Michael Jordan is arguably the best basketball player ever; his Airness holds almost every record possible. His abilities on the courts are legendary. Now that he is the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, can he perform similar magic in making the Bobcats winners as he did with the Chicago Bulls?

As a basketball star and sharp promoter, Michael made millions. As an owner, he can either make millions more or lose much of his fortune. The clock is ticking.

IN PICTURES: March Madness MVPs - Where Are They Now?

  • 3 and 3: Michael won two three-peat NBA championships each time with the Chicago Bulls. The first three came in 1991, 1992 and 1993. The next three were in 1996, 1997 and 1998. He won the NBA finals MVP award six times.

  • 5 and 10: Five Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards and 10 All-NBA First Team designations.

  • 30.12 and 33.45: Over his career Michael averaged 30.12 points per game, the highest ever. He also holds the career playoff scoring average with 33.45 points per game.

  • 1984: Drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the first round with their third pick in the 1984 NBA draft.

  • 1985: Nike introduced the Air Jordan sneaker in 1985, helping to drive the success of the Nike Company (NYSE:NKE). The Jordan brand generates hundreds of millions in sales for Nike.

  • $500 million: The reported net worth of Michael Jordan before his divorce. Michael earned more than $90 million in salary as a player. The rest of his income came from endorsements with such brands as Nike, Gatorade, Wheaties, McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), Chevrolet, Rayovac and Hanes (NYSE:HBI). He remains a spokesperson for several of these companies today.

  • $278 million: The value Forbes placed on the Charlotte Bobcats in December 2009 before Michael Jordan bought the remaining portion of the team he did not own. Bob Johnson, the owner then, was under pressure from his creditors to sell the team.

  • $175 million: According to Forbes, this is the price Michael paid for the Charlotte Bobcats. He also assumed about $150 million in debt. Jordan will have to turn around the money losing operation quickly as Michael does not have the deep pockets of many NBA owners who are billionaires.

Jordan has a mixed record building a competitive team. While an executive with the Washington Wizards, he drafted Kwame Brown number one overall in the 2001 draft. As a part owner and rumored to have a significant say on basketball decisions for the Bobcats, in 2006 he selected Adam Morrison with his third pick in the draft. Both were disappointing picks. However, the Bobcats made the 2010 NBA playoffs, an indication that Michael's basketball decisions and more importantly the team are improving. Now he must address the bottom line of the franchise as well. (Learn more about athletes owning sports franchises, read Sports CEOs: For Better Or For Worse.)

Bottom Line
The real key to Michael's success in Charlotte is if he can reverse the outflow of cash. Jordan is a hero in North Carolina. To turnaround the Bobcats fortunes, he needs to leverage his public reputation while operating the team as a business. Watch the attendance figures for the 2010-2011 season. If they reach the 19,000+ capacity of the TimeWarner Cable Arena, Michael is on his way to being a winner again. (For more, see For Athletes, Is There Life After Sports?)

Catch up on the latest financial news, read Water Cooler Finance: Shocking Court Rulings, Sinking Markets.

Related Articles
  1. Investing News

    How 'Honesty' Could Pay off for Jessica Alba

    Is it possible that Jessica Alba is one of the savviest businesswomen on the planet?
  2. Fundamental Analysis

    The Economics of FanDuel

    Part of fantasy sports’ success lies in one-day and week-long contests serving as an alternative to season-long games. FanDuel, a leader in this space, has recently surpassed a $1 billion valuation.
  3. Personal Finance

    The Future Outlook of the Golf Industry

    The popularity of golf peaked in 2003. To regain popularity and survive, the industry is adapting to appeal to a younger generation of players.
  4. Investing News

    Famous Celebrities Who Love Investing

    Celebrities have a bit of a bad reputation these days. These five celebrities, though, have used their fame and their money to invest successfully instead of spending it on looking good.
  5. Professionals

    The Top 5 Richest Restaurateurs

    The top five richest restaurateurs have proven that it is possible to not only turn a profit in the restaurant business but to become multi-millionaires!
  6. Professionals

    The Top Six Richest Supermodels

    Through excellent investing, brand management and high earnings, these six supermodels have cultivated multi-million dollar net worths.
  7. Stock Analysis

    How Nike (NKE) Continues to 'Do It'

    Other than style, do sneakers from any maker really differ that much? That's debatable. But this is certain: Nike sets the standard for selling an image.
  8. Entrepreneurship

    Nike and the NBA, a Perfect Duo?

    What does Nike's recent eight-year contract partnership with the NBA entail for its largest competitor Under Armor?
  9. Personal Finance

    How The NBA Makes Money

    The National Basketball Association has moved past Major League Baseball to represent the second most popular sport in the United States. How does the NBA make money?
  10. Economics

    The NBA’s Business Model

    Drawing interest domestically and abroad, the NBA has seen its popularity and revenue streams rapidly increase over the past few years.
  1. Hole-In-One Insurance

    A product that offers financial protection to golf tournament ...
  2. Merchandising

    Merchandising is any act of promoting goods or services for retail ...
  3. Rothschild

    A prominent family of German bankers that established banking ...
  4. Tycoon

    A prominent figure in a particular industry who has built up ...
  5. Bowie Bond

    An asset-backed security;which uses the current and future revenue ...
  6. Latin Baseball Futures

    A financial contract used to speculate on the potential of teenage ...
  1. Which professional athletes are on pace to join Michael Jordan as billionaires?

    Michael Jordan is perhaps one of the most well-known and richest athletes in the world. However, two notable athletic giants ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why is Manchester United (MANU) carrying so much debt?

    The takeover of Manchester United by the Glazer family beginning in 2005 saddled the historic club with substantial amounts ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are Manchester United's (MANU) largest revenue sources?

    Manchester United is one of the most popular U.K. soccer teams. Its principal stadium is Old Trafford, located in the heart ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Does Manchester United (MANU) own Old Trafford stadium?

    Old Trafford Stadium was built for and is currently still owned by Manchester United Football Club (Man Utd.). This means ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What's the biggest sports endorsement deal ever signed?

    According to Forbes, basketball player Derrick Rose holds the largest endorsement deal as of 2014; the deal is for more than ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are the biggest stadium naming rights deals of all time?

    The top three stadium naming rights deals of all time were all for stadiums hosting New York City teams. The largest was ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!