Richest Basketball Players in History

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in America and the NBA players are some of the wealthiest individuals on the planet. Over the years, the NBA has produced legends and icons including Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. Although each player differs from another in terms of records and skills, these players have been able to amass a huge amount of money during their careers and rank in the top spot when it comes to net worth. Keep reading to find out the richest basketball players in history.

Michael Jordan

When it comes to all-time richest basketball players, Michael Jordan has always taken the top spot. Not only in basketball but also in clothing, shoes, movies, and television. At the same time, he is the most popular NBA player to date and sits at the throne having a net worth of around $ 1 billion. 

During his career, he played for the Chicago Bulls and the Washington Wizards and is considered the greatest basketball player in the history of the NBA. He is also known as Air Jordan due to the height he can achieve during slam-dunks from the free-throw line. 

Outside of basketball, Jordan was able to create a business empire by collaborating with Nike for Jordan sneakers. Today, these sneakers sell for thousands of dollars and some even sit in museums. He is probably the only basketball player to have been inducted into the Hall of Fame twice. 

Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson during his prime was one of the highest-paid basketball players as he played point guard for the LA Lakers for the full 13 seasons. As a result, he managed to make around $500 million during his career. In addition to that, he has won numerous awards and holds several records with the NBA. 

He was the 1979 NBA draft, overall first pick by the Lakers, and has the NBA Finals MVP award in his cap along with 3 NBA MVP Awards and nine NBA finals. Johnson also participated in the 1992 Olympics and was a part of the “Dream Team” which took a gold medal home that year. 

Unfortunately, Johnson announced that he was diagnosed with HIV and the treatment began in 1991, upon retiring. Later, he was named and honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history. Today, Johnson runs multiple business ventures and has managed to accumulate a huge amount of wealth.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant was and is a legend. His death shook the world for an entire year, especially the world of basketball. Although he is listed amongst the richest basketball players but he was known for many other things. Bryant was an inspiring character and a great human being on a personal level.

His NBA career spanned 20 years and his career salaries along with business ventures and sponsorships have earned him an impressive net worth of $260 million. In addition to that, he is an 18-time All-Star and 12-time member of the All-Defensive team. 

Furthermore, Bryant also holds the record for playing the most seasons ever with one franchise, the Lakers, and ranks third in NBA’s ranking for high scores in the regular season. He announced retirement in 2015-2016. 

Lebron James

Lebron James played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat and has achieved great things for both franchises. He managed to win three NBA Championships and earned four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards. Moreover, he also earned two Olympic Gold Medals, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, and was also named the NBA rookie of the Year.

Today, Lebron James continues to be one of the richest athletes in the world with a net worth of $400 million. The year 2021, saw James’s net worth increasing to $500 million. If he manages to stay on track, he is expected to become a billionaire before 2022.

Shaquille O’Neal 

Shaquille O’Neal is an interesting character. Despite being one of the wealthiest basketball players in history, he is known for his humor and acts of kindness post-retirement. You will hardly come across Shaquille O’Neal as an arrogant individual considering his size and success.

In a world where the rich hold onto their riches, Shaq keeps distributing his. He has played for Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Phoenix Suns. He was also one of the largest and biggest players in NBA history, weighing 325 lbs and standing at 7 ft 1 in tall. 

He ranked seventh for all-time points scored and 5th in goals. Additionally, he achieved three Finals MVP awards and is one of the three players to make it to the NBA MVP. Today, he makes regular appearances in TV shows and feature films. His numerous endorsements along with his career earnings have reached a total net worth of $350 million. 

Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem Olajuwon is a Nigerian-American NBA player having played for the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors. He is known for his outstanding basketball skills and talent, earning him a net worth of $200 million. His nickname was “The Dream” based on his effortless dunking ability. 

Furthermore, he was inducted in two Halls of Fame, the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008. The year 1986 saw Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson coming together to lead the Rockets to the NBA finals and were dubbed “The Twin Towers” during the game. 

Even today, he is still considered a Rockets’ legend and regarded as one of the best NBA players of all time. 

Kevin Garnett 

Kevin Garnett, a former American NBA player played for 21 full seasons as a power forward and center position with the NBA. He was a part of the Minnesota Timberwolves franchise and even led the team to the Western Conference Finals in 2004. 

He managed to win an MVP award and was named to 15 All-Star Games during his career. In 2007-2008, Garnett was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year and holds several Timberwolves records. He retired in 2016, having amassed a net worth of around $180 million.

Final Word

There is no denying that basketball has witnessed some of the greatest basketball players walk on the court. Apart from being wealthy, these players continue to inspire the upcoming generation through their speeches and appearances. To the world, they might be a bunch of rich individuals today but for basketball, they are icons and legends, the young look up to.