For a layman, $30,453,805 is a huge sum of money, but Kobe Bryant, the highest-paid NBA player as of today, earned that amount in the 2013 – 2014 season alone. And that, mind you, excluded his earnings from endorsements.
Kobe Bryant’s two-year contract extension with Los Angeles Lakers, which will keep him with them until 2016, will put his total career earnings at a whopping $328 million.
If you happen to follow professional basketball, you don’t need an introduction to the National Basketball Association (NBA)―the premier league for professional basketball in North America. Even though the multi-million dollar league traces its roots to North America, its fan base spans the five continents of the world. The popularity of NBA is not just restricted to on-field events, but goes well beyond that. As for the off-field events, one of the most talked-about issues is players’ salaries. Every basketball fan out there is more than eager to know who the highest-paid player in the world is, or how much his favorite player earns.
In NBA, there is a concept referred to as NBA salary cap which limits the amount of money that teams can use for paying their players. The stipulated amount changes on a year-to-year basis. In the 2013 – 2014 season, it was raised to $58.679 million from $58.044 million that it was for the three previous seasons. Though there is a limit on how much a team can spend, it doesn’t stop the teams from spending generously to bring in the best talent.
Highest-paid NBA Star
The highest-paid player in NBA as of the 2013 – 2014 season is Kobe Bryant, the shooting guard for Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant signed a three-year contract extension with the Lakers for $83.5 million in April 2010. This deal has put him at the top of the list of highest-paid players, where he has been sitting comfortably since 2009 – 2010. Things are not expected to change much in the years to come, as Bryant has recently signed a two-year extension with the Lakers for $48 million.
According to the new deal, Bryant will earn $23.5 million in 2014 – 2015 and $25 million 2015 – 2016. Considering that the second highest earning NBA player as of today, Dirk Nowitzki earns 22.7 millions, it is obvious that the 48 million extension will ensure that Bryant stays at the top of the list for the next two years―that’s unless some other player bags a bigger deal.
Top 10 Highest-paid NBA Players
Los Angeles Lakers
New York Knicks
New York Knicks
Los Angeles Lakers
Additionally, these players make a lot of money through endorsements. LeBron James was the king of endorsements last season making $42 million, closely followed by Bryant ($34 million). The two earned more through endorsements than they did from their salary. Other players who made it big in this aspect last season include Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, and Dwight Howard.
Michael Jordan $33 Million Deal
While Kobe Bryant happens to be the highest-paid player in NBA today, the distinction of being the highest-paid player of all time goes to Michael Jordan whose one-year contract with Chicago Bulls during the 1997 – 1998 season earned him in $33 million. Previously, during the 1996 – 1997 season, he had signed a contract worth $30 million, thus becoming the first player to sign a contract worth $30 million in NBA.
With the NBA salary cap increasing year after year, it would be least surprising to see another player come up from nowhere and become the highest-paid NBA star sometime in the near future. Until then, it’s Bryant all the way.