Basketball may just be a game for most of us, but for the people who have become so talented to make a career out of it; the sky really seems to be the limit when it comes to salaries. Whether you believe it or not, NBA superstars are some of the highest paid athletes today. In fact, two of the ten highest paid athletes of 2014 are basketball players—LeBron James and Kobe Braynt. But who has the top five player salaries in the NBA for 2014-2015?
Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)
Unless you have been hiding under a rock over the past few decades, Kobe Bryant should not be an unfamiliar name to you. The famous shooting guard of the Los Angeles Lakers is one of the most talented and decorated players today, which is why it isn’t surprising that he is on top of the list with a $23,500,000 salary for 2014-2015. Aside from his amazing plays and advertisements, Bryant is the second player who has been paid more than $30,000,000 over the past twelve years and has been the highest paid NBA player since 2009.
Amar’e Stoudemire (New York Knicks)
Amar’e Stoudemire takes the second place on this list with a value of $23,410,988 this year. Since his NBA career began in 2002, Stoudemire has only been on two teams—Phoenix Suns (2002-2010) and New York Knicks (2010-present). Last year, Stoudemire was also part of the top five highest paid players with $21,679,893 on third following Dirk Nowitzki who is no longer one of the highest paid NBA players this year. Stoudemire has consistently been one of the top ten highest paid players since 2011.
Joe Johnson (Brooklyn Nets)
Sitting on the third spot is the shooting guard and small forward Joe Marcus Johnson. He currently has a value of $23,180,790 this year and currently signed under the Brooklyn Nets. Throughout his NBA career, Johnson has played for four teams since his career began in 2001—Boston Celtics (2001-2002),Phoenix Suns (2002-2005), Atlanta Hawks (2005-2012), and Brooklyn Nets (2012-present). He was also one of the top five highest paid players in the previous year with a $21,466,718 salary following Stoudemire. Johnson has been one of the top ten highest paid players since 2012.
Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
Also one of last year’s highest paid NBA players, Carmelo Anthony makes it again this year with a $22,458,401 contract. He was previously valued at $21,388,953, making him the fifth highest player after Johnson last year. Anthony has been on two teams since his career began—Denver Nuggets (2004-2010) and New York Knicks (2010-present).
Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets)
Dwight Howard secures the final spot in this list with a $21,436,271 contract for this year after previously having a salary of $20,513,178. Howard has been on three teams since the beginning of his career—Orlando Magic (2004-2012), Los Angeles Lakers (2012-2013), and Houston Rockets (2013-present).
In case you’re wondering about LeBron James, he is currently the seventh highest paid NBA player for 2014-2015 with a $20,644,400 value. According to Forbes, however, James is the third highest-paid athlete of 2014 with a total earning of $72,300,000 from salary, winnings, and endorsements combined. Bryant, on the other hand, isn’t so far in the list with a total earning of $61,500,00 making him the fifth highest paid athlete of 2014.