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Ever wondered who are the richest basketball players who earns or earned big bucks while actively playing the game?
Basketball has long been seen as one of the most famous and lucrative sports that makes top athlete playing at the highest level of the game, particularly in the NBA smiles to the bank with their respective mouthwatering salaries.
While the FIBA World Cup or the NBA may never enjoy same worldwide popularity as the game of soccer, the truth is the game remain one of the highest paying and most watched sport in the world.
There have been great number of basketball players in the history of the sports who dazzled the fans with their talents, technicalities, and physicality on the court and in-return get paid huge salaries for their impact on the game.
David Robinson – ($200m)
Robinson is another NBA all-time great center that makes our list of the richest basketball players of all-time.
He played his entire career with the San Antonio Spurs where he achieved success and earned $119million while active.
Robinson won two NBA titles, a league MVP, a defensive player of the year, and two gold medals before he retired as a professional basketball player.
The former San Antonio Spurs star didn’t just make it to the top as one of the richest basketball players, he and his team invested wisely in a variety of private equity and real estate ventures which has over time soared to $1.5billion in terms of value.
Grant Hill – ($250m)
Talent wise Hill was expected to be in the class of Micheal Jordan, unfortunately his blossoming career was cut short by a series of injuries before he retired.
Hill made seven all-star teams during his career, won a gold medal, and made over $140 million in salary while playing despite experiencing quite a number of injuries.
For a man who his a co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks and number of ventures in the US which includes a marketing and management company and a vast real estate portfolio with condos, retail spaces, apartments and a hotel says a lot about his inclusion on the list.
Hill announced his retirement from professional basketball in 2013 after 19 seasons in the NBA show-casing his talent as one of the greatest icons of the game, before he was also inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.
Hakeem Olajuwon – ($300m)
Nigerian-born Hakeem is undoubtedly one of the best centers in the NBA history, as such it is not surprising to see him ranks on this list as one of the richest basketball players of all-time having paid his dues while active.
Olajuwon was a two-time NBA champions, two-time Finals MVP, a league MVP, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, and a Hall of Fame inductee honor a great feat that give credence to his legendary statue.
While actively playing in the NBA Olajuwon is reported to earned around $110million, after his retirement his wealth of course multiplied having invest in real estate business which
that brought in over $100m.
Vinnie Johnson – ($400m)
Johnson was a two-time NBA champions for the Detroit Pistons during the team’s championship era in 1989 and 1990.
He was so good that they nicknamed him ‘The Microwave’ for his shooting ability and how he pressed the opposition with his brilliant precision and great athleticism.
He earned around $6million during his time on the court with Detroit Pistons and after retirement his net worth is estimated to be around $400m, having invested in some lucrative businesses which includes Piston Group which is one of the largest automotive suppliers in North America.
James Harden – ($400m)
LeBron wasn’t only the active NBA player that made it into the league of richest basketball players in the history of the game in 2022, Harden also made the list last year as one of the richest active NBA players with a net worth estimated to be $400m.
The Los Angeles born NBA star is a point guard player for the Philadelphia 76ers, and was also selected in the first round of the 2009 NBA draft by Oklahoma City Thunders to announced himself as one of the game’s finest.
Harden success as a top level basketball player isn’t just about his fat financial account, he also achieved quite a number of success which includes winning gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2014 FIBA World Cup for United States.
Shaquille O’Neal – ($400m)
O’Neal is another amazing retired NBA player who is now a successful businessman and television personality having played at the highest of the game before calling it quit with basketball.
During his successful NBA career he made almost $300 million in accumulated salary earnings, and to this day one of the legend of the game is reported to earns $60million a year in endorsements.
Aside been a successful businessman the former Los Angeles Lakers star propelled his team to three consecutive NBA championships in the early 2000s, winning three MVPs in the process and also got selected as one the great players that made the 14 All-NBA Teams.
Junior Bridgeman – ($600m)
While achieving success is very important for every basketball players who is privileged to play at the highest level, it’s also very key to manage your wealth well after retirement.
In that regard Bridgeman didn’t just excel at basketball, he also excelled as one of America’s most respected business having painstakingly invest in food chains.
After Bridgeman’s retirement he bought up Wendy’s and Chili’s fast food franchises, by 2016 his Food Inc was already operating more than 160 Wendy’s and 120 Chili’s locations in the states according to sources.
He became the CEO of Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company in 2017 after he sold his impressive food business empire in 2016 to focus on the Coca-Cola Bottling Company which makes him ranks as one of the richest in the game.
Magic Johnson – ($620m)
The Magic magical Johnson began his career with greatness and ended his illustrious career as one of the finest to ever graced the court of basketball.
He unveiled himself to be one of the player to watch when he won the Finals MVP as a rookie, when he famously started in the centre in place of injured Kareem Abdul-Jabber in the 1980 NBA’s finals.
Magic Johnson didn’t only achieved success on the court as one the greatest basketball players of all time, he also amassed mouthwatering bucks as one of the highest paid basketball players in the history of the game.
LeBron James – ($1.2b)
King LeBron just like some set of fans do call him is arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time due to how impactful his career has been on the game.
LeBron has been one of the most consistent player in the NBA since making his debut 20-years ago dominating the league with his physicality and athleticism.
The Los Angeles Lakers star isn’t only doing brilliantly for himself on the court, he was ranked number one ahead of great soccer players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo last year as the highest paid athletes in the world.
Being one of the top basketball players still on top of his game, LeBron is rank as one of the highest paid basketball players of all time with a mouthwatering $1.2billion take-home.
Michael Jordan – ($1.7b)
Call him the GOAT and you’ll definitely not be question due to the kind of impact he had on the game and his achievements while actively playing.
Jordan led the Bulls to six NBA championships, winning six Finals MVP awards and five regular season MVP honors while becoming a global icon on and off the court.
While we can argue that Jordan’s brilliance as a basketball player on and off the court, set a new standard for new generation basketball players who also aspires to achieve greatness in the game just he did.
While LeBron is reported to be making $50million a year from Nike according to Forbes, Jordan makes double of that annually from the same shoe company.
His global influence on the sports makes him one of the richest basketball players of all-time with $1.7billion, reasons he’s been called basketball ‘GOAT’.
This article was updated 3 months ago