Ahh…math! Sometimes it can be a little bit of fun to juggle some numbers and see what kind of interesting stories they tell. Sports website Hoopshype.com has put together another one of those Top-10 lists (actually, this one is a little bit longer than 10) on the subject of NBA superstars and money. It’s a list of the players who earned the most on a per-game basis. Spoiler alert: Yes, our man Shaq is on this list, too. (Is there any big-time, big-name list he’s not on? Hmmm…)
Of course any athlete from any sport makes WAY more than the average person in the course of their on-court or on-field time… and that huge number does not totally take into account all the practice, training and other activities that go into making them the superstars they are.
And because athletes in all sports have much shorter careers than us 9-to-5 worker bees, they have to be very smart when signing contracts and promotional deals in order to maximize their income in their prime playing years.
Many top players opt for that “guaranteed money” in their contracts, even if that means taking a lesser paycheck overall. The website HoopsHype has put together a list of those players who got the most out of their actual on-court time. While Shaq is on the list, there are also a few others that you might not have guessed. Read on….
The Top 5 from the Money-Per-Game List:
#5 – Chris Webber – $304,600 per game. Webber made $178,230,697 during his NBA career, which is far more than the league’s average over the time he was playing in the Association. In fact only Shaq (farther down the list), made more money than him during the 2005-06 campaign, when he was making 19.1 million dollars. Sadly, injuries always took a toll on his career, but he made sure to get paid when he had the opportunity.
#4 – Kevin Garnett – $304,900 per game. Back in the day, Kevin Garnett broke the record (and the bank) for the highest contract in the history of the NBA, and he’s the highest-paid player ever when adjusted to inflation. His total career earnings added up to a cool $343,862,398. More math: that’s $6,352 per minute played… just in case you were wondering.
#3 – Brandon Roy $331.900 per game. A real head scratcher. Had this reporter wondering “Brandon who?” Brandon Roy’s career has to be one of the biggest ‘what ifs’ in the history of the league. Yes, he was absolutely one of the most dominant scoring machines during his playing time with Portland…but his career was cut short with injuries. He ended up playing just under 350 games over his career due to different ailments.
#2 – Shaquille O’Neal. We know that when it comes to business of almost any kind, Shaq is definitely on his game. That included playing time in the NBA as well. When you adjust for inflation over the years, Shaq an average $339,200 per game. Still, that shouldn’t be too surprising – he was always one of the highest-paid players in the league.
#1 – Gilbert Arenas. Wow…really? Yup. Here’s where the power of the “guaranteed” contract impacts this list. Arenas also had an injury-shortened career. He played only 13 games during the 2007-08 campaign and 53 games the season after that. But his contract was structured with lots of guaranteed money. Arenas signed a six-year, $111 million dollar contract with the Washington Wizards before being traded by the team because of his “conduct detrimental to the franchise.” He didn’t last much longer in the NBA, but he still got paid $352,900 per game. Now there’s a contract!