One of the most famous athletes in recent times is Michael Jordan.
As the star player of the Chicago Bulls, he helped lead the team to countless victories during the NBA Championship.
While there have been great players since Jordan, few have been able to capture the tenacity, skill, and determination that he brought to the game.
Considering that Jordan played in the late ’80s and into the ’90s, you might be wondering if he’s still alive.
Here’s what you need to know about Michael Jordan and his living status.
Is Michael Jordan Alive?
Yes, Michael Jordan is alive.
His birthday is February 17, 1963, which makes him 59 years old as of 2022.
That’s still relatively young, all things considered.
However, it’s easy to think that Jordan is dead since he hasn’t been in the spotlight since his basketball career ended.
Although he continues to endorse his famous Air Jordan shoes, he has otherwise backed off from the spotlight.
That all said, Michael Jordan is alive and well today.
When Did Michael Jordan Start Playing Basketball?
You can trace Jordan’s love of basketball back to his childhood.
Although he was born in New York, in Brooklyn in particular, the family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina when Michael was just five years old.
It was while he was a student there that he grew interested in sports.
In particular, he had an interest in basketball.
At the age of 16, he got drafted to the varsity basketball team at his school.
Since varsity teams are usually made up of Juniors and Seniors, it was clear that the team thought Jordan had some skills.
He played for the team and honed his skills.
He graduated and went to the University of North Carolina in 1981.
He played basketball for them, too, and quickly gained the attention of recruiters and fans alike.
Jordan was even selected to join the Olympic team in 1984.
Los Angeles was hosting the games at the time.
He played and ended up with a gold medal.
Also during that year, the Chicago Bulls drafted him to their team.
As such, while Jordan started playing basketball in his youth, he officially joined the Bulls in 1984.
How Many NBA Championships Did Jordan Win?
While he played with the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan won six NBA championships.
He won them in the following seasons:
During his career, he also won MVP four times.
He’d also go on to play for the U.S. Olympic Team a few more times in his career.
While playing in the Olympics, he won two more gold medals for a total of three.
His second medal was at the 1992 Olympics.
His third medal was at the 1996 Olympics.
Eventually, Michael Jordan retired from basketball and focused on his family and business ventures.
He had proven himself as one of the game’s best players.
How Did Michael Jordan Change The Game Of Basketball?
Although Michael Jordan’s skills are obvious, you may wonder what he brought to the game that was different from everyone else.
One of the things he brought to the game, which changed how other players played and defended against him, was his ability to play above the rim.
Jordan was tall and had an incredible reach.
This allowed him to dunk from distances few others could.
Since he was able to sink those dunks, it was impossible to defend against him.
That changed the game because it made other players start to try and do the same thing.
It also forced defensive teams to try and think of ways that they could stop dunks from being successful.
Another thing that Jordan introduced and made popular on the court was his crossover dribbles.
A crossover dribble is a sudden change of direction when dribbling the ball.
Jordan could quickly cut in a different direction that allowed him to get past defenders and score points.
It made other players want to excel at that sort of move, too.
Endurance and accuracy weren’t enough for good players anymore.
They needed to be fast and agile, too.
It changed the game because the defense found themselves unable to catch Jordan with his crossover dribbles.
They had to develop new strategies as a result.
Finally, Jordan spent a lot of time hustling for loose balls, too.
It wasn’t enough for him to be a good offensive player.
He was also a great defensive player.
When he didn’t have the ball in his hands, then he was trying to get the ball in his hands.
He didn’t want to stop the ball when it was already in the air or on the way to the hoop.
He wanted to get the ball from the player before they could even move.
This changed the game because it encouraged other players to do the same thing.
The Bulls, in particular, became more aggressive and showed initiative which resulted in better plays and more opportunities to score.
Other teams have since adopted that mentality.
There’s no question that Jordan helped change the sport of basketball forever.
What Businesses Does Michael Jordan Own?
