Is the GameStop Saga Behind the Bizarre Net Worth Fall of Michael Jordan?

Published 03/25/2021, 5:42 AM EDT
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 18: NBA legend and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan is on stage during the unveiling of the 2019 NBA All-Star game logo and city, being hosted in Charlotte, North Carolina next year, during the 2018 NBA All-Star Game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on February 18, 2018. (Photo by Philip Pacheco/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)


Michael Jordan has proven himself to be one of the shrewdest businessmen. After cementing his legacy as one of the all-time NBA greats, Jordan spent his time after basketball focusing on his brand. He and Nike have made the Jordan Brand one of the biggest shoemakers in the world. Even MJ’s investment in the Charlotte Hornets made it a must-see franchise. However, the last year has been damaging for the empire of ‘His Airness’.

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Is GameStop behind Michael Jordan losing money?

Michael Jordan’s net worth took a dip of $500 million this year. While Jordan is still valued as a billionaire, his net worth fell below $2 billion. Initially, financial experts thought this was a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had an effect on several corporations and entities. But could a recent stock market event be behind the hit Jordan took?

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In 2010, Michael Jordan bought a majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets. About two years ago, Jordan sold a share of the Hornets to an investor named Gabe Plotkin. Plotkin is the founder and chief investment officer of a hedge fund named Melvin Capital. Melvin Capital was one of the funds that required billions in cash support due to the short squeeze in GameStop stock earlier this year.

DETROIT – APRIL 06: Michael Jordan is announced as a member of the 2009 Hall-of-Fame class at halftime of the Michigan State Spartans and the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship game at Ford Field on April 6, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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There has been no confirmation from either party as to the part played by the GameStop squeeze from February of this year. However, Jordan did call Plotkin’s investment into the franchise as invaluable going forward. But there is speculation among financial experts that the situation with GameStop caused the dip in Michael Jordan’s vast empire.

Jordan and his massive empire

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Despite the drop in Jordan’s net-worth, he is still one of the most valuable figures in sports today. Jordan’s empire is primarily built off of his shoes. Jordan’s partnership with Nike exploded when he first arrived in the NBA. The ‘Air Jordan’ shoes sold out everywhere, as everyone wanted to ‘Be Like Mike’ by wearing his amazing shoes.

LAS VEGAS – MAY 05: Hall of fame NBA player Michael Jordan looks on during the fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Oscar De La Hoya during their WBC super welterweight championship fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena May 5, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather defeated De La Hoya by split decision. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Will Michael Jordan’s net worth rise? Over the past few years, Jordan has shown his true business acumen with smart investments. Furthermore, the Hornets seem to be rising in popularity, thanks in part to the arrival of star rookie LaMelo Ball. If Jordan can build a strong team around him, the Hornets could be a major threat in the NBA in the years to come.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1161 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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