NBA legend Michael Jordan finally joins the billionaire club

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Michael Jordan's excessive wealth is not exactly a secret to anyone. The NBA great brought in big money during his pro career, and even more through various business ventures once he had hung up his Bulls jersey. 

But despite his riches, the ... time All-Star has never been able to call himself a billionaire... until now.

Forbes have revealed that Jordan is now worth over one billion dollars when all is said and done.

The change from multi-millionaire to billionaire is largely due to Jordan's increased stake in the Charlotte Hornets, according to the business website. Jordan now owns 89.5% of the franchise (a rise of 9.5%), and with the recent high profile sale of the Los Angeles Clippers ($2 billion) Forbes have placed his Hornets equity at an impressive $416 million.

Add to that Jordan's sneaker empire and various other endorsement deals which amount to an even more impressive $600 million and it sees Jordan become the only athlete, still playing or retired, to make it onto the elite list of billionaires annually updated by Forbes.

Tiger Woods is the only other sports star to have reached the milestone in the past, but, since being valued at over $1 billion in 2009, the US golfer has had some trouble on and off the course with his wealth falling in unison.

With a new pair of Air Jordans released seemingly ever other week, and the value of NBA teams only likely to rise in the wake of the Clippers mega deal, the six-time NBA champion's value is only likely to head in one direction and this latest milestone only serves to confirm him as the most successful athlete away from his sporting environment.

He wasn't too bad in it either.

Jordan has accumulated his huge wealth down the years via a vairety of hugely successful investment and sponsorship deals ranging from Coca-Cola, Nike and Gatorade to a movie career which of course included a starring role in the 1996 cult classic 'Space Jam'.

And while MJ gets paid a lot to take part in these deals, those investing in brand Jordan don't do too badly out of it either.

Forbes notes that Nike themselves generate over $1 billion in revenue thanks to Jordan.

Michael Jordan
Chicago Bulls

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