Top 10 Richest NBA Players Of All Time (2024)

Top 10 Richest NBA Players Of All Time (2024)

In professional basketball, the allure of fame and success on the court is often matched by the financial triumphs off the court through endorsements and business deals. The legacy of the NBA has showcased exceptional athletic talent and remarkable financial acumen.

This arena has witnessed players transforming into astute businessmen, leveraging their on-court success into substantial wealth. The journey of these athletes, from scoring points in packed stadiums to building business empires, is a testament to their diverse skills and strategic foresight.

In this article, we uncover the stories of the wealthiest NBA players, who now have net worths that have reached staggering heights, setting them apart as financial heavyweights in the sports world.

10 Richest NBA Players Of All Time

  1. Michael Jordan’s net worth: $3 billion [1]
  2. Magic Johnson’s net worth: $1.2 billion [2]
  3. LeBron James’ net worth: $1 billion [3]
  4. Junior Bridgeman’s net worth: $600 million [4]
  5. Vinnie Johnson’s net worth: $500 million [5]
  6. Shaquille O’Neal’s  net worth:  $400 million [6]
  7. Hakeem Olajuwon’s net worth: $300 million [7]
  8. Grant Hill’s net worth: $250 million [8]
  9. David Robinson’s net worth: $200 million [9]
  10. James Harden’s net worth: $165 million [10]

Michael Jordan: The Billionaire Icon

According to Forbes, Michael Jordan’s net worth at the start of 2024 is approximately $3 billion, making him a billionaire three times over. This wealth results from his journey from an NBA legend to a successful entrepreneur; with significant contributions from selling his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets, the team was valued at $3 billion, of which Jordan owned a considerable share.

Jordan’s wealth comes from lucrative endorsement deals, particularly with Nike, Gatorade, and Hanes—his diverse investment portfolio includes stakes in companies like DraftKings and the NASCAR team 23XI Racing.

His investments in real estate and other business ventures further bolstered his financial success. Beyond his economic achievements, Jordan is known for his philanthropic efforts and social contributions.

Magic Johnson: Business Mogul On and Off the Court

Magic Johnson, recognized as one of the greatest NBA players of all time, has a net worth of $1.2 billion as of January 2024. Despite earning around $40 million total as a player for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s and only between $2 million and $4 million per year in endorsements at his peak, Johnson built his wealth through savvy joint venture partnerships in various sectors.

These include movie theaters, Starbucks franchises, real estate, and healthcare. Much of his fortune comes from a 60% ownership stake in the life insurance company Equitrust, which has grown its assets under management from $16 billion to $26 billion since he took over in 2015. Additionally, Johnson holds small ownership stakes in several sports teams, including the NFL’s Washington Commanders, MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers, WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, and MLS’ LAFC.

LeBron James: Building a Billion-Dollar Legacy

LeBron James, the first active NBA player to become a billionaire, has an estimated net worth of $1 billion as of June 2022. His journey from a challenging childhood to NBA stardom is remarkable. James has earned over $430 million in pretax salary from his NBA career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers.

Off the court, he has accumulated over $900 million (pretax) from business ventures and endorsement deals with major brands like PepsiCo, Walmart, and Nike. A critical factor in his financial success is his strategy of taking equity stakes in the brands he endorses, such as Beats by Dre and Blaze Pizza.

His philanthropic efforts are notable, with his LeBron James Family Foundation opening an elementary school in 2018 and committing over $40 million to college scholarships. James also has aspirations in sports team ownership and has already secured stakes in various professional teams through his investment in Fenway Sports Group. In 2021, he sold a minority stake in his movie and TV production business, the SpringHill Company, at a valuation of $725 million.

Junior Bridgeman: From NBA to Business Tycoon

Junior Bridgeman, a former professional basketball player who played in the NBA for twelve years, has amassed a net worth of over $600 million, making him one of the wealthiest former athletes in the world.

Despite never earning more than $350,000 a season during his NBA career, Bridgeman built his fortune through astute business ventures. After retiring from basketball, he invested in Wendy’s fast food restaurant franchises, eventually owning over 100 Wendy’s and Chili’s restaurants before selling them in 2016.

As President and CEO of Bridgeman Foods Inc., he became a bottler for The Coca-Cola Company in 2017 and expanded his business interests into bottling operations in Canada. In December 2020, Bridgeman acquired Ebony and Jet magazines for $14 million through Bridgeman Sports and Media after the magazines declared bankruptcy earlier that year.

Additionally, he has been involved in various other ventures, including a partnership with Ball Corporation to construct and operate an aluminum mill in New Mexico and investing in a bottling facility in Alabama.

Vinnie Johnson: Scoring Big in Business

Vinnie Johnson, a retired professional basketball player and entrepreneur, has a net worth of $500 million. During his NBA career from 1979 to 1992, he played for teams like the Seattle SuperSonics, Detroit Pistons, and San Antonio Spurs, earning $6 million.

He was a crucial player in the Pistons’ NBA championships in 1989 and 1990 and was known as “the Microwave” because of his ability to heat up an offense by scoring fast and frequently when inserted into the game.

However, his Piston Group business accumulated most of his wealth post-NBA. Founded after his retirement, the Piston Group specializes in automotive manufacturing and has grown to employ over 11,500 people, generating around $3 billion in annual revenue. This venture has made Johnson one of the wealthiest NBA players and athletes in the world, far surpassing his earnings from his basketball career.

