Michael Jordan andLeBron Jamesare the two names that stand on top of the list when it comes to the GOAT debate. These two athletes are the best players to ever play the game of basketball. However, LeBron and Kobe Bryant looked up to Jordan when coming into the league and established themselves as one of the best players in the NBA. However, due to the different periods, in their career, it is hard to find out who is the GOAT.
His AirnessandKing Jamesare currently the only 2 players to ever enter the league billion-dollar club when it comes to net worth. They are in a league of their own and having dominated in different eras, it is quite hard to differentiate between the two. One man popularized the league in its nascent stage and the other continued to carry the league into the next. That said, let s make a quick comparison between the two in terms of financial status.
Michael Jordan puts LeBron James endorsement value to shame
Jordan and James are two of the most sought-after athletes when it comes to endorsement deals. It is fair to say that Nike is extremely fortunate to have both athletes endorsed by them. Jordan and LeBron both signed with Nike as they came to the league and established themselves as dominant players. However, Nike s deal with Jordan is far superior to that of LeBron s. Jordan is the biggest source of income for the American brand through their Jordan Brand.
Jordan Brand has earned Nike $19 billion over the last five years or $10,000 every minute pic.twitter.com/vWbpw85epk
Front Office Sports (@FOS) January 31, 2023
Nike signed Jordan in 1984, for a deal worth $500,000, which is $1.2 million by today s standards. Jordan receives a royalty of $130 million a year from the sneaker brand. Other than Nike, Jordan has endorsement deals with Hanes, Gatorade, Chevrolet, McDonald s, Ball Park Franks, Rayovac, Wheaties, Hanes, and Upper Deck. All these deals see Jordan make a whopping $1.8 billion in profits.
King Jameson the other hand has a modest amount of money being generated from endorsement deals. Unlike Jordan, James earns $80 million from endorsement deals. James has endorsement deals with Nike, McDonald s, Blaze Pizza, Beats Electronics, Sprite, Upper Deck, State Farm Insurance, Audemars Piguet, Dunkin Donuts, Samsung, Kia, Verizon, and Intel. James signed with Nike even before he joined the NBA.
When LeBron James was in high school he signed A $90 mil contract with Nike. pic.twitter.com/lEjMaNmZ9o
Goat James (@dl8521360) November 26, 2022
It is clear up until now, that Jordan has a higher marketability than LeBron can ever be in the NBA. One of the crucial factors is the fact that Jordan popularized the game of basketball. He has been the face of the NBA ever since making a name for himself. With the responsibility of carrying an entire franchise on his shoulder, to carry the league to the next. LeBron was handed down the mantle after Jordan to carry the league into the next.
What are the business ventures owned by Michael Jordan and LeBron James?
Michael Jordanand LeBron James have amassed their endorsement earnings and invested in several business ventures. Many are familiar with Jordan owning the Nike brand,Jordan, which is also a major stream of income for Nike. Jordan is also the majority shareholder of the NBA franchise, Charlotte Hornets. Michael Purchased the Hornets in 2010, and as of today, the figure stands at $1.7 billion.
Jordan also owns a NASCAR team named23XL. He didn t purchase the team and rather founded the team with Denny Hamlin on September 21, 2020. Jordan is the major shareholder of the team. Talking about automobiles, Jordan also owns a Nissan dealership in Durham, North Carolina. He established the dealership back in 1995 and earns a revenue of over $18 million since its establishment.
Jordan has also invested his wealth inDraftKings, which is an online website that provides sports updates. It is also a betting company, however, the figure owned by Jordan is unknown. He has also established James R. Jordan Foundation which works towards helping underprivileged kids.
King James on the other hand invested in the media companyUninterrupted, founded by his friend Maverick Carter.The Shop, is the most popular interview from the media giants. Talking about entertainment, James founded his own production company when he joined theLos Angeles Lakers,SpringHill Entertainment, which is also the production company that producedSpace Jam: A New Legacy.
James is also a part of Fenway Sports Group and holds minority stakes in Liverpool F.C. and the Boston Red Sox. James started a sports nutrition company along with his trainer Mike Mancias,Ladder. This company provides sports supplements and has partnered with bodybuilder, Arnold Schwarzenneger. James has also invested inBlaze Pizzasince 2012, and he is often seen in their advertisements. However, Jordan has an edge over the business ventures each own.
Has Michael Jordan earned more than LeBron James through NBA contracts?
When it comes to NBA contracts, the pay structure has come a long way. What NBA superstars earn in the present times easily dwarfs what high-profile players earned in the 80s and 90s. Michael Jordan earned $93 million in his 16 seasons in the NBA. LeBron James on the other hand who is in his 20th season earns $431 million. It is nearly thrice the sum Jordan earned till 2003.
Career earnings in the #NBA
Michael Jordan $93,285,000
Scottie Pippen $109,192,430
(via @bball_ref | #TheLastDance) pic.twitter.com/uHQQ8BaWxZ
Yardbarker (@yardbarker) April 20, 2020
There is a huge gap as inflation has skyrocketed the present currency. If we take into consideration the amount of money Jordan earned with theBullsand compare it to the present market prices, then Jordan would be earning $193 million. The amount is still not even half of what LeBron is making. Therefore LeBron dwarfs the amount Jordan earned in the 90s.
In today s valuation, Jordan earned roughly $33 million in his last season with the Bulls. This places him as the highest earner with $62 million a season. Today the highest earner in the NBA is Stephen Curry, who is earning $51 million from the Golden State Warriors. So in comparison, Jordan may be earning more than LeBron would be earning this season.
Top 5 NBA career earnings for active players:
1. Lebron James 20 seasons $431M
2. Chris Paul 18 seasons $359M
3. Kevin Durant 16 seasons $349M
4. Russell Westbrook 15 seasons $336M
5. Stephen Curry 14 seasons $302M
Ballers! #NBA #basketball #athlete
HappysFunnyMoney (@justwinatlife) March 14, 2023
Nevertheless, their NBA earning of LeBron is significantly higher than that of Jordan who racked up just $93 million in 16 seasons. Despite this comparison, in 2023 Michael Jordan s estimated net worth according toForbesis $1.7 billion. LeBron James on the other hand has an estimated net worth of $1 billion. Jordan takes the edge. Michael Jordan s inflation-adjusted earnings are $3.3 according to Sportico, on the other hand, LeBron has earned $1.5 billion.