Here are the wealthiest NBA players in 2022:
1. Michael Jordan, 59 – US$1.7 billion
Michael Jordan is the NBA’s richest player, with a net worth of $1.7 billion, according to Forbes. During his basketball career, he earned US$90 million in salary but reportedly made US$1.8 billion (pre-tax) in endorsement deals with companies such as Nike, Gatorade, and Hanes.
The father-of-five has invested in betting company DraftKings and even owns a Nascar team. He also owns the Charlotte Hornets, in which he sold a minority stake for $1.5 billion.
2. LeBron James, 37 – US$1.2 billion
Making history as the first energetic NBA billionaire, LeBron James joins golf’s Tiger Woods as the only non-retired billionaire athlete. He has his agent, Adele’s boyfriend Rich Paul, to thank for his success.
James signed a seven-year contract with Nike that was later extended to a lifetime contract in 2015. With millions to invest, the player bought properties and has stakes in companies such as Blaze Pizza, Fenway Sports Group, and his own production company, SpringHill Amusement, which backed Space Jam: A New Legacy, in which he also starred. According to Forbes, this comfortably places his net worth at US$1.2 billion as of 2022.
3. Magic Johnson, 62 – US$620 million
Johnson had a successful career with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA championships and being named the league’s Most Valuable Player three times. But life dealt him a bad hand when he contracted HIV at the height of his career in 1991. He returned as a coach two years later and tried to make a comeback before retiring in 1996.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, he founded Magic Johnson Enterprises, which is now worth more than $1 billion. It owns a film studio, theatres, and a marketing firm.
4. Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman, 68 – US$600 million
Ulysses Bridgeman’s 12-year sports career was certainly respectable, but given that his highest paycheck was US$350,000, how did he amass a US$600 million net worth? It turns out that he made very wise investments in food chains.
Bridgeman began purchasing Wendy’s and Chili’s fast food franchises after leaving the sport. Celebrity Net Worth said Bridgeman Foods Inc. operated more than 160 Wendy’s and 120 Chili’s locations by 2016.
5. Shaquille O’Neal, 50, Vinnie Johnson, 65 – US$400 million
Shaquille O’Neal, a sports Hall of Famer, speaks at a media briefing in 2021 after being named Henry County Sheriff’s Office Director of Community Relations.
Vinnie Johnson, nicknamed “the microwave” for his ability to “heat up” the offense team, twice won the NBA championship with both the Detroit Pistons and has since founded his own car company, Piston Group, which generates nearly US$3 billion in revenue per year, according to Forbes.