Michael Jordan Made $33.14 Million In His Final Season With The Chicago Bulls

Published on July 6th, 2022 10:27 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

His Airness.  The one and only.  Michael Jordan.  Also nicknamed Money for a reason. Over his 14 years with the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan earned $91,742,500 in total salary.

Of that amount, over $66 million was earned over the course of two seasons - 1996-97, and 1997-98.


In July of 1996, the NBA and the Player's Union signed a collective bargaining agreement.

A few days later, Michael Jordan announced that he was signing a one-year deal with the Bulls.

Under the terms of the new CBA, teams were allowed to spend over the $24.3 million salary to retain ONE of their players with an expiring contract.

The Bulls chose to use their allocation on Michael Jordan, who signed a 1-year, $30.14 million deal on July 24th, 1996.

On October 10th, 1997, Jordan would sign another 1-year deal, this time for $33.14 million.


Now, there are a few things that need mentioning about these two 1-year deals.

First off, $33.14 million in 2022 dollars is over $60 million USD, and there is nobody in the NBA that currently makes over $50 million per year.

Think about that for a second - the league is currently enjoying a flood of new revenues and is making WAY more money than they were in 1997, but Jordan was STILL making over $33 million in 1997.

The ENTIRE salary cap for the Bulls was $24.3 million in 1996, but MJ was making more than the entire cap.

Look at the disparity in salaries on the Chicago Bulls in the 1997/98 season:

Michael Jordan, $33,140,000
Toni Kukoc, $4,560,000
Ron Harper, $4,560,000
Dennis Rodman, $4,500,000
Luc Longley, $3,184,900
Scottie Pippen, $2,775,000

Michael Jordan was making more than the entire Bulls roster COMBINED during the 1997/98 season.


The five highest NBA salaries in the 1997/98 NBA season were:

Michael Jordan, $33,140,000
Patrick Ewing, $20,500,000
Horace Grant, $14,285,714
Shaquille O'Neal, $12,857,143
David Robinson, $12,397,440


Many people like to point out that Michael Jordan never assembled a "Big Three" or anything of that sort while in Chicago.

The truth of the matter is that the Bulls wouldn't have been able to accommodate the salaries for a "Big Three" or anything similar. Scottie Pippen was egregiously underpaid during his time with the Bulls, and despite that fact, the Bulls still had total salaries of $61 million against a $26.9 million cap during their final season as a dynasty.

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