The debate over whether Michael Jordan or LeBron James is the NBA’s best player will continue long after James retires.

Both players have excelled during their NBA careers, winning 10 championships, 34 All-Star Games and nine MVP trophies. James is still playing and can strengthen his case to be considered the best ever, ahead of Jordan.

Still, it won’t be easy; after all, Jordan has six championships to his name.

But one area where LeBron is certain to win is with his career earnings. The Lakers star is one of the highest-paid players in NBA history, and his new deal with Los Angeles only serves to bolster those eye-popping numbers.

That said, Jordan has made a lot of money off the court through sponsorship deals and corporate acquisitions, allowing him to become a multi-billionaire, a status James has yet to achieve.

Here’s what you need to know about James and Jordan’s career earnings and net worth as James signs another big contract.

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LeBron James’ Career Earnings

James is one of the highest-earning NBA players of all time. He has a huge $479,466,457 during his career, according to

James’ new contract positions him to add at least another $49,987,718 million to the fold as part of his two-year extension with the Lakers. If he picks up his player option and plays out the remainder of that deal, he will have a total of $583,440,910 to his name from his NBA career.

In 21 seasons, James has won four NBA titles, four NBA MVPs and has been named to an astonishing 20 consecutive All-Star Games. As such, he has been worth every penny to the Cavaliers, Heat and Lakers during his NBA career.

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Michael Jordan Career Earnings

Jordan’s career earnings pale in comparison to James’, as NBA contracts simply weren’t as lucrative during the Bulls star’s tenure.

Jordan earned a total of $93,877,500 during his 16-year NBA career, according to He earned $4 million or less in 14 of his 16 seasons. In those two outlier seasons, the Bulls star earned $30,140,000 and $33,140,000 respectively during the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons before retiring from the NBA to try his luck in minor league baseball.

Like James, Jordan was worth the money the Bulls (and Wizards) spent to hire him. The Hall of Famer was a 14-time All-Star, a six-time champion and NBA Finals MVP, and a five-time regular-season honoree.

If Jordan had played in the modern NBA — especially after the league signed a 2016 TV deal that sent salaries skyrocketing — he might have been able to rival LeBron’s career earnings. Still, Jordan can’t complain too much, as his endorsement deals and Jordan Brand partnership with Nike have allowed him to become one of the richest men in the world.

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Michael Jordan net worth

Jordan has a net worth of $3.2 billionaccording to Forbes. The former NBA star made most of his money from off-the-court endorsement deals with Nike, Hanes and Gatorade. He used the estimated $2.4 billion in wealth generated by those teams to purchase a controlling interest in the Hornets; he recently sold it in a deal that valued the franchise at $3 million.

Jordan is ranked the 1,017th richest person in the world as of July 3, according to Forbes. While he may have missed out on a significant income while playing in the NBA, he has certainly done well for himself since his basketball career ended.

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LeBron James Net Worth

James has surpassed Jordan during his active tenure, but the current Laker has a net worth of $1.2 billionaccording to Forbes. That makes him the richest active athlete of all time.

James has earned considerably more than Jordan on the court, but his success off it has been measured somewhat more than Jordan’s. James has earned an estimated $900 million from endorsement deals with Pepsi and Nike. He has also taken stakes in certain companies and products, such as Beats by Dre and Fenway Sports Group.

James is ranked the 2,741st richest person in the world as of July 3. It’s unclear whether that data or projection covers the expected $104 million he’ll earn as part of his deal with the Lakers, but James is only likely to climb as he continues to benefit from the NBA’s near-cap salary of $50 million-plus in the twilight of his active career.