Back when he was a player, Michael Jordan earned around $90 million for playing with the Bulls.
His current net worth is $1.8 billion.
He’s been able to grow his wealth through a series of businesses and investments.
Here are some of the businesses that Jordan either owns or has investments in.
DraftKings is a sports betting app.
It covers several sports and allows everyone who is of age to bet on sports in several different ways.
Jordan was initially brought into DraftKings as a special advisor to the board.
He helped them understand areas where bettors might want to place bets.
He’d later invest in DraftKings in September 2020.
DraftKings has been performing well in the market.
In 2021, it reported that it had made a fourth-quarter revenue of $473 million.
Since it’s clearly doing well, then Jordan is likely doing well, too.
2. NASCAR Team
Basketball isn’t the only sport of interest to Michael Jordan.
In 2020, he became co-owner of 23XI Racing with Denny Hamlin.
Hamlin is a three-time Daytona 500 champion, so he brings some experience to the team.
They hired Bubba Wallace as their first driver.
Wallace is the only full-time black NASCAR driver.
He was responsible for calling for the end of displaying Confederate flags at the racetrack.
He caught the attention of several corporations that decided to sponsor the cup as a result.
Unfortunately, the former team that Wallace drove for, Richard Petty Motorsports, struggled to find sponsors of their own.
Wallace, with his newfound fame, was able to generate enough funds to move him to a different team.
That team happened to be Michael Jordan’s.
He now drives the No. 23—which was Michael Jordan’s old jersey number—Toyota.
With a stake in racing, Jordan now earns money through sponsorships for his team as well as any races they win.
3. Charlotte Hornets
Although Michael Jordan may have stopped playing in the NBA, he hasn’t left the sport behind entirely.
In March 2010, Jordan took majority ownership of the Charlotte Bobcats.
Before then, he had been part of the team’s ownership group for four years.
He also held the role of Managing Member of Basketball Operations.
Once he became the majority owner, one of the first things he did was rename the team.
They became the Charlotte Hornets.
It was the historic name that the team had before the previous management had changed it to the Charlotte Bobcats.
Through the Hornets, he’s able to generate money through sponsorships and ad deals.
If the team performs well, then he also shares in the glory.
There’s no question that Nike also plays an important part in Michael Jordan’s wealth.
Nike was one of Jordan’s primary sponsors back when he first started playing basketball professionally.
They took a chance on the rookie and signed a contract with him.
The contract stated that they’d pay him $500,000 a year plus royalties.
It’s the royalties, in particular, that help generate Jordan’s wealth.
As Michael became more famous on the court, Nike also grew more famous.
The two became heavily associated with one another.
Fans of Michael Jordan wanted to look like him and use the same type of equipment that he used.
That included his shoes.
It wasn’t enough for Jordan just to wear Nike shoes, however.
He wanted to voice his own opinions on what would make a great basketball shoe.
That’s when the two came up with the idea of Air Jordans.
It was an upscale basketball shoe that gave great support and looked amazing.
There have been several models of Air Jordans since, but they always fetch high prices.
Even older models are popular among collectors and sports enthusiasts.
Each sale earns Jordan a slice of the money.
As Air Jordans continue to climb in popularity, Michael will also continue to receive high royalty checks.
The Jordan brand also appears on other apparel.
For example, the Paris Saint-Germain football club buys jerseys with the Jordan brand on them.
Michael gets a cut of the take from those jerseys, too.
Another sponsor that Jordan closely associates with is Hanes.
It isn’t enough for him to merely be in Hanes commercials either.
He actually plays a role as their spokesperson and has for the past 30 years.
In so doing, he also gets some money from them for his role as their spokesperson.
If anyone were to associate Jordan with a drink, it would probably be Gatorade.
When Gatorade came out, it wanted to associate itself with prolific athletes.
It was the drink that people chose to refresh themselves and get back in the game.
