- A very timely investment in the Charlotte Hornets helped propel Baller extraordinaire Michael Jordan into the billionaire ranks in 2015, and is keeping him there this year. He bought a majority share of the Hornets in 2010 for $175 million. He upped his stake to 90% in 2013. In 2014 he got a big boost thanks largely to racist comments by Donald Sterling that led to a bidding war for his Los Angeles Clippers, which was sold to Steve Ballmer for a record $2 billion. The deal helped boost the value of Jordan's Hornets stake to $500 million. Jordan was the NBA's highest-paid player only twice during his 15-year career. His career playing salary was $90 million, but Jordan has earned another $1.2 billion (pre-tax) from corporate partners since 1984. His majority income stream outside of the Hornets has always been Nike, which generates $2 billion in revenue annually from the Jordan Brand which represents more than half of the gym shoe market. Jordan continues his longtime endorsement relationships with Gatorade, Hanes and Upper Deck. He also owns seven restaurants and a car dealership.
Shaquille O’Neal, four time NBA Champion, Net Worth: $350 million
2. The Big Aristotle’s constant presence is his biggest strength on the business front. Whether he’s starring in commercials for Buick and Gold Bond, or quietly owning 10 percent of all Five Guys burger establishments, Shaq never wastes a moment without being involved in some sort of business venture. He’s a great model for any athlete looking to expand into the business world in their post-playing days—use your stature for as much as it will earn you, but make sure being a face is not your only source of revenue. Shaq is known to charge around $9 million for his sponsorship. He has endorsed political figures, like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for the 2013 elections, as well as a bunch of random products, like a line of cream soda by the brand AriZona, the Icy Hot pain relief patch, and The Original Soup Man (which gave us Shaq-A-Roni ‘n Meatballs and Shaq ‘n-Cheese). He’s also had his Reebok partnership since 1992, with his designated sneakers like Classic Shaq Attack (1992) and Classic Shaqnosis (1995). He has also appeared in ads for Nestlé Crunch candy bars, Pepsi, Taco Bell, Burger King, and Vitaminwater, all of which have added to Shaq’s growing net worth.
Junior Bridgeman, Restaurateur, Net Worth: $400 million
3. Junior Bridgeman net worth: Junior Bridgeman is an American retired professional basketball player and highly successful fast food entrepreneur who has a net worth of $400 million. Junior Bridgeman was born Ulysses Lee "Junior" Bridgeman in 1953 in Chicago, Indiana (yes, Indiana not Illinois as you might assume). From a very early age, Junior showed an incredible knack for basketball. He led his high school basketball team to their first state championship. At 6'5″, Bridgeman played guard and forward during college at the University of Louisville, where he was also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. After obtaining his bachelor's degree, Junior Bridgeman was drafted with the 8th overall pick in the first round of the 1975 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, and was then immediately traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Bridgeman had a very successful 12 year NBA career, scoring 11,517 career points. After ending his career, most people would have sat back and lived off their fortune from a career as a professional athlete. But Bridgeman was different. He took the money he made and invested all of it into franchises. Specifically Wendy's food chains. Nearly 20 years later and Junior now owns 160 Wendy's around the country, as well as 118 Chili's restaurants. And it doesn't seem like he's slowing down. He also sits on the board of the PGA, and owns a stake in Milwaukee soda's Black Bear Beverages.
4. Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr., Business Owner, Net Worth: $500 Million
Johnson’s success as a businessman stems from an understanding that location is key. Johnson invested heavily in urban communities once his playing career ended, and his success running businesses where others refused to go has made him a go-to consultant for companies looking to expand their reach. Best Buy partnered with Magic Johnson Enterprises in 2008 when the tech giant was looking for customer growth in the areas where Johnson thrived. His passion and personal touch also make him an easy guy to support with your dollar. Pull up to one of his Burger King properties and you’ll most likely hear his voice over the loudspeaker, rather than the robotic tone you’d hear at other locations. His investment in the local sports franchises—he’s currently part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he sold a stake of the Lakers in 2010—showcases both his clout and desire to be involved with things that he loves. Since ending his NBA career in 1996, Johnson’s ramped up his efforts as a businessman. He’s the CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE), a billion-dollar conglomerate he started in 1987 (while he was still active in the NBA) with sprawling interests in including ASPiRE, a television network; Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academies, which helps high school dropouts get diplomas; and Clear Health Alliance, which helps provide health-care for HIV/AIDS patients.
