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The 10 Richest NBA Players of All Time



Richest NBA Players of All Time

With several talents and big names past and present in the game of basketball, it might leave you pondering who is the richest NBA player. In as much as a direct answer could be given to you in the first paragraph of this article, you still need to know why these guys are the most-paid NBA players or perhaps where their wealth manifests from.

Most of the time, it is not only from the sport itself; some of these guys are core businessmen with a whopping net worth. Join us as we explore these billionaire NBA players and how they make their money.

The 10 Richest NBA Players of All Time

Here are the richest NBA players of all time.

1. Michael Jordan – $2.3 billion

Michael Jordan is an NBA star whose Airness needs no introduction. He is a cultural icon and arguably the greatest basketball player ever. On the court, he was one of those skilful players who left the crowd cheering for hours even after the match had ended. Throughout his career ( which ended in 2003), he broke numerous records that earned him various awards.

The notable ones include six NBA championships, six NBA Finals MVP awards, five regular season MVP awards, ten scoring titles, and countless other records. And, of course, as the last man standing on our list, he’s the richest NBA player. But how does he generate income? Jordan’s wealth goes far beyond his playing career.

His partnership with Nike created the Air Jordan brand, which is a multi-billion-dollar empire that has created a variety of sneakers for individuals all over the world. He also owns the Charlotte Hornets, which has further boosted his net worth. Jordan’s relentless effort for excellence has translated into several business ventures and has helped him gain remarkable wealth over time.

2. LeBron James – $1.2 billion

Taking the second spot on our list of the 10 Richest NBA players of all time is LeBron James. While still actively dominating the game, James is often mentioned in the GOAT( Greatest Of All Time) conversation alongside Jordan. His trophy cabinet includes four NBA championships, four Finals MVP awards, four regular season MVP awards, and numerous other awards.

However, as one of the billionaire NBA players, James’ influence extends beyond just statistics. He is a vocal advocate for social justice and he uses his platform to raise awareness and inspire change. His business ventures are also impressive, including SpringHill Entertainment, a production company he co-founded. James’ ability to excel on and off the court positions him as a unique force in the NBA landscape.

3. Magic Johnson – $800 million

“Showtime” Magic, as he was often referred to, was a point guard with charismatic leadership who brought excitement and flair to the game. With five NBA championships, three Finals MVP awards, three regular season MVP awards, and his legendary no-look pass repertoire, he cemented his status as a legend.

Despite being diagnosed with HIV, he defied expectations by returning to the NBA and achieving success as a businessman. He co-founded Magic Johnson Enterprises which is an entertainment company, and later became a part owner of the Los Angeles Lakers. Johnson’s resilience and business acumen made him a role model for entrepreneurs.

4. Junior Bridgeman – $600 million

Junior Bridgeman born in Shelby, Mississippi, in 1953 was a star athlete throughout his youth. He played college basketball at the University of Louisville, leading them to the 1975 Final Four. After he was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1975, Bridgeman enjoyed a 12-year NBA career, winning a championship in 1984.

He played college basketball at the University of Louisville, leading them to the 1975 Final Four.  Unlike many athletes, Bridgeman used his off-seasons to gain business experience, working at Wendy’s restaurants. After retiring in 1987, he used his savings and basketball fame to acquire his first Wendy’s franchise.

However, his company grew to over 160 Wendy’s and 120 Chili’s. In 2016, Bridgeman sold his restaurant empire for a reported $800 million. He also became a bottler for The Coca-Cola Company, acquiring distribution rights for several states. In a bold move, Bridgeman acquired the iconic Ebony and Jet magazines in 2020, aiming to revitalize these historic Black publications.

Additionally, Bridgeman’s story serves as a reminder that success can extend beyond the playing field, leaving a lasting legacy in the business world and beyond.

5. Shaquille O’Neal – $400 million

Shaquille O’Neal, or “Shaq” as he’s affectionately known, is one of the greatest centers ever.  Beyond his on-court achievements, which include four NBA championships and numerous accolades, Shaq’s business ventures have contributed significantly to his wealth. In Hollywood, Shaq has been in lots of movies and TV shows, where he shows off his charisma and comedic timing.

You might have seen him in movies like “Kazaam” and “Blue Chips,” or on TV in shows like “Inside the NBA,” where his playful banter with fellow analysts endeared him to fans worldwide. In the case of endorsement, Shaq has landed deals with major brands like Reebok, Pepsi, and Icy Hot which secured him massive contracts that continue to pay off today.

