NBA legend Michael Jordan has fallen out of the list of 1,000 richest billionaires despite his staggering net worth of $3 billion. He joined the exclusive list in October following the sale of his controlling stake in the Charlotte Hornets, a professional basketball team, valued at $3 billion.
This saw his net worth hit $3 billion, according to Forbes, making him the richest basketball player of all time. Charlotte Hornets was sold to a group led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnal, ending Jordan’s controlling stake.
Forbes’ Real-Time billionaires list now ranks him at 1023 with a net worth of $3 billion after being ranked at 982 on October 5. It is unclear what accounted for the drop in ranking but it highlights the dynamics of wealth and wealth accumulation.
Jordan, since retiring from the NBA, took to entrepreneurship and also became one of the few Black billionaires in the world. A large chunk of his wealth comes from his paycheck from Nike, which has been his biggest financial and marketing backer.
Indeed, Nike’s deal with Jordan has not only made him a billionaire but has also made him a cultural icon. According to Forbes, it is the richest athlete endorsement deal ever but also arguably the biggest bargain because Jordan helped Nike move from a relatively unknown brand to one of the most valuable in the world today.
Nike first offered Jordan a base pay of $500,000 per year, triple any other NBA sneaker deal, according to Forbes. The first Air Jordan sneaker was an instant hit, racking up $100 million in sales in the first 12 months. As the Jordan brand got bigger, so was his paycheck.
In 2020, Jordan reportedly made $130 million from Nike, which Forbes estimates was four times bigger than what LeBron James earned. James currently has the biggest shoe deal among active NBA players.
Basketball legend Jordan also came to have other streams of income, including his stake in the Charlotte Hornets, a professional basketball franchise in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a minor stake in DraftKings.