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Faith Nyasuguta

After selling his stake in the Charlotte Hornets this year, NBA legend Michael Jordan has reached a new financial milestone.

Just this week, Forbes announced that the 60-year-old former athlete’s net worth has climbed to $3 billion, ranking him among the 400 wealthiest people in America. With this, Jordan is the first athlete to make the list, joining the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer.

Forbes noted that Jordan’s NBA earnings totaled approximately $94 million, and an estimated $2.4 billion coming from brands like McDonalds, Nike, Hanes and Gatorade.

The athlete’s largest recent earnings came following the completion of the Charlotte Hornets sale, which was made official in August for approximately $3 billion. He sold the North Carolina NBA team to an ownership group led by Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin, which saw Jordan transition into a minor ownership role, the NBA announced at the time.

In February this year, the Hall-of-Famer made a record-setting donation of $10 million to Make-A-Wish America in honor of his birthday. It was the largest donation made by an individual in the foundation’s history, Make-A-Wish said at the time. 

Two years before that, he donated $10 million to open two new health clinics in his home state of North Carolina. The funds went to Novant Health, which previously received $7 million from Jordan in 2017.

Following the sale of the Hornets, the Hall-of-Famer penned an emotional letter to Charlotte basketball fans. Jordan explained that his “love for the game of basketball and the NBA remain strong,” but he ultimately felt this was “the right time” to embrace a new role in the Hornets organization.

“Now is the right time for me to hand over the reins and focus on my family, my personal interests and some new challenges. I’m excited to see what the future holds, and I look forward to supporting the team and the community in my new role for many years to come.”

Jordan described the opportunity to own an NBA franchise in his home state as “a dream come true,” adding, “We’ve had some unforgettable moments together, as well as a few challenging ones, but through it all, you’ve remained committed to us.”

“Although we were not as successful on the court as I — and many of you — would have liked, I am proud of the things that we accomplished as an organization.”

Among those accomplishments, Jordan said he will “never forget the excitement” in the city when the Hornets name returned to “its rightful home in Charlotte” in 2013. (The Hornets left Charlotte in 2002 and were replaced by the Bobcats. Under Jordan’s leadership, the team reclaimed the Hornets name in 2013, SI reported.)

To conclude, Jordan said, “This is a Thank You, not a goodbye, because the state of North Carolina, the city of Charlotte and the Hornets will always have a special place in my heart.”


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Faith Nyasuguta

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