Everyone knows who Michael Jordan is. Arguably the greatest player to ever step on the NBA hardwood who used his elevated platform to strike it rich off the court.

Jordan continues to top the list of richest NBA players thanks to his iconic Air Jordan brand and the royalty cheques he receives from Nike.

Back in 2014 Jordan became the league's first former player to reach billionaire status after he increased his ownership stake in the Charlotte Hornet's to 90 per cent.

Alongside arguably the greatest player of all time, sits another top five player in Los Angeles Lakers megastar Earvin "Magic" Johnson.


But as Jordan sits on top of the rich lists, a man most would never have heard of sits second in the NBA rankings. Sitting above the likes of Magic Johnson and LeBron James.


Ulysses "Junior" Bridgeman enjoyed a 12-year career in the NBA after being taken with the eighth overall pick in the 1976 draft.

Being picked up by the Los Angeles Lakers, he was involved in the mega-trade with the Milwaukee Bucks that saw Kareem Abdul Jabaar become a Laker.

Bridgeman built his career with the Bucks as a sixth man, and despite never being the go-to player. He registered double-digit scoring in nine straight seasons.

After playing 849 games in the league, Bridgeman officially called time on his career following the 1987 season.

Despite never reaching the lofty heights of some stars of the league, Bridgeman had his number two jersey retired by the Milwaukee Bucks.

But it was long after his career came to an end when the former small forward really started making astronomical waves.


The average NBA salary for the 2019/20 season sits at over $6 million USD, in Bridgeman's days it wasn't even remotely close.

His highest contract came during the 1985 season with the Los Angeles Clippers when he earned $350,000.


But he started putting in work away from the court for his life after his NBA days were over and it all began inside fast food chain Wendy's.

Bridgeman worked inside a Wendy's as he studied the franchises business before building and opening up his own Wendy's.

Now he is Wendy's largest franchise owner, holding the ownership of over 160 restaurants as of December, 2019.


His savvy business moves however aren't just contained to Wendy's restaurants with the man also holding the ownership in 120 Chili's restaurants across America.

His company Bridgeman Foods Inc. has grown into an ever-expanding empire and sees the former Bucks sixth man with a staggering net worth of $600 million USD.

In 2015 alone Forbes estimated his income to be $32 million with the publication saying his company owns more than 450 franchises.

Bridgeman Foods Inc. reportedly employs 11,000 people and generates over $500 million in revenue each year.

But in 2016 Bridgeman sold Bridgeman Foods Inc. and became the official bottler for the Coca-Cola Company.

He is now listed as the president and CEO of Coca-Cola Heartland Bottling Company which rakes in $650 million in revenue.


The unbelievable moves made in the final years of his career set up Bridgeman for life and now he remains among the top of the list for richest former athletes in the world.