The National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of the world’s most profitable and popular sports leagues. As such, it has created some of the wealthiest athletes in history. In this article, I will discuss the top 10 richest NBA players of all time as of 2023 and how they built their wealth on and off the court.
10 Richest NBA Players of All Time (2023)
- Michael Jordan’s net worth: $2 billion
- LeBron James’ net worth: $1.2 billion
- Magic Johnson’s net worth: $620 million
- Junior Bridgeman’s net worth: $600 million
- Shaquille O’Neal’s net worth: $400 million
- James Harden’s net worth: $400 million
- Vinnie Johnson’s net worth: $400 million
- Hakeem Olajuwon’s net worth: $300 million
- Grant Hill’s net worth: $250 million
- David Robinson’s net worth: $200 million
1. Michael Jordan Net Worth $1.7 billion
Michael Jordan is arguably the most recognizable basketball player in history. Jordan is a six-time NBA champion, five-time NBA MVP, and 14-time NBA All-Star. However, his business ventures have helped him amass a fortune worth $1.7 billion. Jordan owns the Charlotte Hornets and has endorsement deals with Nike, Gatorade, and Hanes.
The Nike Air Jordan brand was one of Jordan’s most lucrative ventures. The brand, launched in 1984, has become one of the most popular and successful shoe lines in history. In addition to the Air Jordan brand, Jordan also has his brand, called Jordan Brand, a Nike subsidiary.
Michael Jordan joined sports betting firm DraftKings as a special advisor to the board and an investor in September 2020. In a press release, the company said Jordan will be “providing guidance and strategic advice to the board of directors on key business initiatives.” The terms of his investment were not disclosed.
He also became a NASCAR team co-owner in late 2020. 23XI Racing (twenty-three-eleven) is a professional auto racing organization that competes in the NASCAR Cup Series. It’s owned and operated by Michael Jordan, with current Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin as a minority partner. The organization fields the No. 23 and 45 Toyota teams for drivers Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick with a technical alliance with JGR.
2. LeBron James Net Worth $1.2 billion
LeBron James is a four-time NBA champion, four-time NBA MVP, and 17-time NBA All-Star. LeBron’s net worth of $1.2 billion is due to his salary, endorsements, and investments in media, technology, and real estate. James owns a production company called SpringHill Entertainment, has stakes in various tech startups, and has a significant real estate portfolio.
3. Magic Johnson Net Worth $620 million
Magic Johnson is a five-time NBA champion, three-time NBA MVP, and 12-time NBA All-Star. After retiring from basketball, Johnson became a successful businessman. He owns Magic Johnson Enterprises, which invests in multiple industries, including movie theaters, restaurants, and sports teams.
4. Junior Bridgeman Net Worth $600 million
Junior Bridgeman is a former NBA player who played for 12 seasons. After retiring from basketball, Bridgeman bought multiple fast-food franchises, including Wendy’s and Chili’s. Bridgeman’s net worth is estimated to be $600 million due to his investments in the food industry.
5. Shaquille O’Neal Net Worth $400 million
Shaquille O’Neal is a four-time NBA champion, three-time NBA Finals MVP, and 15-time NBA All-Star. O’Neal’s net worth of $400 million is due to his NBA career and business investments. Shaq owns multiple car washes and restaurants and has endorsement deals with companies such as Pepsi and Icy Hot. O’Neal has owned as many as 40 24 Hour Fitness gyms, 150 car washes, 155 Five Guys Burger & Fries, nine Papa John’s, 17 Auntie Anne’s pretzels, and a few Krispy Kreme restaurants. He has sold some of these holdings, including all of his Five Guys holdings. Shaq has owned and sold 155 Five Guys locations. This accounts for 10% of Five Guys’ entire franchise portfolio.
More impressive is O’Neal’s venture portfolio. With roughly 90% of startups failing, the number of companies reaching a valuation of over $1 billion is so rare they’re called unicorns. O’Neal’s investments in Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Lyft Inc., Ring, and Vitaminwater have proven lucrative.
6. James Harden Net Worth $400 million
James Harden is a former NBA MVP and nine-time NBA All-Star. Harden’s net worth of $400 million is due to his NBA salary and endorsement deals. Harden is a spokesperson for Adidas and has a 5% stake in MLS team Houston Dynamo and the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League.
7. Vinnie Johnson Net Worth $400 million
Vinnie Johnson is a former NBA player who played for 13 seasons. Johnson’s net worth of $400 million is due to his investments in the automotive industry. Johnson is the founder and chairman of Piston Group, an automotive supplier that has partnerships with Ford, General Motors, and Toyota.
8. Hakeem Olajuwon Net Worth $300 million
Hakeem Olajuwon is a two-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP, and 12-time NBA All-Star. Olajuwon’s net worth of $300 million is due to his NBA career and investments in real estate. Olajuwon owns multiple commercial properties in Houston, Texas.
9. Grant Hill Net Worth $250 million
Grant Hill is a former NBA player who played for 19 seasons. Hill’s net worth of $250 million is due to his NBA and broadcasting salary and several real estate investments. Hill is a co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks and has been a commentator for TNT’s NBA coverage.
10. David Robinson Net Worth $200 million
David Robinson is a two-time NBA champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and 10-time NBA All-Star. Robinson’s net worth of $200 million is due to his NBA salary and investments in real estate. Robinson has a significant real estate portfolio and is the founder of Admiral Capital Group, which invests in real estate and private equity.
The top 10 richest NBA players have demonstrated various strategies for achieving financial success. Michael Jordan created his brand and invested in NBA team ownership. James Harden and Grant Hill also utilized their star power and capital to secure endorsement deals and invest in sports teams. LeBron James leveraged his fame and money to create media and production companies. Magic Johnson diversified his investments across multiple industries. Shaquille O’Neil and Junior Bridgeman became successful entrepreneurs by investing in the fast food industry. Vinnie Johnson chose the automotive industry. Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson diversified their portfolios by investing in real estate. These players demonstrate the importance of using one’s platform and resources to create long-term financial stability through ownership in equity stakes and cash-flowing assets.