Vinnie Johnson only made $5M playing in the NBA but turned it into a business bringing in billions, here’s how

Abu Mubarik March 02, 2023
Vinnie Johnson. Photo: Getty Images

NBA players are known to be extravagant and a chunk of them go bankrupt after retiring from the game. However, a few of them have built successful careers off the court. One such person is Vinnie Johnson, who was nicknamed the “Microwave” during his active years because of his ability to heat up off the bench.

He was first drafted by Seattle SuperSonics in 1979 and moved to the Detroit Pistons two seasons later. He won two championships with the Pistons and was the team’s longtime 6th option. For all his success on the court, Johnson amassed only $5 million in his 13-year career. However, what is unknown to many people is that he was an active investor, according to Basketball Network.

He founded Piston Automotive under Piston Group after he retired from the NBA and he has grown the business to become one of the largest auto parts suppliers in the United States. In 2019, Basketball Network reported that the company supplies all the big 3 in Detroit and known companies like Toyota, Honda, and Nissan.

The company recently secured a contract with General Motors to make cooling modules, front struts, center consoles, rear suspensions, headliners, and brake corners for the automaker’s Canyon and Colorado pickups.

With offices across America, Piston Automotive makes nearly $3 billion annually and employs over 200 people, Basketball Network reported. The platform reported that the NBA legend has an estimated net worth of $400 million following the success of his company and subsidiaries.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Pistson Automotive is one of the world’s largest minority-owned businesses in the world. It has a presence in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri and Kentucky.

In November 2022, Johnson announced a $10 million project to establish operations at a new factory in Wentzville, Missouri and it is expected to create 204 jobs.

“The new location will bolster Piston Automotive’s capacity for the assembly of modules for automotive interiors, exteriors, chassis, electrification, and powertrain,” a statement from the company said.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 3, 2023


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