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The 10 Richest NBA Players of All-Time {PICS}


Sports pay big, and professional basketball players are no exception to that rule. A career in the NBA can amount to a really big paycheck each season, as well as a multitude of endorsements, celebrity appearances and a huge fan base. Many NBA players who are really good at what they do go onto to make money in other aspects of life, from opening restaurants to starring in the movies to becoming businessmen. The NBA is a great place to play ball if you have the skill and talent required to play in the big leagues, like the 10 wealthiest players of all time


{10} Gary Payton – $130 million

Gary “the glove” Payton’s career began in 1990 after he was the second overall pick in the first round of the NBA draft. He’d attended college and played ball for Oregon State University, becoming one of the best players in school history to date. After being drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics, he went onto have one of the most lucrative careers in basketball history. His career has spanned nearly two decades and he is the only recipient of the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award who ever played point guard. He’s also the 10th richest player in NBA history.


{9} Tim Duncan – $150 million

What makes it inspiring to see Tim Duncan on the list is the fact that he did not even start playing basketball until he was a freshman in high school. He was a swimmer up until that point. He played throughout high school, perfected his skills and eventually went on to play basketball for Wake Forest. He was drafted in 1997 by the San Antonio Spurs as their first pick. He was MVP in 2001/2002 and he went on to play for the US basketball team that won 10 wins and qualified for the Olympics.  And let’s not forget he’s considered the best power forward of all time.  The big fundamental!



{8} Grant Hill – $180 million

He’s one of the most famous basketball players in history, as well as one of the richest NBA players ever. Even though he’s retired, he’s still earning a significant salary thanks to his endorsements and his business ventures. He won two NCAA championships when he played for Duke University in North Carolina, and he played in the 1996 Olympics. He retired from basketball at the end of the 2013 season and still makes around plenty per year from his endorsements. He’s married with two children and enjoying his retirement. Hill could have been considered one of the best ever if not for injuries hampering his career.


{7} Kevin Garnett – $180 million

Kevin Garnett went down in history when he was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves directly out of high school. He was the first player ever to be drafted out of high school that high up on the board, and he’s one of the wealthiest basketball players in NBA history. He’s made numerous accomplishments both on and off the court, taking home MVP honors, an Olympic gold medal, Championship win, and a long list of other achievements. During the 1997 season, he signed a $126 million contract for six years. He makes $10 million a year in endorsements for various companies that pay him to put his face on their product.


{6} Hakeem Olajuwon – $200 million

He’s been retired for 12 years now, but he’s still one of the wealthiest men ever to play basketball for the NBA. He played college basketball for the University of Houston and managed to help his team make it to the NCAA Final Four in March Madness three years in a row during the early 1980s. He was destined to play basketball when, at age 15, he stood 6 feet 9 inches tall. He was born in Nigeria, but made his career in America, playing for the Houston Rockets. He has several endorsements that bring in millions each year.  He’s considered one of the best centers in history.  “The Dream” had such a sweet stroke and a huge arsenal of low post moves.


{5} LeBron James – $250 million

LeBron James is probably the most famous basketball player today. He is still a baby in NBA standards, having only played since 2003 and just reaching his prime at 29. He was the first round draft pick for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he is the youngest player in NBA history to be named Rookie of the Year. He’s played in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, earning bronze and gold medals in the games.  He’s got 2 Championships under his belt and is seeking a 3rd.  He’s also got multiple MVP awards and is already considered a top 5 player in history.   He also has a number of endorsements that earn him approximately $53 million per year.


{4} Kobe Bryant – $260 million

Kobe Bryant comes from a family of basketball players. His father played for the Philadelphia 76ers for several years. They also named him after the famous beef that hails from Japan, which is just an interesting little tidbit of information most people don’t know. Bryant was a good student in school, and could have gone to college anywhere he wanted, but chose to go pro right away. He is best known for being one of the best Los Angeles Lakers ever.  At 35 he’s aging a bit but is still one of the highest paid players in the game.  Plus he’s a scoring machine and “The Black Mamba!”


