NBA is the highest paying sports league in the world, with players earning on average $6,135,019 per year.
In addition to the millions they make in basketball salary, most of the players earn a whole lot more with endorsement deals and shoe sales. There are players with modest NBA careers, who earned a spot on the list because of making smart business decisions post-basketball. We’ve cross-referenced most of the available listings online to bring you the current top ten richest basketball players in the world.
10. Dirk Nowitzki — $160 M
Dirk Nowitzki has an estimated net worth of $160 million. Nowitzki plays power forward for the Dallas Mavericks, a position he has held since 1998. He also sometimes plays small forward and center. He was voted NBA MVP in 2007 (the first European player to receive the honor) and has been an All-Star thirteen times. Let’s not forget the 2010-11 championship.
9. Grant Hill — $180 M
One of the wealthiest retired basketball players on this list, Grant Hill’s net worth sits at right around $180 million. Hill is known for the time he spent playing for the Orlando Magic, the Phoenix Suns, and the Detroit Pistons. He is also one of the greatest what-ifs in NBA history. Who knows how much he would earn, had he stayed healthy.
8. Kevin Garnett — $190 M
When Kevin Garnett has signed his contract to return to the Minnesota Timberwolves on a two-year deal that increased his career earnings to $343.4 million — the most in NBA history! His estimated net worth is $190 million, just beating out the number eight spot on this list.
7. Hakeem Olajuwon — $200 M
The key to becoming a rich basketball player is longevity, and Hakeem Olajuwon is living proof. ‘The Dream’ spent 18 years in the NBA, which allowed him to establish an astonishing $200 million for his net worth. Today he earns millions of dollars by training the likes of LeBron James, Dwight Howard, and Kobe Bryant (before he retired).
6. Kobe Bryant — $380 M
Kobe Bryant has had an incredible basketball career that surpasses almost everyone on this list. His net worth hovers right around $380 million. Kobe loves storytelling and has appeared on several interviews during his retirement — he’s stated several times that he’s hungry for a new challenge, a business challenge. Kobe has invested 100 million dollars in an investment fund. We're looking forward to following his future business endeavors.
5. LeBron James — $400 M
Love him or hate him, Bron is a money-making machine. The self-proclaimed king of basketball has a net worth of around $400 million and rakes in an astounding $70 million annually off his NBA contract and various endorsement and product deals. LeBron has been involved with many good business deals recently, so it’s safe to say his wealth will continue to grow.
4. Shaquille O’Neal — $400 M
He may be retired, but Shaq is still one of the wealthiest players of all time. With a net worth of $400 million and a string of endorsement deals, money doesn’t seem to be a problem for this NBA superstar. He recently got his doctorate degree, so make sure to call him Dr. Shaq.
3. Junior Bridgeman — $600 M
Junior Bridgeman is a retired American basketball player who has an estimated net worth of $600 million. He had 12 successful years in the NBA which he spent mostly with the Bucks and scored a total of 11,517 points. After his retirement, Junior Bridgeman invested his money in franchises such as Wendy’s food chains. He now owns more than 160 outlets aside from the growing number of Chili’s restaurants with 118 branches and counting.
2. Magic Johnson — $600 M
Magic Johnson is one of the most successful people to come from the NBA ever. He used the money he earned from the NBA to start his own business empire, which has in turn given him a net worth of over $600 million.
1. Michael Jordan — 1.39 billion USD
No surprises here. MJ is the wealthiest basketball player of all time. His shoe/brand line alone, the first of it’s kind, still makes him close to $100 million annually. The GOAT both on and off the court.