What The Most Famous NBA Players From The 1990s Look Like Today

While '80s basketball included legends like Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird, the '90s were also a great time for the sport. Many players were household names, even among those who didn't follow the NBA. Michael Jordan, aka "Air Jordan" and "His Airness," won four of five MVP awards during the decade, and he and Scottie Pippen took the Chicago Bulls to six championships.

Other great players included Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O'Neal, and Patrick Ewing. These powerhouses, and several others, made the NBA in the 1990s thrilling to watch. The decade is also notable because there were so many outstanding players competing against one another at the same time. 

So, what are these former pro ballers doing today? Unsurprisingly, they're leading productive lives, and most have aged well considering the toll basketball or any other professional sport can have on the body. These men are currently in their 50s (some in their 60s) — way past their athletic prime. However, they're active in their communities and business ventures, proving that life doesn't end after the game does.

Michael Jordan

When you think of the GOAT of basketball, you likely think of Michael Jordan. As a member of the Chicago Bulls, Jordan led his team to six NBA championships and was voted the NBA's most valuable player five times (via Britannica). He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.

Not only does Jordan look good for a long-retired athlete, but he's also worth a lot of money. According to Insider, Jordan — who retired from the game (for the last time) in 2003 — is a billionaire. From his days playing basketball, Jordan earned around $90 million, not even 10% of a billionaire's worth. No, most of Jordan's money has been made through endorsements and business dealings, like his ownership of the Charlotte Hornets and his investment in the virtual trading-card platform NBA Top Shot, which Jordan joined in 2021 (via Coindesk).

Jordan also has an equity stake in the sports betting company DraftKings. Plus, you can't forget his partnership with Nike, which yields him $100 million annually in royalties; the Nike Jordan brand rakes in approximately $3.6 billion yearly. Jordan also has longtime endorsement deals with Gatorade and Hanes, and he owns several restaurants. In addition, he owns Cincoro tequila and a Nissan car dealership in North Carolina. Per Forbes, Michael Jordan is worth an estimated $1.7 billion.

Dennis Rodman

Dennis Rodman played for several teams during his NBA career: the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Dallas Mavericks. For his career, he won five NBA championships and was named NBA defensive player of the year twice, in 1990 and 1991, per his official website.

Rodman led the league in rebounding for four seasons straight from 1992 to 1995, and he had 11,954 total rebounds for his career (via Basketball-Reference.com). He's also stayed in the news since his retirement from professional basketball. In the summer of 2022, for example, Rodman expressed willingness to aid in the release of WBNA star Brittney Griner from Russia. He told NBC News, "I got permission to go to Russia to help that girl. I'm trying to go this week," adding, "I know Putin too well."

It's not the first time Rodman has interjected himself into international politics. He's noted for having a friendship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. He once said of their relationship (via ABC7 News), "That's a friend of mine. OK, great. I don't look at the political side about him." He also claims he was instrumental in the release of American Kenneth Bae from North Korea in 2014.

Scottie Pippen

Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen is one of the best, if not the best, wing defenders in the history of the NBA and another one of the greatest NBA players of all time (via NBA.com). He and Michael Jordan were members of six Chicago Bulls championship teams during the 1990s. 

And while Pippen's playing days are long past, he continues to stay connected to sports and giving back to the community; the star returns to Chicago when he can to inspire others. In the summer of 2022, Pippen made a guest appearance at a basketball camp at Wintrust Arena, where he partnered with the DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation's Sports Matter program for a giveaway.

The foundation has donated 65,000 pieces of equipment since 2020, and Pippen told NBC Sports Chicago that he was "happy to be a part of it." He spoke with kids from underprivileged communities, telling them it's OK to dream and have goals for the future, especially if they involve sports. "It's not really to always play at a professional level, but just to learn all the things that sports can offer you as far as lifelong things that you can utilize sports for," he said.

