The One Number That Proves Michael Jordan Is a Sneaker Legend, Not a Basketball Star

Is it the shoes? Yes. Yes it is.

If you were going into professional athletics for the money, there may be a more lucrative profession out there: sneaker designer. Take if from Michael Jordan, who reportedly made more in one year from his signature Air Jordans than he did during 15 seasons as a basketball player.

That’s according to a neat infographic on sneaker culture from PBS Newshour, which examines the growth the $34 billion industry (in the U.S. alone!)

Jordan pulled down a whopping $100 million selling his titular sneakers in 2014 alone.  It’s a pretty penny, much prettier than the $94 million that he pulled down over 15-year career on the court. Surprisingly, he wasn’t the top earner: that same year, LeBron James’ took home the honor having sold $340 million worth of sneakers.

So if you want to make it big, considering swapping your balls for some kicks. Your wallet will thank you.

See a full history of the Air Jordan and learn more about them in our slide show.

Photos by Kimberly Barth / Getty Images