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Michael Jordan now a billionaire

Jun 13, 2014, 11:11 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Charlotte Bobcats - Game Four Getty Images

Don’t tell Andrew Bogut I’m sharing this news.

Mike Ozanian:

Michael Jordan is now a billionaire.

I have learned from sources familiar with the Charlotte Hornets that the former NBA great has increased his stake in his basketball team to 89.5% from 80% during the past several months.

sports bankers say the Hornets are presently worth between $600 million and $625 million.

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

It sounds as if Jordan is buying shares of the Hornets for less than they’re valued by Forbes. Otherwise, he’d just be converting his outside worth into equity in the team rather than gaining net worth.

Perhaps that’s savvy negotiating by Jordan as NBA franchise values rise. Maybe the price for him to accumulate more shares was set when he originally bought the team. It could be some of both.

Either way, Jordan is making money.

LeBron James once said he wants to become the first billionaire athlete. This is just another way he’s still stuck Jordan’s shadow.

Maybe LeBron can try to get there second. The first spot is gone forever.

  1. bucrightoff - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Tiger Woods is the first billionaire athlete….

    • mcjon22 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      Um, no. He recently hit 1.3 billion in career earnings, but he cut his ex wife a check for over $100 million and has to pay millions in alimony and child support.

      There’s a reason he said FIRST athlete to hit a billion

      • stoutfiles - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:34 AM

        Tiger Woods was a billionaire in 09, before the divorce.

      • zacksdad - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:53 PM

        Actually said he is the first athlete to hit a billion in earnings, not that he was worth a billion. Worth and career earnings our two different things.

      • raysfan1 - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:56 PM

        For what it’s worth:
        They have his net worth at $500M.

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      We don’t know how much he had to give to Elin though, so he might not have all his career earnings anymore.

      • bucrightoff - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:50 AM

        Quite right…so he WAS the first billionaire athlete.

    • cantonbound13 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      Wrong. Golfers aren’t athletes! John Daley is a golfer, I rest my case.

  2. duhwighthoward - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Obviously, if the worst franchise in American sports gets valued at $2 billion, that bumps up the value of the rest of them.

  3. Mr. Wright 212 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    After being taken to the cleaners for more than anyone in history, this is more GOAT WORK.

  4. nycalldayz - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    This is news? Most of us have money in our bank accounts. Lol

  5. cantonbound13 - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    LeBron is jealous

  6. sdelmonte - Jun 13, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    Only a billionaire on paper. He can’t actually go to the bank and withdraw a billion dollars. Oh, it’s still impressive. But it’s not quite what the headline says.

    • genericcommenter - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:07 PM

      All billionaires are on paper. They didn’t get there by being liquid.

  7. taintedlombardis - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Must be Space Jam residuals…

    • taintedlombardis - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:35 PM

      But on a serious note…congrats to MJ! Space Jam made me a fan for life.

  8. taintedlombardis - Jun 13, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    I mean…still has as well. It’s incredible.

  9. antistratfordian - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    LBJ’s aspiration was to be the first billionaire active athlete. Not by the time he’s 50. MJ hasn’t been an athlete for quite some time now.

  10. scottifland - Jun 14, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    You are all forgetting about Magic Johnson. He has been a billionaire for several years. He owns several theaters, Starbucks, Pepsi distributors, the LA Dodgers, etc. etc.

  11. scottifland - Jun 14, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    Did you all forget about Magic Johnson?????

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