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal, an NBA center who stands at 7'1", was the 1992-93 rookie of the year and took the Orlando Magic to a 41-41 record in his first NBA season, according to Britannica. He joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996 and won an Olympic gold medal that same year. O'Neal went on to have a successful basketball career for several more years before retiring in 2011. He was known for his large presence on and off the court. In his career, O'Neal was named an All-Star 15 times, won the NBA Finals MVP three times, and was voted the league MVP once for the 1999-2000 season. He became a Hall of Famer in 2016.

What's "The Big Aristotle" up to these days? Since 2011, Shaquille O'Neal has been part of TNT's NBA coverage, where he co-hosts "Inside the NBA" with Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson, and Kenny Smith, per TNT.

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley is also one of the greatest NBA players in history. He was a member of the 1992 and 1996 Olympic gold-medal-winning Dream Teams, and he was known for his rebounding prowess, per ESPN Classic. He won the league MVP for the 1992-1993 season and participated in 11 All-Star games. Barkley played for the Philadelphia 76ers for eight years, the Phoenix Suns for four, and the Houston Rockets for four. When he retired in 2000, Barkley's career stats totaled 23,757 points, 4,215 assists, and 12,546 rebounds.

Some 22 years after retiring from the NBA, Charles Barkley — who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006 — continues to make his mark, albeit in creative ways. In addition to being a longtime member of the "Inside the NBA" team, Barkley can also add a new sandwich to his name. In September 2022, the sandwich chain Subway introduced two new items to its digital menu The Vault: one for former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and the other, dubbed the Frontcourt Feast, for Charles Barkley, via Chew Boom.

Hakeem Olajuwon

Twelve-time All-Star Hakeem Olajuwon, aka "The Dream," didn't start playing basketball in his native Nigeria until he was a teenager. The 7-foot star was recruited to play college ball in the United States and was drafted by the NBA in 1984, according to Britannica. In 1994 and 1995, Olajuwon led the Houston Rockets to back-to-back championships. He was named defensive player of the year twice and league MVP once, for the 1993–94 season (via Basketball-Reference.com). He retired in 2002.

In 2016, Olajuwon wrote about his history with the sport for The Players' Tribune. He explained that he'd never seen an NBA game when he went to the United States at the age of 18, and he didn't even know the names of any basketball stars, explaining that the only footwork he knew was due to soccer. He wrote, "When my coach told me to play the center position, I didn't know what he meant." He later added, "So I pretended I was a guard. I didn't want to have a position at all." The two-time NBA champion was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.

David Robinson

Some of the NBA's greatest stars have played with the San Antonio Spurs, such as Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and George Gervin. Another popular baller from the team, known as "The Admiral," was David Robinson, who played for the Spurs for 14 seasons, per NBA.com. With a height of 7'1", the center was known for his footwork and speed. He won two NBA championships with San Antonio and averaged 21 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks per game.

Though he was raised in Key West, Florida, David Robinson stayed in San Antonio after his retirement from the Spurs in 2003, and he has continued to give back to the community. Per San Antonio Magazine, Robinson takes 10% of any/all profits his company Admiral Capital Group makes and reinvests it into the local communities that need it most. And in 2019, Robinson helped raise $50 million to aid economically depressed neighborhoods in Texas (via CNBC).

Karl Malone

Another one of the NBA's greatest players of all time is 14-time All-Star Karl Malone, aka "The Mailman." The power forward holds the NBA record for free throws attempted (13,188) and made (9,787), according to Britannica. He earned his nickname of "The Mailman" for how he delivered in every game, as one part of the famous tandem of "(John) Stockton to Malone."

When Karl Malone retired in 2004, he had career totals of 36,928 points and 13,528 field goals made (via Basketball-Reference.com). Malone played for the Utah Jazz for 18 seasons and one season, his final season, with the Los Angeles Lakers, teaming up with Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Gary Payton to make a dream team. He won two Olympic gold medals (1992, 1996), and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.

