Michael Jordan, NBA all-time great turned team owner, became a rookie billionaire over the past year with a healthy assist from new Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, according to Forbes magazine
Jordan is best known for leading the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles and being one of the league's top scorers on his way to a Hall of Fame career, while many fans would argue that he was the greatest player of all time.
He now owns 89.5 percent of the Charlotte Hornets in his home state of North Carolina, according to London's Daily Mail
. While his team has not reached the same heights as his Chicago Bulls, all the NBA owners received a windfall when Ballmer joined the league, Forbes noted.
Jordan, 51, became a majority owner of the team in 2010 when he snagged Bob Johnson's share of the team for $175 million. Before that, Jordan's main source of income other than basketball was through endorsements of his Nike basketball brands and other products, noted the Daily Mail.
When former Microsoft chief executive Ballmer purchased the Clippers from Donald Sterling in the forced sale of team last year for a record $2 billion, the value of all NBA teams jumped, wrote Forbes.
Jordan's $175 million investment in 2010 is now worth $500 million, according to Forbes, moving the former basketball star's total assets just north of $1 billion.
Jordan isn't the first athlete/former athlete to reach the $1 billion mark but is currently the only sports figure in the billionaire category now. The Daily Mail wrote that Tiger Woods reached the billionaire status in 2009, but it was two months before his cheating scandal became public, forcing him to lose valuable sponsorships and he quickly dropped out of the bracket.
Woods, with $6.2 million in golf earnings and $55 million in endorsements in 2014 was ranked the sixth best paid athlete in 2014, according to Forbes. Forbes ranked Floyd Mayweather as the best paid active athlete in 2014 with a salary of $104 million, call coming from his boxing salary and winnings, without any endorsements.
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