similar to Jordan’s Air Jordan logo, and the symbols used spell out his name in Chinese — Qiaodan Sports. He first sued the company in 2012, but lower-level courts ruled in favor of the company.

Source: Business Insider

That’s not the only lawsuit he’s been involved in though pertaining to his name and branding.

Jordan sued and won millions. But he didn't keep all the money.
Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan arrives at the federal courthouse in Chicago, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. 
AP Photo/Christian K. Lee

Two supermarkets, Dominick’s and Jewel-Osco, associated themselves with Jordan without his permission. Jordan sued and won millions.

But he didn’t keep all the money. Instead, he donated millions to 23 charities benefiting the children of Chicago.

Source: Business Insider

In 2018, he donated $2 million to Hurricane Florence relief efforts.

In 2018, he donated $2 million to Hurricane Florence relief efforts.
A convoy of utility trucks heading east to assist with damage caused by tropical storm Florence. 
AP Photo/Chris Seward

Source: Chicago Tribune

In 2019, he pledged $7 million to open two medical clinics in Charlotte.

In 2019, he pledged $7 million to open two medical clinics in Charlotte.

Chuck Burton/AP

Source: Business Insider

In the same year, Jordan teamed up with driver Denny Hamlin to become a NASCAR Cup Series team co-owner.

Bubba Wallace
Bubba Wallace will make his debut on Michael Jordan’s NASCAR team at the Daytona 500. 
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Together, they formed 23XI racing, and Bubba Wallace is their first driver.

Source: Insider, ESPN

Jordan has three children from his first marriage with Juanita Vanoy.

Jordan has three children from his first marriage with Juanita Vanoy.
Pictured here is an old family photo shared by Jordan’s daughter, Jasmine. 
Jasmine M. Jordan/Instagram

Source: Biography

The pair married in 1989 and divorced in 2006. The 17-year marriage cost Jordan a whopping $168 million in the settlement.

The pair married in 1989 and divorced in 2006. The 17 year marriage cost Jordan a whopping $168 million in the settlement.
Pictured above are Michael Jordan and his then-wife Juanita. 
Reuters

Source: Biography, NBC Chicago

Jordan’s three oldest children have all followed their father into the shoe business.

michael jordan fam

Jasmine M. Jordan/Instagram

Jeffrey, the oldest, works at Nike in Oregon, and Jasmine, the youngest, has worked for her father’s NBA team as well as being an Air Jordan representative in Charlotte.

Source: Business Insider

Marcus, Jordan’s second child, opened a boutique sneaker shop in Disney World called Trophy Room inspired by the trophy room in his house growing up.

Marcus, Jordan's second child, opened a boutique sneaker shop in Disney World called Trophy Room inspired by the trophy room in his house growing up.

Andy N./Yelp

Source: Business Insider, Bleacher Report

Jordan married Yvette Prieto in 2013, and they welcomed twin daughters, Victoria and Ysabel, in 2014.

Jordan married Yvette Prieto in 2013, and they welcomed twin daughters, Victoria and Ysabel, in 2014.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Source: USA Today

Jordan has invested some of his fortune in tech startups.

Jordan has invested some of his fortune in tech startups.
Gigster cofounders Debo Olaosebikan, left, and Roger Dickey, right. 
Gigster

He was reportedly one of several celebrities who invested heavily in Gigster — a Silicon Valley startup connecting companies to freelance software developers, designers, and project managers.

Source: Business Insider, Gigster

He was also a minority owner of an MLB team — the Miami Marlins — having been part of Derek Jeter’s investment group.

He is also a minority owner of an MLB team — the Miami Marlins — having been part of Derek Jeter's investment group.

Tony Ding/AP

While Jeter sold his share of the team, it is not clear if Jordan is still an owner.

Source: Business Insider

Jordan is also a famous gambler.

charles barkley michael jordan

John Swart/AP

Charles Barkley told Dan Patrick Jordan used to wager hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single hole when he played golf. While others, like Barkley himself, would wager a few hundred dollars.

Source: Business Insider, Dan Patrick Show

He also used to play $100 post-practice shooting games that allegedly ruined Rodney McCray’s career.

