NBA Player Salaries: Who's Making What?
With salaries inching toward $25 million, everyone's wondering who's making what with NBA player’s salaries. Kids idolize them, men want to be them, and women want to be with them. The National Basketball Association has become a well-oiled machine for producing legends and these athletic icons are cash cows. The biggest names in basketball aren't always the highest paid, but with salaries in the eight-figures, don't feel too bad for them. Here's what NBA player salaries looked like in 2009 for the basketball's slam-dunks:
- LA Lakers guard, Kobe Bryant earned $21,262,500. One of the most notable names in basketball, or maybe all of the sporting world, Kobe's killer offensive instincts and exciting gameplay earned him the second highest NBA-player salary. The self-nicknamed "Black Mamba" is not only a seven-time NBA All-Defensive team member, but also one half of one of the most legendary pairs in basketball; The LA Lakers undoubtedly dominated the game during Shaq/Kobe Era, making both names synonymous with basketball greatness.
- Allen Iverson collected a cool $20,840,625. He's been around the block more than most - and not just because his career span is twice that of most on this list (he was Rookie of the Year in 96-97), but also because he's swapped teams more often. In his nearly fifteen-year career, he's played for the 76'ers, the Denver Nuggets, the Detroit Pistons, and the Memphis Grizzlies. One of the most prolific scorers of all-time, he currently averages 26.7 points per game and has two All-Star MVPs under his belt.
- San Antonio Spurs player, Tim Duncan, grabbed $20,598,704. Teams across the board in the NBA have learned one thing over the decades since its inception: build your team around a rock-solid player and you'll thrive. The San Antonio Spurs have done just that with Tim Duncan, whose known as "The Big Fundamental." This record-high two-time NBA MVP and three-time NBA Finals MVP has been called the "cornerstone of The Spur Dynasty."
- Shaquille O'Neal. Need we say more? He may be one of the biggest legends to ever come out of basketball. Earning a cool $20-million-even in 2009, we think he's comparatively underpaid. The other half of the biggest sensation since "Stockton to Malone", the Shaq/Kobe Era pheonom ended the '09 season with the Phoenix Suns. Shaq is definitely an icon to be remembered with the likes of Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, and Michael Jordan.
- LeBron James pulled $15,779,912. His nickname says it all. As “King James,” he dominates the court as basketball royalty. As a first-round draft pick for the Cleveland Cavaliers straight out of high school, LeBron has racked up quite the trophy case. Rookie of the Year in 03-04, Olympic bronze in 2004, Olympic Gold in 2008, MVP in ’09 and All-NBA and All-Star teams consistently every year since 2005. What can’t this NBA player do?
- Miami Heat Star Dwyane Wade matched with $15,779,912. In his sixth season in the NBA, “DWade” or “Flash,” as his teammates call him, has risen as one of the stars of basketball. He’s a fan-favorite since he led the Miami Heat to the Championship in 2006 and earned himself a title of NBA Finals MVP that same year.
- Dwight Howard made a mark with $15,202,590. Known all-around as “Thunder,” this 6’11” center for Orlando Magic is in his fifth season after being a first-round pick in 2004. He’s been touted as “NBA’s best entertainment” and though he may not be an 09 MVP, he’s making an indelible mark on this game.