After a Hall-of-Fame career that included six NBA Championships, six NBA Finals MVPs and five regular season MVP awards, Michael Jordan is considered by many to be the Greatest of All Time. Now, according to tabulations by Forbes, the current Charlotte Hornets owner is now the first billionaire former athlete.
After it was revealed MJ had increased his ownership stake in the Charlotte
Bobcats Hornets from 80 percent to 89.5 percent over the last couple of months, it seems MJ has passed into uncharted territory for athletes, former or present. If it was going to be in anyone, it was going to be His Airness.
Forbes breaks down the math that led to the conclusion MJ is now a member of the billionaire’s club:
Jordan first became an investor in the Hornets (then the Bobcats) in 2006 and became the controlling owner in 2010 when he bought out Robert Johnson for $175 million. Sports bankers say the Hornets are presently worth between $600 million and $625 million. The Milwaukee Bucks sold for $550 million in May, and they are considered the least valuable team in the league.
Our net worth figure for Jordan uses the $600 million figure. The Hornets have $135 million of debt, which makes Jordan’s equity in the team worth $416 million. After subtracting all the cash Jordan has invested in the team, we estimate his net worth outside of the Hornets to be $600 million, giving him a net worth of a $1 billion.
We’re almost finished with Roland Lazenby’s newest book, Michael Jordan: The Life, which delves into his success with with Nike, and his own Jordan Brand. Those off-the-court successes combined with the skyrocketing estimates for NBA franchises on the cusp of a new television deal and after Steve Ballmer‘s record-setting $2 billion price for the Clippers means it was bound to happen soon for the NBA’s lone African-American majority owner.
Congrats, we all still wanna “Be Like Mike,” it seems.
Who will be the next billionaire athlete?
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