Signing a multi-million dollar contract in the NBA is something that, especially in recent years, seems within reach of many active players. The number of the most expensive contract in history is constantly renewed, and almost any good player is able, with the right circumstances in their favor, to get a great salary, but not all of them manage to get these big numbers to be renewed with the passage of time. Only those stars with proven quality season after season end up amassing an important fortune at the end of their careers.

These players are included in the list of the highest accumulated gains FROM SALARIES in the history of the league, a list that is practically monopolized by men who started their careers in the last two decades. If we take into consideration the money that for any reasons they receive outside their NBA teams (mostly by advertising), LeBron would be unquestionably first place (with Kobe’s permission) and Michael Jordan would appear in the list, even though the figures in the past were not even close to what we see today.

These are the 30 players with the highest accumulated winnings in the history of the NBA, an updated list with the earnings accumulated until June 30, 2018.


# PLAYER EARNINGS DRAFT
1 Kevin Garnett 334.304.240 $ 1995
2 Kobe Bryant 323.312.307 $ 1996
3 Shaquille O’Neal 286.344.668 $ 1992
4 Dirk Nowitzki* 246.646.362 $ 1998
5 Tim Duncan 240.143.550 $ 1997
6 LeBron James* 233.893.001 $ 2003
7 Carmelo Anthony* 227.364.419 $ 2003
8 Joe Johnson* 214.797.154 $ 2001
9 Chris Bosh 212.225.902 $ 2003
10 Dwight Howard* 210.234.761 $ 2004
11 Pau Gasol* 198.999.615 $ 2001
12 Paul Pierce 195.132.032 $ 1998
13 Dwayne Wade* 193.994.586 $ 2003
14 Chris Paul* 186.796.628 $ 2005
15 Zach Randolph* 184.904.937 $ 2001
16 Ray Allen 182.404.830 $ 1996
17 Jason Kidd 182.027.968 $ 1994
18 Chris Webber 178.230.697 $ 1993
19 Tyson Chandler* 171.586.645 $ 2001
20 Jermaine O’Neal 167.579.153 $ 1996
21 Vince Carter* 167.087.631 $ 1998
22 Elton Brand 165.901.096 $ 1999
23 Gilbert Arenas 163.475.636 $ 2001
24 Tracy McGrady 162.425.370 $ 1997
25 Amar’e Stoudemire 161.628.892 $ 2002
26 Tony Parker* 160.843.436 $ 2001
27 Kevin Durant* 157.183.333 $ 2007
28 Allen Iverson 154.770.668 $ 1996
29 Rashard Lewis 151.217.496 $ 1998
30 Rasheed Wallace 150.980.511 $ 1995

Active players have an asterisk. Data collected from Spotrac and Business Insider. Updated June 30, 2018.


Leading the list is Kevin Garnett, followed, as he was last year, by Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Dirk Nowitzki (the active player who holds the top position) and Tim Duncan. To find the first shocker you have to go to the sixth place, where LeBron James sneaks at the expense of, coincidentally, two other active players: Joe Johnson (active despite having no contract) and Carmelo Anthony. Completing the Top-10 are Chris Bosh, who faces the peculiar case of continuing to receive the money he signed in 2014 despite not being linked to the Heat after his retirement for medical reasons, and Dwight Howard.

Garnett’s leadership, however, will not last for many years. With their newly signed contracts, both LeBron James and Chris Paul, who occupies the 14th position, will exceed their earnings in three or four years respectively, and, taking into account the figures that are currently handled, it seems clear that they will not be the only ones to do so.

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