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.
|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.