Michael Jordan Is The Richest Athlete In The World For The First Time In His Life

Michael Jordan Is The Richest Athlete In The World For The First Time In His Life

Michael Jordan has won many titles in his lifetime. He was double American, then champion of the NCAA. He was the NBA Rookie of the Year in his first NBA season. He has won six NBA championships. During these championships, he also won six MVP Finals NBA awards. He has been the NBA player of choice five times. He has been champion 10 times. He even received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Michael also has some financial milestones on his belt. Michael was the first athlete in sport history to break the $ 30 million a year salary barrier, accomplishing this feat before the 1996-1997 season. The following season, he earned $ 33.14 million, which, after adjusting for inflation, is the same as winning $ 53 million today.

He has always made more money thanks to endorsements than any athlete on the planet, thanks to sponsorship agreements dating back to the mid-1980s, starting notably with Gatorade and Nike. Michael earned “only” $ 93 million in NBA wages, but to date, he has made $ 1.4 billion in endorsements (pre-tax). Through a lawsuit for a registered trademark a few years ago, we know that Michael made $ 500 million just for Nike in the decade between 2002 and 2012.

Many people assume that Michael Jordan is today, and always has been, the richest athlete in the world. Believe it or not, it’s wrong. “Richest athlete on the planet” is a title that MJ had not owned … so far !!!

Fortune of Michael Jordan

John Harrelson / Getty Images

We followed Michael Jordan’s net worth here on CNW since 2009, when he first succeeded with a fortune of half a billion dollars.

He became a billionaire for the first time in 2014. So how was he not the richest athlete on the planet at the time?

Unfortunately, over the years Michael has faced stiff competition from a former Romanian tennis player whose name you may not even know. You certainly wouldn’t recognize him on the street (unless you were a HUGE tennis fan in the late 1960s and 1970s).

Ion Tiriac has enjoyed an impressive professional tennis career that included 22 career doubles championships, two gold medals and several major major tournaments in various international singles tournaments.

After retiring from the sport, he was a much sought after professional trainer. He would then coach Ilie Năstase, Mary Joe Fernández, Guillermo Vilas, Marat Safin, Steffi Graf, Goran Ivanišević and, above all, Boris Becker.

Ion presided over Boris Becker’s rise to the forefront in the world. He was Becker’s coach, born in Germany, from the mid-1980s to 1993. This time would prove to be a very interesting time in world history, especially for someone with solid backgrounds. Eastern and Western links like Ion.

Living in Germany with Becker, Tiriac saw the value and expansion of Western business practices firsthand.

In 1990 he used his own money to found the first private bank in Romania. He gave his name to the bank, Banca Tiriac. He then launched retail businesses, car dealerships, an airline and an insurance company. Today, the Tiriac empire includes a large residential and commercial real estate portfolio. He manages everything through a series of companies, including Tiriac Holdings, TiriacAIR, HVB Tiriac Bank, Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari Romania, TiriacAuto, Tiriac Leasing and Tir Travel.

The Berlin Wall fell in 1991. Two years later, Ion’s personal fortune exceeded $ 100 million. In 2000, it was worth $ 500 million. In 2005, his net worth was estimated at $ 900 million. In 2007, Forbes declared Ion the 840th richest person in the world with a net worth of $ 1 billion.

Ion Tiriac's richest athlete

Julian Finney / Getty Images

Keep in mind that at this point, around 2007, Michael Jordan’s net worth was less than $ 500 million. Jordan’s personal wealth would not exceed $ 1 billion before June 2014, when Ion was worth $ 1.5 billion.

Over the past six years, MJ’s fortune has skyrocketed, thanks in large part to his investment in the Charlotte Hornets. He first invested in the Hornets in 2006, when the team was called the Bobcats. In 2010, he paid $ 175 million to buy the team’s biggest investor, BET founder Robert Johnson. By 2014, the value of the team had grown to around $ 500 million. In one year, the team was worth $ 600 million. In 2019 Michael sold a small portion of his stake to a group of hedge fund managers for a valuation of $ 1.5 billion.

As the value of the Hornets increased, Michael’s net worth increased from $ 1 billion in 2014, $ 1.2 billion in 2017, $ 1.5 billion in 2018 and $ 1.9 billion in 2019.

Unfortunately, for Michael, during this entire period, Ion Tiriac’s $ 2 billion net worth was still just out of reach.

Unfortunately for Ion, the second half of 2019 and the first half of 2020 were not so nice to his fortune. The recent global economic crisis ends a difficult year for any empire built on finance, real estate, hotels and travel. As of this writing, we estimate that Ion Tiriac’s net worth is $ 1.2 billion.

In April 2020, Michael Jordan’s net worth was $ 2.2 billion. Even though our estimate of $ 1.2 billion for Ion Tiriac is down from $ 200 million to $ 300 million, Michael is by far the richest athlete in the world for the first time in his life.

Congratulations to MJ on yet another impressive career achievement!

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