5. Jamal Mashburn, Business Owner and Restaurateur, Net Worth: $45 Million
Jamal Mashburn is an American retired professional basketball player who has a net worth of $45 million. Jamal Mashburn was born November 29, 1972 in New York City, New York. As a small forward, Mashburn was a high scorer in his 12 seasons in the league, with a career scoring average of 19.1 points per game. The former college and NBA All Star used his natural knack for team building in the business world and assembled a team of savvy professionals specializing in administration, finance, project management, insurance and advertising. This team quickly developed an ownership model that resulted in an impressive business portfolio. To date, Mashburn the entrepreneur has ownership interest in numerous restaurant franchises (38 Outback Steakhouse restaurants, 32 Papa John's pizza restaurants and three Dunkin Donuts stores), car dealerships (owner of Kentucky's Toyota on Nicholasville and Lexus Store of Lexington), holdings in real estate and stakes in the thoroughbred horse racing industry. In his spare time. Mashburn even served as an ESPN on-air NBA analyst (2006-2010). In 1993, before he ever signed his first professional basketball contract, he donated $500,000 to establish and endow the Mashburn Scholarship Fund at the University of Kentucky. The scholarship identifies ninth grade students in the Lexington, Kentucky area, tracks them through high school then awards them a full scholarship to attend the University of Kentucky or Bluegrass Community and Technical College if they achieve their academic and personal goals. He is also a founding member, officer and director of The MAP Foundation and Mashburn Family Foundation—both nonprofits. Mashburn currently sits on the Board of Directors for the National Forest Foundation and has served on the Advisory Board for Central Bank & Trust Company in Lexington, KY from 2005-2008. Mashburn has taken full advantage of the opportunities afforded to him and now encourages and inspires others to embrace his team-first attitude.
6. Chauncey Billups, Business Owner and Restaurateur, Net Worth: $45 Million
Bridgeman’s expertise on the business side of things didn’t go unnoticed by all of his basketball-playing peers—wouldn’t you want to listen to the guy who made $400 million? Mr. Big Shot himself, Chauncey Billups, sought out and formed a partnership with the franchise king to purchase 30 Wendy’s locations from the fast-food giant in 2013. Athletes often talk about the benefits of learning from veterans at the beginning of their careers, and Billups wisely saw fit to apply that principle in retirement. There's no one better to learn from than the master himself.
7. Hakeem Olajuwon, Businessman, Net Worth:$200 Million
The Dream is one of the most iconic centers in NBA history and an even greater legend as a real estate tycoon. His earnings are estimated to be well over $100 million and he buys only with cash as it is against his Islamic beliefs to pay interest. He also opened his Big Man basketball training camp where he trains current NBA stars like Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony.
8. Steve Nash, Businessman, Net Worth: $95 Million
Steve Nash is looking for nothing but net returns as he checks into the venture capital game. The basketball star has teamed up with advertising executive Mike Duda to launch a hybrid marketing consultancy and venture capital firm. The New York firm, Consigliere, will offer fee-based marketing services, as well as seed-stage capital. Duda said he and Nash are raising $20 million and will invest up to $250,000 in consumer products that can benefit from creative marketing. Nash is a two-time MVP who has spent 14 NBA years in the league. Duda, previously chief strategy officer at Deutsche Inc., said Nash is equally impressive off the court. “He has an unbelievably creative mind,” Duda said. “His instincts are really good.”
9. Chris Webber, Business Owner, Net Worth: $80 Million
Aside from his role as a broadcaster, he has his own investment company that represents both basketball and football players. He dabbles in real estate, film and also produces rap on the side. Artists he’s worked with include Queens legend Nas.
10. GEORGE W. TINSLEY SR., Businessman, Restaurateur, Net Worth: $2.1 million.
George Tinsley, Sr. is a master of the triple threat position in life, basketball and business. He is CEO of PenGeo, Inc., Tinsley Group, Inc. and Tinsley Family Concessions, collectively Tampa Bay’s 3rd largest Black-owned enterprise, and one of the fastest growing independent restaurant conglomerates in the nation. Seeing as food seems to be the popular investment choice among these NBA all star players, George Tinsley is no different. George invested in KFC and TGI Fridays franchises, and has been pretty successful with them. The Tinsley Group now owns and operates over 50 franchises in Florida.