After the NBA lockout in 2011, players stopped signing those MLB-sized contracts, but the figures are still enough to blow your mind. One can wonder whether those arms and legs are made of solid gold. Well, it’s even better than that. They are made of pure talent and unbeatable determination, so nobody was asleep at the wheel when signing these contracts.
Tim Duncan is a true legend of San Antonio, but many don’t know he was close to moving to Orlando before signing the lucrative $122,007,704 deal for Spurs. His stellar college and professional career brought him countless awards, but the best thing about him is that he is a natural born entertainer and often finds himself in bizarre situations. Just watch him being removed from the game because he couldn’t help laughing at his rivals.
Let’s talk about Kevin
Minnesota Timberwolves decided to pay Kevin Garnett $126,000,000 for a 7-year contract and make him a Franchise player. Many fans were frustrated though, not because Garnett didn’t play well, but because the Wolves couldn’t compete with powerhouse teams. By a bizarre twist of fate, a year after leaving Timberwolves, he managed to win a championship with Boston Celtics.
How about some magic?
The name of Rashard Lewis rings some bells, but some people haven’t even heard of him. It’s safe to say that somebody in Orlando Magic regrets offering him a $126,000,000 deal back in the 2007. An average of 16.8 points a game isn’t on par with the staggering amount of green on his paycheck. Not many people went to the arena to watch his guy, but I don’t think he minded, not with that bloated salary.
Have no fear, Shaq is here
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most recognizable NBA players, a giant that struck fear in the hearts of many opponents. A $120,000,000 contract that he signed for the Lakers in 1996 ran through 2003. It was the most expensive contract in NBA history at the time, so the pressure was on Shaq to live up to the expectations. He was never quite on terms with free throws, but that didn’t stop him from earning fame and fortune.
Kobe Bryant signed for the Lakers in 2004 and the contract lasted until 2011. He led his team to the tittles two times, which is more than enough to justify the hefty $136,400,000 price tag and make armies of fans buy NBA tickets just because of him. Charles Barkley argued recently that it’s time that Kobe retires, and when he does, he will go down in NBA history as one of the greatest players ever. Oh, and as the only player to be named after a famous Japanese steak. I reckon it’ll stay that way, like forever.
Many people look at the 9-figure contracts with dismay, but if you ask me, the eruption of fans’ joy in the arena is something priceless. Yes, sometimes teams manage to pour money down the drain, but the majority of players on the list stood up to the task. They dare to skate on thin ice if need be, and take the bull by the horns (sorry Chicago Bulls). Even when it takes time for them to get into full swing, one spectacular move is enough for the crowd to go wild.
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