In his hall-of-fame speech, Malone said, "I hope I did it the way my peers did it before me. I didn't do anything but try to play hard" (via Bleacher Report).

Patrick Ewing

Patrick Ewing endures as one of basketball's greatest centers. The 7-foot Hall of Famer was particularly skilled at defense, rebounding, shot-blocking, and scoring, according to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Ewing scored over 24,000 points and pulled down over 11,000 rebounds during his professional career as a member of the New York Knicks. He reached the NBA Finals twice in 1994 and 1999.

He spent 15 seasons with the Knicks, averaging 23 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks per game, according to Basketball-Reference.com. As Sports Rush reports, Ewing was a powerhouse in his day, so much so that he was the highest-paid player for six separate seasons, which is more than either Michael Jordan or LeBron James could claim.

Since 2017, Patrick Ewing has been the head coach of the men's basketball team at Georgetown University, his alma mater. The team struggled in the 2021-22 season, losing 21 times in a row. Speaking with Fox Sports in July of 2022, Ewing said, "Last year was difficult. It was frustrating. Even though I never won a championship in the NBA, I never lost that much in my life."

Clyde Drexler

Known as "Clyde the Glide," eight-time NBA All-Star Clyde Drexler was known for his skillful jumping, quick feet, and perimeter game, which made him challenging to guard. Drexler spent 12 seasons with the Portland Trailblazers, reaching the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992. He joined the Houston Rockets in 1995, where he played with former University of Houston teammate Hakeem Olajuwon and won an NBA championship, per NBA.com.

During his stint with the Rockets, Drexler averaged 19 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.9 steals, and 36.7 minutes a game (via Rockets Wire). In April 2022, he was inducted into the Houston Sports Hall of Fame and received a special ring and plaque on the Walk of Fame at the GreenStreet Promenade. The ring featured his name on one side with the Olympic rings, commemorating his time with the 1992 Dream Team (via USA Today). The other side of the ring was emblazoned with "Rockets" and the University of Houston Cougars' hand sign.

Drexler was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004.

Dikembe Mutombo

Eight-time NBA All-Star Dikembe Mutombo didn't start playing basketball until age 16. A smart young man, who happened to be 7'2", the Congolese-American went to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., on an academic scholarship, planning to study medicine. Basketball didn't become a priority until late in his college career, and the Denver Nuggets would draft him in 1991 at the fourth pick overall, according to Britannica.

He would go on to win four NBA defensive player of the year (DPOY) awards in 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98, and 2000-01. He later played for the New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, and Houston Rockets. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.

During his playing days, Mutombo was known for his signature finger wag, which, as ESPN notes, inspired an entire generation of confident athletes. Speaking to BuzzFeed, Mutombo said of his famous gesture, "I really didn't have a signature [at the time] ... I had to come up with something [for when] I was dominating a game."

Another thing to note about Dikembe Mutombo is his charitable side. He founded the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation in 1997 to build hospitals in central Africa. He traveled the world as the NBA's Global Ambassador, and he won the NBA's J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2001 and 2009.

John Stockton

Ten-time NBA All-Star point guard John Stockton was a force to be reckoned with in the 1990s. Today, his jersey is retired by the Utah Jazz, a team he played with for all 19 seasons of his career, and his likeness greets visitors to Vivint Arena (formerly known as the Delta Center in Stockton's days) in the form of a bronze statue (Karl Malone has one, too, via ESPN).

In his 19 seasons with Utah, John Stockton went to the playoffs every year, per the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. And among his many accomplishments, Stockton holds the record for leading the league in assists (nine), as well as the most assists in a season — 1,164. As part of the 1992 and 1996 USA Olympic teams, Stockton also has two gold medals.

And Stockton has passed down his love of the game to his son David, who signed with the Indiana Pacers in September 2022, according to Sports Illustrated. David previously played with the Jazz and the Sacramento Kings.