{3} Shaquille O’Neal – $350 million

Shaq is one of the most famous players of all time. He retired several years ago, but he’s still makes tens of millions of dollars a year in endorsements, including sports brands and vehicles. He has made appearances in movies and commercials, and he even played for the 1996 Olympic basketball team from the USA. He’s no longer playing the game, but he is frequently seen on sports networks commentating, and he’s a frequent visitor to many talk shows and news programs to discuss the sport. His endorsements are his paycheck these days, but he earned almost $300 million in his NBA days for being one of the most dominant centers of all time winning multiple championships and an MVP award.


{2} Magic Johnson – $500 million

Worth a half billion dollars, Magic Johnson is one of the wealthiest players ever to play for the NBA, as well as one of the most famous ever to play for the NBA. He earned his nickname after a stellar season at the age of 15 when he played ball in high school and turned down some of the biggest colleges in the country to play ball close to home at Michigan State University. He played in one of the biggest basketball rivalries of all time, against Larry Bird and the Indiana State University basketball team in the 1979 NCAA finals. It was the most watched basketball game ever on television. He then went on to win multiple championships with the Lakers, MVP awards, and will go down as one of the best point guards to ever play the game.


{1} Michael Jordan – $1 billion

A $1 billion net worth makes Michael Jordan the wealthiest NBA player of all time. It also helps he is one of the most popular and by most considered the best player of all time. He’s been retired for more than a decade now, but that doesn’t mean he’s not still bringing in a fortune each year. His endorsements – and he still has plenty despite not playing professionally since retirement – bring in approximately $100 million per year. He reached the billion dollar mark in 2014 after increasing his ownership in the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) to almost 90 percent, pushing him over the top.  Let’s see if he can be as successful as an executive as he was a player.  The jury is still out.

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Comment by Big Woman on October 1, 2014 at 1:47am
Great points @kelli.Most children come to school eager to learn in the early grades 1st to 3rd by the fourth grade the many if them lose interest if they are in substandard schools.They are not properly challenged and throw in parents who are not supportive of their child's education along with lack of supplies and other resources. You then have a recipe for failure.
This would be money well spent for such a cause.
Comment by Kelli Coke on September 30, 2014 at 7:59pm

Well, E Peters, once the financial resources are available, effective teachers as well as effective programs tailored to the various learning styles of each student, sports programs, music programs, arts programs, etc...; not to mention EXPOSURE through field trips and studies would open up the youths' mind and you won't have to worry about them wanting the education!  The exposure would be more than enough to capture their interest and they will want to soak up the knowledge like sponges!  We just have to have to the will to seek it out.  And, some of that support needs to be offered to the parents; they need to understand the importance of education so that they can instill it in their children.

Comment by 3nigirl on September 30, 2014 at 5:13pm
Again I need a damn loan lmao
Comment by E Peters on September 30, 2014 at 4:28pm
Well said Kelli but the youth have to want the education and more people will invest.
Comment by E Peters on September 30, 2014 at 4:26pm
True warren buffet is worth 68 billion and his secretary is in a higher tax bracket and pays a higher tax percentage than he does he pay less than 17%
Comment by Big Woman on September 30, 2014 at 4:23pm
Thanks @concious1.Peace & blessings Brother.
Comment by conscious1 on September 30, 2014 at 1:59pm

@Big Woman..You got your head on straight sister. Agreed!! In addition, grosss or net, they sure have enough to have gotten together and form their own financial institution that will benefit them and help countless others. Too bad they got their heads on crooked and are not thinking on that level.

Comment by Big Woman on September 30, 2014 at 1:12pm
Hi @Incognito, how r u Brother Man? Hope all is well with you. When you got that kind of bank and have shrewd money managers you don't pay taxes at the same rate ordinary people do. There are very creative LEGAL scenarios that are done such as tax shelters etc. Thats why the rich usually stay rich if they have the right kind of financial management and pay attention to whats going on.
Comment by Incognito on September 30, 2014 at 12:51pm

No doubt there guys are all very wealthy, but some of this information is inaccurate.  Obviously the person that wrote this blog didn't check with these guys CPAs - remember Uncle Sam takes 28% - 35% in their tax bracket... and that's on earnings every YEAR!!

Comment by Bigmikey on September 30, 2014 at 8:29am
But why the richest black people not supporting their own people progress

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