Professional athletes make a lot of money – emphasis on a lot.
Naturally, some sports pay their players more than others based on several factors, the biggest being roster size. For example, the NFL makes more than any other North American sports league at estimated $13 billion in revenue last year. But because there are 53 men (not including practice squad players) on 32 different rosters, the average NFL player makes the lowest of all the “big four” leagues at $2 million per player.
The next “lowest” (if you can even call it that) are NHL players at $2.5 million, while pro baseball players come in at $3.8 million.
Finally, that leaves the NBA at the top of the payout list at an average of $4.9 million.
So, if basketball pays the most, which players have made the most? Not including endorsements and only focusing on playing contracts, here are 15 of the biggest deals in NBA history:
- Contract: Seven years, $120 million
- Team: Los Angeles Lakers
- Years: 1996–02
- Contract: Seven years, $122 million
- Team: San Antonio Spurs
- Years: 2003–09
- Contract: Seven years, $122.7 million
- Team: Sacramento Kings
- Years: 2001–07
- Contract: Six years, $123.7 million
- Team: Atlanta Hawks
- Years: 2010–15
- Contract: Five years, $124.1 million
- Team: New York Knicks
- Years: 2014–18