All-Time Richest Stars Of The NBA

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50 years ago, pros from all major league sports needed to take jobs in the off-season to make ends meet. Not any more. Basketball, once the lowest paying pro sport, has become a breeding ground for unbelievably rich superstars. How rich? Here are the top earners in history, a club that demands at least $150 million to enter…

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9. Tim Duncan ($150 Million)

Natural talent, combined with dogged determination, lands Tim Duncan on this list with a relatively meager fortune of just $150 million. Entering the NBA as the number 1 draft pick for the Spurs in 1997, Duncan has never played for any other team. The incredible part of this story? Tim Duncan didn’t start playing basketball until he was well into his high school years…
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8. Kevin Garnett ($175 Million)

Who says you can’t get super rich being the biggest fish in a little pond? Kevin Garnett labored in the backwaters of the NBA, playing for the Timberwolves, before finally opening just off-Broadway with the Brooklyn Nets. It’s for good reason Garnett has earned the nickname “The Franchise”…
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7. Grant Hill ($185 Million)

The ‘Iron Man’ of the NBA, Grant Hill chose to earn a degree from Duke before being drafted into the NBA. Over his long career, he managed to bounce successfully from team to team, adding his skill and great sportsmanship to every squad from the Pistons to the Clippers. He retired with a tidy nest egg at the venerable age of 40 in 2013.
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6. Hakeem Olajuwon ($200 Million)

Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon has truly lived the American Dream, having emigrated to the US in 1984 from Nigeria – as the number one NBA draft pick. After an 18 year career, Olajuwon has gone on to heading many charitable organizations, funding scholarships and using his own considerable wealth to help make dreams come true for thousands of others.
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5. Kobe Bryant ($250 Million)

Kobe Bryant may have the darkest history on this list (admitting to some unsavory sexual misadventures) but, all seems to have been forgiven. That has paved the way for Bryant to once again bask in the glow of the big green river of money flowing in from all kinds of endorsement deals. Hopefully, he’s learned his lesson…
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4. LeBron James ($275 Million)

Still in the game and with (hopefully) years left to play, LeBron James is making a run at being the most popular NBA player since Michael Jordan himself. Now that he’s branched out into unfamiliar territory for most rich jocks (being taken seriously as a dramatic and comedic actor) the opportunity to cash in on Hollywood box office money means some records are about to be shattered like a high school backboard…
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3. Shaquille O’Neal ($350 Million)

Aside from his great career in the game itself (other than from the foul line) perhaps no other player in NBA history has succeeded so well in other areas of entertainment as Shaq. TV commercials, television shows, and even movies have added to his overflowing coffers, leaving active players some big shoes to fill. REALLY big shoes…
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2. Magic Johnson ($500 Million)

For a man who should have died decades ago, life just keeps getting sweeter for HIV-positive Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson. Through multiple endorsements and savvy media investments, Magic shows he’s just as great a player in the boardroom as he was on the boards…
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1. Michael Jordan ($1 Billion)

And counting… ‘Air’ Jordan inhabits the upper atmosphere of NBA earnings, amassing hundreds of millions during his long, storied career. But, even years after he retired, Michael Jordan continues to earn incredible sums through endorsements alone. And, oh yeah, at 51, he still looks great in boxers. Hanes, of course…
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