It pays to play in the NBA. Ever since the '80s when shoe deals began blowing up, the greatest stars in the NBA have found ways to bolster their bank accounts. Whether it is the balloon-sized $200+ million contracts of today, or other business ventures by older stars, the best of the best have always been able to take care of their families. From Shaquille O'Neal to LeBron James to Stephen Curry, these are the net worths of the NBA's biggest stars!
Yao Ming - $120 Million
One of the best big men to ever transition from China to the NBA was Yao Ming. Standing over seven feet tall, he was a dominant force that fans around the world loved.
Thanks to his international fame, Ming was able to grab many lucrative endorsements from major companies like Apple. In 2008, Forbes reported Ming earned $51 million from various sources. And although the star's career was cut short by injury, he remains today as one of China's most recognizable athletes.
LeBron James - $400 Million
LeBron James, even now in his mid-30s, is the unquestioned face of the NBA. At the peak of his powers, he appeared in eight straight NBA Finals, winning it all three times. He's a 16-time All-Star and is considered one of the top ten players in league history.
Did we mention he has a lifetime contract with Nike? He's also creating an entertainment empire as an actor and producer. Don't look now, but Space Jam 2 is in the works, with James producing and starring.
Stephen Curry - $130 Million
Ever since becoming the face of the Golden State Warriors, and one of the faces of the NBA, Stephen Curry's net worth has exploded. Thanks to his current max contract worth $201 million over five years and his shoe deal with Under Armour, Curry is worth an astonishing 130 million.
By the time Curry retires, we expect his net worth will only have grown. Still in his NBA prime, he is slowly expanding his business empire to include producing. In 2018, he signed a multi-year producing deal with Sony Entertainment.
Kevin Garnett - $190 Million
When Kevin Garnett was drafted by the Celtics in 1995, it was the first time in 20 years a player had skipped college to go straight to the league. The daring move paid off, as Garnett quickly become one of the best and most profitable NBA stars of his era.
Today, worth a reported $190 million, Garnett has taken his talents to the broadcast booth. In 2016, he joined the NBA on TNT as an in-studio analyst. More recently he made an appearance as a fictionalized version of himself in Uncut Gems.
Chris Paul - $75 Million
Currently a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chris Paul has seemingly done it all during his NBA career. He has been named an All-Star multiple teams and his teams are almost always in contention for the NBA title.
Worth a reported $75 million, Paul has been lucky enough to sign two massive contracts in his career, one worth $68 million, and the second worth $107 million. On top of his playing duties, he is also a spokesperson for State Farm Insurance.
Steve Nash - $95 Million
Steve Nash played in the NBA for 18 seasons. While he was playing for the Phoenix Suns, he won back-to-back MVP awards. Oddly enough, when the Suns originally drafted him in 1996, he was greeted by fans with boos.
Today, Nash is still involved in the NBA and worth a reported $95 million. Not all his money has been made from basketball though. He also has business investments in Major League Soccer and is a co-owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Shaquille O'Neal - $400 Million
Shaquille O'Neal played 19 seasons in the NBA, was named the MVP once, won multiple championships, and made 15 All-Star teams. During his career, he also dabbled in Hollywood, making his debut in Kazaam in 1996.
Shaq has also built his reported $400 million net worth through shrewd business investments. Most recently, the big man was named to the Board of Executives for Papa John's. The move was announced shortly after CEO John Schnatter was dismissed by the company.
Patrick Ewing - $85 Million
If it wasn't for Michael Jordan dominating the NBA in the '90s, Patrick Ewing would probably have a few NBA titles to his name. One of the best players of his generation, Ewing was named to 11 All-Star games and won an Olympic gold medal in 1992.
Ewing co-starred with Jordan in Space Jam and later went on to start his own shoe brand - Ewing Athletics. Today, Ewing is worth an estimated $85 million.
Tony Parker - $75 Million
A key member of the San Antonio Spurs dynasty that won multiple NBA titles, Tony Parker was born in Belgium and raised in France. After playing in French leagues, he transitioned to the NBA where he became a shining star.
With his career earnings, Parker chose to invest, becoming a minority owner of French soccer club Lyon. He also owns a majority of the same city's women's basketball team. During the height of his career, Parker won four NBA titles.
