MJ Walks the Road to a Billion in Air Jordans

MJ Walks the Road to a Billion in Air Jordans

Boxing is dead, right? Tell that to Floyd Mayweather. Better yet, tell it to his fans, who made the welterweight boxer the wealthiest athlete in 2013 earnings. His nickname is “Money,” after all. 

And Michael Jordan’s retired, right? Tell that to the sneaker-wearing public, who prefer Air Jordan’s to Keds for some reason.

A report by–who else?–Forbes named Michael Jordan, more than a decade removed from his playing swan song with the Washington Wizards, as the second-highest-earning athlete. But is His Airness still an athlete? He’s an owner. He’s an endorser. He’s a sneaker salesman. He certainly can’t dunk from the foul line anymore.

“One of every two basketball shoes sold in the U.S. last year carried the Jordan brand,” Kurt Badenhausen reports at Forbes. In his off-court endeavors, Jordan banked $90 million last year, with five of every six dollars coming from Nike. His earnings more than doubled the second highest earning retired athlete, Arnold Palmer. Don’t hate. With a new wife and twin babies, the man needs to put food on the table. Forbes estimates Jordan’s fortune at $750 million, which the magazine estimates will eclipse the billion-dollar mark in the next few years.

With all his wealth, Jordan still isn’t the richest friend of Dennis Rodman. Kim Jong-un’s stashed wealth exceeds $3 billion by some estimates.