The NBA is one of the hottest sporting associations on the planet, and the battles out on the basketball courts of the US delight fans around the globe. Stars of the past such as Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’ Neal, and stars of the present, including LeBron James and Stephen Curry, have helped to make the NBA a household name.
Of course, the sparkling talent and status of the NBA’s stars has also helped them to make more than just a few dollars from their skills. Below is a look at the net worth of some of the stars in the organization, plus discussion of their recent performance and some of the deals that have helped them to rake in such big bucks.
Power forward LeBron James serves the LA Lakers and, according to website Go Banking Rates, which compiled a list of the NBA’s richest stars, possesses a net worth of $1 billion. Forbes estimates it be closer to $1.2 billion.
As well being the first billionaire in the NBA, James is now the association’s leading all-time scorer, having broken the record set by Kareem Abdul Jabbar 39 years ago. This is especially impressive bearing in mind the fact that, in the eyes of some, scoring is not James’s most impressive attribute. Recently, however, he suffered a right foot tendon injury that will keep him out of the game for three weeks, this has been reflected in the NBA finals odds, with the Lakers drifting out to +2800 to win the championship.
James supplements his income from playing basketball with a mix of real estate holdings, business ventures and sponsorship and endorsement deals. Nike is perhaps his most famous deal, but he also works in partnership with Lyft, Crypto.com, Blaze Pizza and gym equipment manufacturer Tonal.
Point guard Stephen Curry performs his services on behalf of the Golden State Warriors and is on an extended four-year contract that will earn him more than $215 million. His net worth stands at $160 million.
Curry is one of the best shooters in the game and served up a game high of 40 points recently against the Thunder. This was across 35 minutes. In that time, he also chalked up six rebounds and seven assists.
In 2017, Curry formed SC30, a new company, to manage his investments, philanthropic ventures and brand partnerships. In November 2020, Under Armour, wishing to compete with Nike’s Jordan brand, launched the Curry Brand, and in 2021, he partnered with FTX. Unfortunately, the FTX venture went horribly wrong when bankruptcy caused the company to end the partnership.
Forward Kevin Durant plays his basketball with the Phoenix Suns. He does so under a four-year contract that will earn more than $215 million. He boasts a net worth of $200 million.
Durant is a rare breed who combines size and skill. The high release point of his shots makes him a real problem for anyone defending the opposing basket. Despite an Achilles injury, Durant is still playing at the height of his game, and people forget about his injury when analyzing his performance. His performance this season has made him an element in MVP conversations, as he’s averaging 30 points per game and 6.8 rebounds.
LeBron James isn’t the only NBA star who has agreed to work with Nike. The company partnered with Durant in a deal that could earn him as much as $300 million and includes a $50 million retirement package.
Anthony Davis is LeBron’s superstar team mate. This power forward also earns plenty of dollars on and off the court, and enjoys a net worth of $130 million. He’s on a five-year contract that will pay over $189 million across the five years.
Davis is a menace to the other teams. He has outstanding guard agility and, with relentless defense, physically and mentally overwhelms players who are on the attack. He has quick leaping ability and a high level of defensive intelligence. He attacks every shot and can affect shots all over the court. Towards the end of the year, he earned chants of “MVP,” thanks to a performance that saw him contribute 55 points and 17 rebounds against the Washington Wizards. He’s averaging 26.5 points per game and 12.5 rebounds this season.
Davis, like LeBron and Durant, also has a deal with Nike. The deal lasts up until 2028, and it’s thought he earns between $5 and 8 million from it each year.
To make it into the NBA, the biggest basketball league in the world, is an amazing achievement and a chance to earn serious money. The players above make significant amounts from playing basketball, but endorsements and other ventures allow them to fatten up their bank accounts even more off it.