Top 10 NBA Player Salaries 2013-2014: Business of Basketball

NBA players make great money. In fact, they make a ridiculous amount of money. The business of basketball and professional sports is booming and the stars certainly get their fair share.  Let’s take a look at the top 10 NBA player salaries 2013-2014 season.

Top 10 NBA Player Salaries 2013-2014

1)  Kobe Bryant $30,453,0002 — Kobe Bryant refuses to take a pay cut.  He makes almost 8 million dollars more than his closest peer and makes several tens of millions more in endorsement deals, but he refuses a pay cut.  Did I mention he is coming off a torn Achilles tendon and is just a few years away from retirement on the downside of his career?  Here is the thing…. I would have more of an understanding if he didn’t claim that he so badly wants to win a sixth championship.  Bryant speaks of being all about “the team.”  Well, my friend, if you were to even reduce your salary enough to where you are STILL the highest-paid player in basketball, you leave the team room much more flexibility to add an above-average player which, obviously, increases your chances of winning that 6th title you claim is the only thing that matters to you.  Kobe seems like a decent guy, however, in this instance, he isn’t making sense.  The bottom line, actions speak louder than words.  Take the pay cut, still be the highest-paid player in the league, and help your team.

2) Dirk Nowitzki $22,721,3813 — Deserves every penny!  Loyal, committed and has barely missed any time in his career.  He led Dallas to an incredible title run a few years back and has proven that searching overseas for talent is a wise decision.  Dirk has the sweetest jumper in the NBA and has made a name for overseas players, such as Ricky Rubio, that they can indeed be a superstar in America.  Dirk, I applaud your loyalty to Dallas and I appreciate what you have done for the game.  I believe your time may be coming to an end and you don’t seem to be getting the help you need to make another run.  Regardless, well done.

3) Gilbert Arenas $22,346,5364 — Arenas didn’t step on an NBA floor last year. The year before, he played a total of 17 games at 12 minutes per game.  The equivalent of a three-hour workout in total.  The year before that?  49 games out of 82.  The year before that?  32 games.  The two years before that?   2 games and 13 games.  CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL ME HOW HE IS GETTING PAID OVER $22 MILLION AGAIN THIS YEAR?  Didn’t some general manager figure out 6 years ago that he wasn’t reliable?  I am absolutely baffled by the fact that Arenas gets paid more than LeBron James by several million dollars when he has played a total of about one season in the last 6 years.  Make that seven after he cashes in for another cool $22 million this year while hanging out on a beach in Hawaii laughing at the GM who once gave him that contract.  I need to stop writing, I am getting upset.  Crazy.

Top 10 NBA Player Salaries 2013-2014

4) Amare Stoudemire $21,679,8935 — When Stoudemire signed with the Knicks a few years back, everyone was well aware that it was a high-risk move in hopes he could be that all-star player he was in Phoenix.  His first year in New York was solid.  He played very well and the Knicks looked smart.  Then the last two years happened.  Then they brought in Chandler and when Amare actually plays and isn’t hurt, it feels like they just get in each other’s way.  I digress, this article is about his salary.  And that is over $21 million dollars.  Like Arenas, he cashed in at the perfect time.  However, at least he still plays!

5) Carmelo Anthony $21,490,0006 — Possibly the best offensive player in the league so this is a fair salary for a player of his caliber.  Some people say he can’t win the big one, but he has never had the caliber teammates you need to win a championship either.  Other than the amazing run Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs made a few years back, every other team that has won a championship in the last decade has had at least two stars on the team.  Teams like San Antonio and Miami have had three.  Stoudemire was supposed to be that other star, but he can’t stay healthy and hasn’t been the same player.  The Knicks made no significant moves this offseason (what do you mean!  they signed Metta World Peace Ron Artest Pacer brawler!  He will revive the franchise!) so it will probably be another year for Melo of being on a team that finishes good in the regular season and doesn’t go far in the playoffs.  Regardless, in my opinion, he does deserve his salary.

6) Joe Johnson $21,466,7187 — Could go either way.  Not sure Joe Johnson is worth over $21 million, but I do feel he gets the short end of the stick.  Atlanta got significantly worse when JJ left.  He is a solid player, but he is a solid #2 option. The hope was teaming him with Deron Williams would be the 1-2 punch that Brooklyn has been chasing, but Williams hasn’t been the same player he was in Utah.  Although the additions of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, all championship winners, along with an improving and healthy Brook Lopez.  Joe Johnson has a chance to earn his salary and really be an extremely important contributor in his role as a second or third scorer.

7) Dwight Howard $20,513,1788 — The man is a beast.  He is not far removed from being the best big man in the game, perennial top 5 player in the NBA, and an anchor for an Orlando team that made the NBA finals.  The problem?  He wasn’t healthy last year.  Back surgery can do that to you.  However, when healthy, $20 million is certainly a fair compensation for a man of Howard’s caliber.  He is a stud.  His defense and rebounding alone are the best in the league, not to mention his ability to finish around the rim.  Who is going to try and stop that guy?

8) Pau Gasol $19,285,8509 — While most people would say he probably isn’t worth over $19 million, just wait and see.  Gasol played injured last year and also had to contend for shots from Kobe, Nash, World Peace, and Howard.  Half of that group is gone, Kobe is coming off a serious injury, Nash is almost 40, and Gasol is out to prove a point.  Just a few years ago we were watching him rack up championships as the co-star to Kobe and the perennial title-winning Lakers.  He has said he is out to prove himself this year and I have a feeling he will earn every dime of that contract.

9) Chris Bosh $19,067,5009 — I may be in the minority after his last NBA finals performance, but Bosh is a superstar.  Remember, he was one of the Big 3.  He used to finish 5-10 in scoring in the league every single year and on a pretty solid shooting percentage, considering how often he fires from the outside. He had one bad series, but obviously, it was a big stage so everyone wants to pound him into the ground now.  Keep in mind, that Miami doesn’t win either of those titles without Bosh.  When he got hurt during their first title run, they were headed down a path of elimination before he returned from an abdominal strain.  Bosh could anchor a team, the thing is, he shares a court with the best player and one of the best players in the league.  It is simple math, fewer shots, surrounded by better rebounders, means lower scoring and rebound averages.  Check his shooting percentage for proof of whether the guy can play.

10) LeBron James $19,067,500 — The best player in the world falls at the top of the list.  Not sure how this makes sense.  Wait, I will tell you why, LeBron took a lower salary, as did Bosh, for the benefit of the TEAM.  They were more worried about winning a championship than getting extra money  (see #1 on this list for the opposite scenario).  LeBron doesn’t need more money, he has plenty, but he certainly deserves this entire salary.  Gilbert Arenas will make over $3 million dollars more than James this year!  I am still in denial over that.  Anyway, LeBron James is an incredible basketball player and regardless of your opinion of him, really does seem like a good guy.  He is constantly doing charity work and nobody ever has a bad word to say about him besides upset fans.  He left Cleveland to win championships and that is exactly what he has done.  As I mentioned, he deserves this salary and then some.  The way I look at it?  As a pure basketball fan, not your casual NBA fan, I am going to enjoy watching the best player in the world play the game of basketball as much as I possibly can.

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