One of the athletes that Gatorade hired to sponsor them was Michael Jordan.
Like Jordan’s other sponsorships, he was able to get a good amount of money by working with Gatorade.
7. Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse
Another big part of Michael Jordan’s income is his chain of restaurants.
The primary big hitter that he has is Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse.
Most people might expect a sports bar and grill, but that isn’t the case.
Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse is actually a fine-dining restaurant.
It focuses on high-quality food and has very little memorabilia of the athlete in its restaurants.
That’s because the focus or theme of the steakhouse is on Michael Jordan as a businessman rather than as a basketball player.
Jordan wanted these restaurants to be a place where businesspeople could go to talk deals or work.
It’s a place where dates looking to impress their partners can go.
He didn’t want it to be some mediocre grill and bar.
There are several restaurants across the country.
The one that Michael Jordan tends to visit most is in Chicago.
This steakhouse even has a booth reserved for him.
Although you can eat there under special circumstances, if Jordan ever arrives, then you will be asked to leave or move to a different table.
Jordan does like to eat at his own steakhouses, too.
Considering the quality of the food, it’s not surprising.
Besides Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse, Jordan also owns MJ23 Sports Bar & Grill is exactly the sort of sports bar that you might expect.
It still keeps the memorabilia limited and the emphasis on the quality of the food, but it’s a lot more casual than his steakhouses.
8. Cincoro Tequila
Jordan also has his hands in the tequila industry.
In 2019, he became co-owner of Cincoro Tequila.
The other co-owners include Jeanie Buss, Wes Edens, Wyc Grousbeck, and Emilia Fazzalari.
Together, they wanted to make a different kind of tequila.
They wanted something that tasted delicious but still had the smooth and long finish of a whiskey or cognac.
They released a limited edition 1.75-liter bottle.
It was their añejo variety which means it aged for a few years.
The aging allowed it to caramelize with certain characteristics of the wood.
The limited-edition retailed at $130 and had a waitlist.
They also produce a more concentrated blend at $1,800 for a 750-milliliter bottle.
The main difference is that their Cincoro Extra añejo sits in pre-bourbon barrels for 40 to 44 months.
There’s been a pretty positive reaction to the tequila for those who like sweeter varieties.
This is another business venture that helps Michael Jordan earn money even after retiring from the NBA.
Why Did Michael Jordan Retire From Basketball?
Michael Jordan retired from basketball twice in his career.
The first time was following the 1993 season.
There were a few reasons that led Michael to retire.
The first was that his father had died.
Shortly after Jordan’s final game, someone murdered his father, James Jordan.
He and his father had often discussed James watching his son’s final game.
Michael felt that, by retiring, that stayed true.
His father had seen his last game.
His father also had pressed his son to retire after his first NBA championship win since he thought his son had nothing else to prove.
Another reason that Jordan chose to retire in 1993 was that he did feel he had nothing left to prove.
He had won three NBA championships at the time, an Olympic Gold Medal, and he’d earned MVP several times.
He didn’t feel as though there was anything left to challenge him.
Because of that, he didn’t have much of a drive to keep playing.
He wanted to prove himself, but he felt he already had.
Finally, he was also tired of being under the spotlight of the media.
At that time, the media had been printing several articles about his gambling habits and other issues in his personal life.
Because of his incredible star status, the media was hungry for any kind of scoop that they could get on him.
It meant he was constantly under the microscope.
He wanted a break from it all.
Jordan retired and decided to go play for MLB’s Chicago White Sox for a time.
Despite having been retired for a few years, he returned in 1996 and continued to dominate the court.
It was after another three years that Jordan finally, officially, retired from the NBA.
Although Michael Jordan isn’t in the spotlight as much as he used to be, he’s still alive and well.
He spends most of his time taking care of the numerous businesses he owns and companies he’s invested in.
All of his deals in the past, and those he’ll likely make in the future, have helped him become one of the richest NBA players post-retirement.