Michael Jordan will be the NBA’s highest-paid player - at least for one year.
The league’s premier player and the Chicago Bulls agreed to a one-year contract Friday worth at least $25 million. It is the richest one-year contract in team sports history.
Terms of the contract were not divulged by the Bulls, but a team source, who spoke on condition that he not be identified, told the Associated Press the deal was worth at least $25 million. The contract still has not been signed.
While his agent David Falk and Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf were negotiating over the phone in conversations that Reinsdorf said took less than an hour, Jordan was playing in a celebrity golf tournament in Stateline, Nev.
“This is something Jerry and I agreed upon. It really didn’t take any negotiations, which is the way I wanted it,” Jordan said, confirming the contract was for one year while declining to disclose the value.
Jordan, who shot a 2-over-par 74 and was seven strokes off the lead of the Isuzu Celebrity Golf Championship, said a one-year deal was the best way to go.
“This team could have a good chance of winning the championship again. Then after that, you don’t know,” he said. “They may want to take a business approach to it and change the team. And I want to give them the flexibility to do that.”
Jordan had said at the end of last season that he would be looking for at least $18 million per season. Falk jumped in and said Jordan, 33, was worth much more. The $20 million to $25 million figures began to circulate.
“It is Michael’s desire to be the highest-paid player in the game,” Falk said earlier. Another Falk client, New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing, made $18.7 million last year.
Jordan’s career of unparalleled excellence with the Chicago Bulls has featured four NBA titles, eight scoring championships, four MVP awards and a worldwide following.
He already makes an estimated $40 million in off-the-court endorsements, but his contract had been a bargain for the Bulls, compared to salaries for lesser players. Jordan made $4 million last year.
This past season, Jordan averaged 30.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.2 steals.