Michael Jordan Was Just As Overpaid As Scottie Pippen Was Underpaid


God bless Michael Jordan. Not just for being a God amongst men on the basketball court, but for blessing us with his 1 million part documentary #TheLastDance.

Last night ESPN aired chapters 1 & 2. I wasn’t overly impressed with the content in the documentary, so far it seems like info the mass public already knew, but I will not be complaining about new exciting content during these times.

The biggest takeaway from the doc seems to be Scottie Pippen’s horrible contract.

Our first viz takes a look at how bad a contract this truly was when compared to other players in 1997/1998. I limited this chart to players that played at least 40 games and at least 10 MPG.


As you can see from the viz above, Scottie Pippen was criminally under paid – no doubt about it. But the most staggering thing that caught my eye was how much Michael Jordan was paid. He was literally paid 12 times more than Scottie Pippen & if you combined the next two highest salaries in the NBA at the time (Patrick Ewing = $20.5 M & Horace Grant = $14.29M) – it would only be approx $ 1 million more than what Mike made.

With that being said – I wanted to take a look and see if Michael Jordan was actually overpaid.

The next viz shows the 1997 PER Leaders (Top 25) & their corresponding salaries for that year.

PER (1)

As you can see – Michael Jordan’s salary bar is so much bigger than everyone else that it looks as if there is an error.

Jordan was paid $30.3 M more than Pippen, but only had a PER 4.8 points higher.

This tells me that Michael Jordan’s salary is not worth the output when comparing him to the other players that season. There is no denying, based on the chart above that Michael Jordan was over paid.

There is one small detail that the viz above does not take into consideration – winning.

We all know Michael and the Bulls went on to win their 6th title that season. Basically making this entire statistical analysis useless.

Michael Jordan was getting paid as much as the 2nd & 3rd highest players combined, 12 times as much as Scottie Pippen, & was making the equivalent of $53 M in today’s dollars a but was still somehow wildly underpaid.

Only the true GOAT could pull that off.

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