Shaquille O’Neal: Dominance Beyond the Court

Shaquille O’Neal has an estimated net worth of $400 million in 2023. His wealth was built during his illustrious NBA career, where he earned approximately $286 million in salary. O’Neal’s first rookie contract with the Orlando Magic was reportedly worth $3 million. Shaq’s first major contract was a seven-year, $120 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996, and he later signed a five-year contract with the Miami Heat for over $100 million.

Beyond his NBA earnings, Shaq has significantly boosted his net worth through various endorsements and business ventures. He has endorsed a wide range of products, from video games to fast food, and has been involved in lucrative deals with companies like Reebok, PepsiCo, Icy Hot, and Taco Bell.

Shaq’s business ventures extended to him owning 155 Five Guys restaurants (10% of the company) and then selling them. He also owns nine Papa John’s franchise units and is their spokesman. He invested in Auntie Anne’s and Krispy Kreme Donuts and held shares in companies like Ring, which was bought out by Amazon and was worth $1 billion in 2018.

He has also made early investments in Google and Apple. Additionally, Shaq has a strong presence in charity work, supporting organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Communities in Schools through his Shaquille O’Neal Foundation.

Hakeem Olajuwon: A Legacy of Success

Hakeem Olajuwon, a retired Nigerian-American professional basketball player, has a net worth of $300 million. His wealth started being accumulated during his NBA career with the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors, where he earned $110 million in salary.
Olajuwon, known for leading the Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships in the mid-90s and being a member of the gold medal-winning US Olympic team in 1996, is considered one of the greatest basketball players ever.
After retiring, he embarked on a highly successful entrepreneurial career, particularly in real estate. Olajuwon has transacted over $150 million in real estate purchases, specializing in properties ripe for development. He has invested in various properties, including undeveloped land, parking garages, apartment complexes, commercial buildings, and single-family homes.
As a practicing Muslim, Olajuwon does not borrow money for his acquisitions, allowing him to minimize risk and beat out competitors for critical deals. Additionally, he has opened Big Man Camps to teach young players and works with NBA players to perfect their moves.

Grant Hill: The Art of Diversifying Wealth

Grant Hill, a former NBA superstar, and Duke Blue Devils icon, has built a significant post-NBA business empire, leading to an estimated net worth of $250 million. Throughout his career, Hill amassed over $100 million in earnings and wisely invested in various ventures, including a $5 billion real estate development project in Atlanta. He also holds an ownership stake in the Atlanta Hawks NBA team and has recently partnered with Philips.

David Robinson: The Admiral’s Financial Voyage

David Robinson, a retired American professional basketball player, has a net worth of $200 million. Known as “The Admiral” for his time in the US Navy, Robinson played his entire career for the San Antonio Spurs from 1989 to 2003. He earned over $116 million in salary during his NBA career, with his peak salary reaching $14.8 million in the 1998-1999 season.

Beyond his basketball earnings, Robinson has had a highly successful career in private equity. He launched two private equity funds, Admiral Capital and a second fund for real estate investments. Admiral Capital raised $115 million and acquired $350 million of real estate assets.

Robinson is known for his philanthropic approach, donating 10% of the profits of his fund to various charities and supporting inner-city kids. Additionally, he has been involved in other business ventures, including founding the Carver Academy and co-owning a Jaguar Land Rover dealership.

James Harden: Crafting a Fortune

James Harden, an active NBA player, has an estimated net worth of $165 million in 2023. His successful career includes being a 10-time All-Star, seven-time All-NBA Team selection, Sixth Man of the Year, three-time NBA scoring champion, two-time NBA assists leader, and NBA MVP.

Harden’s financial success stems from his impressive NBA career, where he played for teams like the Philadelphia 76ers and was later traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, and his lucrative endorsements and business ventures.

He has partnered with major brands such as Adidas, with whom he signed a 13-year deal worth $200 million, and earns approximately $22 million annually from endorsements alone. His career earnings in the NBA and endorsement deals significantly contributed to his net worth.

Key Takeaways

  • Wealth Beyond the Court: The financial achievements of these NBA legends extend far beyond their basketball salaries, highlighting the importance of diversification and strategic investments.
  • Endorsement Earnings: Lucrative brand partnerships have been a significant source of income, underscoring the power of personal branding and marketability.
  • Real Estate and Business Ventures: Many of these players have successfully ventured into real estate and other business domains, demonstrating the value of exploring opportunities outside their primary profession.
  • Philanthropic Efforts: Several athletes have engaged in notable charitable activities, showing a commitment to giving back to the community and using their wealth for social good.
  • Investment Acumen: The list reveals a pattern of intelligent investment choices, particularly in sectors like technology, sports management, and consumer goods, contributing to their substantial net worths.


The journey of these top ten wealthiest NBA players serves as an inspiring blueprint for financial success, transcending the boundaries of sports. Their stories are about athletic prowess, the foresight to capitalize on opportunities, the wisdom to diversify income streams, and the vision to invest in ventures that promise long-term cash flow and growth.

These athletes have redefined the concept of success, proving that strategic planning, market insight, and a commitment to philanthropy can create a legacy that lasts well beyond their time on the basketball court. Their financial sagacity and entrepreneurial spirit offer valuable lessons for aspiring athletes and entrepreneurs alike.