Rodney McCray
Pictured above is Rodney McCray. 
Jonathan Daniel /Allsport

MJ would reportedly taunt McCray him by yelling: “You’re a loser! You’ve always been a loser!’

Source: Business Insider

He even took $500 from a fan at a charity golf tournament when the fan said Jordan couldn’t land the ball on the green.

He even took $500 from a fan at a charity golf tournament when the fan said Jordan couldn't land the ball on the green.

Isaac Brekken/Getty

Source: deepac66 via YouTube, Golf Digest

And he reportedly cheated in some bets with his teammates to make sure he won.

michael jordan scottie pippen

John Swart/AP

ESPN’s Amin Elhassan said Jordan would bet his teammate, Scottie Pippen, on the outcome of mid-game, animated Jumbotron races, even though Jordan already knew which animated character would win.

Source: CBS Sports

He’s also competitive at other kinds of games. He reportedly won $500 beating his business manager Estee Portnoy in sudoku.

He's also competitive at other kinds of games. He reportedly won $500 beating his business manager Estee Portnoy in sudoku.

greencolander/Shutterstock

Source: ESPN

Jordan started golf while at UNC in a threesome with his then-roommate and Davis Love III.

golf micahel jordan

Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Jordan plays a lot of golf. But, as Barkley put it, what’s the point in playing the sport if not for some cash?

Source: Business Insider

Jordan reportedly never travels overseas without a security team, which sets him back a cool $1,000 to $1,500 per hour.

michael jordan poster in china

AP

His codename is reportedly ‘Yahweh,’ a Hebrew word for God.

Source: ESPN, Money

Other travel setbacks include this 154-foot rented mega yacht named Mr. Terrible.

Michael Jordan Yacht

YouTube/zdoryan95

Source: Business Insider, ESPN

The yacht is complete with its own branding.

mr terrible yacht

YouTube

Source: LaserAdvertising

The very first cars Jordan bought after he received his reported $10 million signing bonus from the Chicago Bulls were a collection of Mercedes and Pontiacs.

The very first cars Jordan bought after he received his reported $10 million signing bonus from the Chicago Bulls were a collection of Mercedes and Pontiacs. He bought seven cars at once for himself and his family members.
He bought his siblings a Pontiac Firebird Trans Ams, though the exact car is not pictured here. 
Steve Lagreca / Shutterstock

He bought seven cars at once for himself and his family members.

Source: D Magazine

Since his rise to fame, he’s been spotted in all kinds of cars, from Ferraris to Land Rovers.

Since his rise to fame, he's been spotted in all kinds of cars, from Ferraris to Land Rovers.

BRIAN BAHR/Stringer/Getty Images

Source: Cheat Sheet

Jordan is well known for his love of cigars and told Cigar Aficionado magazine that he smokes six a day.

Jordan is well known for his love of cigars and told Cigar Aficionado magazine that he smokes six a day.

Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Source: Cigar Aficionado

At age 60, he still works out.

At age 57, 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.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

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.

Source: ESPN

His post-basketball career is already influencing the next generation.

michael jordan at bobcats game

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Kevin Garnett has talked about following in Jordan’s footsteps and buying the Minnesota Timberwolves. LeBron James has expressed interest in owning an NBA team in Las Vegas.

Source: USA Today

In addition to winning six NBA championships, Jordan has won other prestigious awards.

micaheal jordan obama award

Carlos Barria/Reuters

In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom because, as Obama joked, Jordan is ‘more than just an Internet meme.’

Source: Sports Illustrated

Jordan has been a preferred meme for years — many still post this photo of Jordan crying during his 2009 Basketball Hall of Fame induction speech all over social media.

Jordan has been been a preferred meme for years — many still post this photo of Jordan crying during his 2009 Basketball Hall of Fame induction speech all over social media.

Stephan Savoia/AP

Source: Know Your Meme

Jordan provided a moment of levity at the memorial service for Kobe and Gigi Bryant in February 2020: ‘Now he’s got me — I’ll have to look at another crying meme for the next three years.’

Jordan provided a moment of levity at the memorial service for Kobe and Gigi Bryant in February 2020  'Now he's got me — I'll have to look at another crying meme for the next three years.'

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

He was also sentimental, saying: “Everyone always wants to talk about the comparisons between he and I. When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died.”

Source: Business Insider

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