It is no secret that the NBA has some of the wealthiest players in all sports. The league is full of talented, hard-working athletes who are rewarded handsomely for their efforts. But which player has made more money than any other? Keep reading to find out more about the richest basketball players in the world.
1. Michael Jordan (2.2 Billion)
Michael Jordan is one of the most well-known athletes in history, and his name has transcended into a billion-dollar empire. The six-time NBA champ made over $90 million as a player and made an additional $130 from Nike for his iconic Air Jordan brand. However, when he’s not playing ball or working on business ventures like owning part of NASCAR team 23XI racing with Denny Hamlin, MJ also owns hometown Charlotte Hornets which was worth more than four times what it sold to him at auction five years ago.
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2. Magic Johnson ($600 Million)
The former Los Angeles Lakers player, Magic Johnson, has been able to turn his $40 million career salary into a net worth of more than $1 billion. He is the owner and part-owner of several businesses, including Starbucks and The Dodgers organization that won last year’s World Series Championship. He was savvy with money by selling equity in the team while retaining control over it. John Johnson has had an extraordinary life. He’s come up with some great ideas and made a ton of money in the process.
3. Junior Bridgeman ($600 Million)
After retiring from the NBA, Bridgeman pursued other business ventures and made his wealth grow. The 67-year old has been an owner of local Wendys and Chilis but sold them in 2016 for $165 million dollars. In addition to bottling Coca Cola products, he also bought Ebony magazine, which is a move that pushes him towards a new challenge in life, according to sources close with the entrepreneur.
4. LeBron James ($500 Million)
James is on his way to becoming a billionaire. He’s been playing in the NBA since he was 18 and has earned over $340 million so far. LeBron James’ current contract with Nike will last until 2022-23, bringing him an additional estimated $1 billion by that time if he remains under their brand for two more years, which isn’t likely given how much people love seeing this man play basketball. Besides being one of the NBA’s most talented players, James also ranks among its richest athletes. He has a combined yearly salary and endorsement earnings in excess of $100 million; this figure could grow even higher if he continues to play at an elite level for years to come.
5. Shaquille O’Neal ($400 Million)
If you ask Shaq to film a commercial with you in your basement, he’ll probably say yes, granted that it’s worth the money. The most dominating big man of NBA history made more than $285 million playing basketball and has found quite the post-career success as well; from being on ads for General Motors, Goldbond, Burger King and Pepsi to TBS’ “Inside the NBA.” He also commands a hefty salary.
6. Vinnie Johnson ($400 Million)
Johnson, who is affectionately referred to by his teammates as “The Microwave” because of how he would quickly heat up on the court and then cool off- had an impressive playing career, winning two championships with Detroit. While he has made a few million dollars during his 13 year NBA tenure, it is clear that most of Johnson’s wealth comes from running Piston Group, which touts itself as the world’s largest value add assembly supplier.
7. Grant Hill ($250 Million)
Hill was a player that had many injuries in his late 20s but still hung around for nearly two decades and is now elected to the Hall of Fame. Hill made over $140 million as an NBA Player, which earned him part-ownership of the Atlanta Hawks.
8. David Robinson ($200 Million)
From the United States Naval Academy to Hall of Fame player, Robinson has done well in life. The Admiral was a successful private equity investor for two firms that he started and had over $110 million collected during his athletic career.
9. Hakeem Olajuwon ($200 Million)
“The Dream,” an all-time NBA great, made millions of dollars during his illustrious career. Additionally, he had a lucrative endorsement deal with Spalding and is now in the Hall of Fame after winning two championships as well as being inducted to both Basketballs’ Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (1996) and the College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy Game Selection Committee for 2016–2018 term (2016). His wealth has grown steadily since retirement after the 2001-02 campaign.
10. Kevin Durant ($170 Million)
Kevin Durant has collected more than $265 million in his NBA career as one of the greatest scorers. After playing for Oklahoma City, Golden State Warriors and now Brooklyn Nets, he is still continuing to dominate games with ease. He also makes over $40 million from Nike annually thanks to a shoe contract that will last until 2024-25, which means they are paying him about six figures every year.
11. Dwyane Wade ($170 Million)
Dwyane Wade has made more than $196 million in his career and is now making a cool 12 mil per year as the face of Li-Ning. With endorsements from Converse and Jordan on top of that number to over $200 million, it’s fair to say he had one helluva run. His wife Gabrielle Union also rakes in $40 million annually for her acting work, making them among some Hollywood elite couples.
12. Tim Duncan ($150 Million)
Tim Duncan is a retired NBA player who has been considered to be one of the greatest power forwards in basketball history. He was selected as an All-Star 15 times and won five championships, three Finals MVPs and two regular-season MVP awards during his distinguished career with the league. Today, he has a net worth of $150 million dollars, reflecting just how much success Tim had on all levels for so many years while playing professionally.
While the list of richest NBA players is long, here we have highlighted some of the athletes that tops the rank.