Michael Jordan is without a doubt, one of the wealthiest players in NBA history. Jordan was the most lucrative star for the NBA during their biggest period of growth. MJ was money and earned himself and his associates a lot of it during his career. But Jordan has shown that money is not the most important thing to him many times before.
In a recent interview, Gilbert Arenas revealed that Jordan walked away from $10 million in 2003 when he and the Wizards parted ways. Wizards owner Abe Pollin told Arenas how Jordan was let go as president of basketball operations and wrote him a $10 million compensatory cheque, which Jordan threw away in anger as he left the team (1:30 onwards).
“‘I wrote MJ a cheque, $10 million and thank you for your services. MJ threw that cheque and said “f*ck off’.”
Clearly, money was not important for Jordan. But even knowing that, it is difficult to comprehend how someone could throw away a cheque worth that much money. It was about principals for Jordan, who clearly felt wronged by the Wizards, and didn't want their money as compensation.
Jordan had announced his retirement prior to the start of the 2002-03 season, with the intention of becoming the president of basketball operations for the Wizards after retirement, as was the plan. The 2002-03 season ended up being a tribute season for Jordan, as each arena he went to, showed their respect for the greatest of all time.
The 2003 NBA All-Star game was all about Michael Jordan, as he was the one people wanted to see. Mariah Carey wore a dress made out of Jordan's Wizards jersey and performed a powerful medley that brought Jordan to tears. While Jordan didn't have much impact on the All-Star game, there was no doubt it was his night.