He’s actively invested in various businesses, including restaurants, car washes, and even esports teams. while these might not be his primary sources of income, they contribute significantly to his net worth

6. Vinnie Johnson

Vinnie Johnson, nicknamed “The Microwave” for his instant scoring ability, went through a successful 10-year NBA career. After retiring, Johnson invested heavily in real estate, particularly in his hometown of Detroit. He acquired and developed numerous properties, generating significant wealth through rentals and appreciation.

Johnson also ventured into the car dealership business, founding several successful dealerships that continue to operate today. His ability to identify lucrative opportunities and make use of them as he ought to have propelled him to significant wealth. His story shows the essence of financial literacy and strategic.

7. Hakeem Olajuwon – $300 million

Hakeem Olajuwon was born on January 21, 1963, in Lagos, Nigeria. He was nicknamed “The Dream” for his graceful footwork and dominant post moves. These skills earned him awards including two NBA championships with the Houston Rockets and a Finals MVP in 1994. He’s widely considered one of the greatest centers of all time.

Unlike many athletes, Olajuwon actively managed his finances during his playing days. He wisely invested in real estate and he got himself several properties such as commercial properties, and residences. Today, his real estate ventures are estimated to be a major contributor to his net worth.

Apart from going into real estate, Hakeem also ventured into other businesses that have helped him attain his feat. He’s also launched businesses like Dream Now Enterprises, which focuses on youth development and basketball training. He remains involved in the NBA as a special advisor to the Houston Rockets.

You might also be wondering what he does with all this money. Well, Olajuwon is known for his generosity and has established the Hakeem Olajuwon Foundation. This foundation supports education, healthcare, and community development initiatives for the poor, rich, fans, and everyone else who gets a chance to enjoy this kindness.

8. Kevin Durant – $300 million

Kevin Durant who is currently playing for the Brooklyn Nets, is a prolific scorer and one of the most skilled offensive players in NBA history. He’s won two NBA championships and holds numerous scoring records. Durant’s incredible skills and marketability have helped him gain endorsement deals with brands like Nike, Beats by Dre, and Sprint. These deals are worth millions of dollars and they significantly contribute to his net worth.

Aside from his endorsement deals, Durant has invested in various ventures, including a production company called Thirty-Five Media and a professional esports team called Overwatch League’s Spitfire. He’s also involved in cryptocurrency investments. Beyond the court, Durant is a public figure and is well-known on social media. He has launched his podcast called “The ETCs” which allows him to connect with fans and explore other avenues of income.

9. Grant Hill – $250 million

Hill’s career was marked by a series of injuries which limited him to only six All-Star appearances despite his unique talent. He played for multiple teams, including the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, and Los Angeles Clippers. Despite the challenges, he didn’t lose focus on striving to become a successful businessman. He’s a minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks and has invested in real estate and other ventures.

He also serves as a television analyst for NBA games. Hill is actively involved in philanthropy. He has supported various organizations focused on education, healthcare, and community development. He established the Grant Hill Foundation to empower underserved youth. Looking carefully at his story, it is filled with perseverance. He has overcome adversity both on and off the court, inspiring others with his work ethic and commitment to making a difference.

10. David Robinson – $200 million

David Robinson, who is fondly nicknamed “The Admiral” for his prior service in the US Navy, is more than just a legend. During his 14-year NBA career, Robinson was a player to look out for, especially when you were on the opposing side. He won two NBA championships (1999, and 2003) with the San Antonio Spurs, earning an MVP award (1995), Defensive Player of the Year award (1992), and Rookie of the Year award (1990). Before the NBA, Robinson served in the Navy and he fulfilled a two-year commitment after graduating from the US Naval Academy.

This instilled in him discipline, leadership, and a strong work ethic. After retiring from basketball, Robinson co-founded Admiral Capital which is a private equity firm with over $1 billion in assets. He also invested in real estate, infrastructure, and other sectors, which has added figures to his net worth. Additionally, Robinson is inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. His story of dedication, discipline, and impact beyond basketball should be an inspiration to aspiring athletes and individuals across various fields.


In conclusion, we have explored the 10 richest NBA players of all time, from the least to the wealthiest. Some of them amassed their earnings through their salaries, while others through endorsement deals. However, the most common perspective is that they are all businessmen. They didn’t solely rely on their earnings from sports; instead, they diversified their income and ventured into various businesses.

But that’s not all. They also shared the same focus, passion, and strong will to make their businesses stand out, coupled with their fame. So, what’s the takeaway? Whether you find yourself in a similar position or aspire to become an entrepreneur, learn from these prominent figures and strive to apply these principles to excel in your career. There’s more potential out there for you!


Ralph has shaped this website into a source for inquisitive readers looking for the latest information on Richest People, Net Worth, Top List (Luxury) and How to Make Money Online. He has over 5 years of experience in creating, managing and publishing lifestyle content online.

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