Scottie Pippen - $50 Million
Scottie Pippen is considered by many to be the best "No. 2" in the history of the NBA. Playing alongside Michael Jordan on the Bulls, Pippen won six NBA titles and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
Surprisingly, Pippen was considered underpaid during his career. Early in the '90s with Chicago he signed a very team-friendly seven-year, $18 million contract. By the time the deal was done, he was one of the lowest compensated players in the league.
James Harden - $80 Million
Since joining the Houston Rockets in a trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder, James Harden has become an NBA powerhouse. In 2012, he signed an $80 million extension. After winning the NBA MVP a few years later, he signed a $118 million extension.
On top of his yearly salary commitments, Harden is also currently in the middle of a $200 million endorsement deal with Adidas. Add it all up, and he's worth an estimated $80 million.
Ray Allen - $100 Million
Before Stephen Curry started sinking three-point shots at a record pace there was Ray Allen. His ability to shoot from range was legendary. He set just about every three-point record and was compensated appropriately.
Outside of the NBA, Allen has made a name for himself as an actor, memorably playing Jesus Shuttlesworth in He Got Game. Worth a reported $100 million, Allen was the precursor to the modern NBA and should be remembered as such.
Dikembe Mutombo - $75 Million
Another '90s star who failed to win a championship, Dikembe Mutombo still made plenty of money. In 1995, he signed a monster (at the time) $55 million contract. Unlike others on this list, Mutombo hasn't used his wealth to lead towards more financial gain.
Worth around $75 million, Mutombo uses his wealth to give back, mostly through the Mutombo Foundation. Through his philanthropic efforts, he helped pay for a hospital in Kinshasa, Congo, where he is from. He has also helped make vaccines in the area more readily available.
Phil Jackson - $70 Million
Phil Jackson has worked at every level of the NBA possible. He started as a player, revolutionized the league in the '90s as a coach, and continued late in his career as an executive.
With such a long and stable career, it's no surprise the inventor of the "Triangle Offense" is worth an estimated $70 million. By the time the legendary figure finally retired for good, he had won an astonishing 13 NBA titles.
Pat Riley - $80 Million
Known best today as an executive for the Miami Heat, it's easy to forget that Pat Riley's career played out similarly to Phil Jackson. He started out as a player, before becoming a coach, then a GM, and then an executive.
Throughout his illustrious career, Riley has won several NBA titles and has racked up a net worth of around $80 million. Today he serves as the Team President of the Miami Heat.
Hakeem Olajuwon – $200 Million
Born in Nigeria, Hakeem Olajuwon didn't start playing basketball until he was 17 years old. That late start didn't stop him from becoming an all-time great. Olajuwon was nicknamed "The Dream" for how easy he made slam dunks look.
By the time he retired, Olajuwon claimed to have made $100 million. Today, his net worth is double that thanks to some very intelligent real estate investments. He splits his time between Jordan, where he has religious ties, and Houston.
Dwight Howard - $100 Million
Thanks to his size, Dwight Howard was able to skip college and go straight to the NBA, where he immediately flourished. As a young player, he was one of the league's most exciting prospects to watch and was unstoppable on defense.
Unfortunately, injuries began to pile up, slowing down what was on pace to be a Hall of Fame career. Still, Howard was so good early on, he was able some sign some very large contracts.
Dwyane Wade - $95 Million
Recently retired NBA superstar Dwyane Wade spent most of his career as the franchise player for the Miami Heat. Over the course of 16 seasons and several massive endorsement deals, he racked up a net worth estimated to be $95 million. He was named an All-Star 13 times.
Since retiring, Wade has settled into married life raising his children with Gabrielle Union. The couple were engaged in 2013 and officially tied the knot one year later.
Reggie Miller - $90 Million
Remember when we wrote that Ray Allen was the king of threes before Stephen Curry? Well, before Ray Allen there was Reggie Miller. When Miller retired he had set the NBA record with 2,560 three-point shots made.
Miller spent 18 seasons in the NBA and retired in 2005. Since then, he's stayed in the public eye with his gig on TNT as an NBA analyst. His current net worth is estimated to be $90 million.
Tim Duncan - $130 Million
A franchise Spur along with Tony Parker, when Tim Duncan retired from the NBA, he left his heart in San Antonio. That's why a few years after calling it quits, he rejoined the team as an assistant coach.
During his 19 season-long career, Duncan was an All-Star 15 times and won five NBA titles, playing a pivotal role in each one. It's no wonder then that he is worth an estimated $130 million.