The idea of paying for a contract when you are a 3rd party that wont receive the services or the compensation listed on it is pretty funny even for a huge memorabilia collector like myself but I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t trade in my car (well, actually my wife’s car) for Michael Jordan’s $33 million contract from 1997. It’s up for auction now at Heritage Auctions and with 6 days remaining, the contract is now approaching the $40k mark.
Since this story is causing so much buzz (no pun intended), everybody is going to want to debate on MJ’s value. Here’s my 2 cents. Michael Jordan is, was and will always be underpaid. I said this on July 12th of 1996 when Jordan signed a 1 year $30 million deal and I said this on August 27th of 1997 when Jordan signed a 1 year deal with the Bulls for $33 million. It was and remains the biggest 1 year contract ever and was and remains a bargain. People will try to attach a value to him and his final year by comparing him to other great players, marketable players, worshiped players, loyal players, owed players and end of their career players, but they wont be able to convince me that the Bulls paid a penny too much.
What about adjusting the salary for inflation and realizing that deal is worth $49 million today. Still sounds good to me. We are talking about a player that only cost the Bulls franchise $25 million for his first 9 years of service. I’m not going to bother going into great detail about all that he accomplished during those 9 years or what he did in that final year in Chicago but I’m just going to say they are the luckiest team in NBA history especially considering they tried so hard to trade his draft rights before they drafted him.
This is how I look at it. If I knew a loved one was going to pass tomorrow and somebody said you could have one more day with that person who has given you a lifetime of joy and helped make you the person you are today, but you will have to pay with every penny you can afford to spend, I would say yes and make that deal. And I’m going to spend that next day being thankful for all of the years that I took this person for granted and didn’t let them know how valuable they were to me. If we happen to win the lottery that day then that’s just a cherry on top. If we just go out for Ice Cream then I’ll be just as happy with a cherry on top. Lucky for the Bulls, the cherry they got came in the form of another NBA championship.
Click here if you want to start bidding.
If that contract is too rich for your blood then maybe you can afford to bid on this apology letter written by Michael Jordan to a local tire store.