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Just a reminder: Kevin Garnett is lucky, made a lot of money

Jun 6, 2012, 5:59 PM EDT

Business Insider posted a fascinating graph today:


Just to remind you that not only has Kevin Garnett won a lot of basketball games and been a hero in Boston, he has been well compensated for his efforts. This graph represents just salary, not endorsements (which is where Jordan slaughters everyone who ever played the game). From Business Insider.

Garnett started by turning pro before the NBA banned high school players. He was also a 19-year old rookie at time when the NBA granted free agency to players after just three years. This led to Garnett signing a $126 million contract extension during his third season, and just prior to NBA rules changed rookie contracts.

And then in 2003, Garnett signed a $100 million extension with the Timberwolves just before the NBA changed the salary cap rules in 2005. This has a led to a career earnings that dwarfs those of other players.

LeBron James may never pass KG because of the new salary cap structure and because I’m not sure he plays 17 years. KG has the passion to do that and bring it every night for that long and more years to go. Does LeBron?

  1. therealhtj - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    And KG is having quite the resurgence in what is coincidentally a contract year. Funny how that always seems to happen, isn’t it?

    KG may be the only guy for quite some time who’ll clear the $300mil in NBA salary mark. In life, timing is everything.

  2. noirad - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Once again this ends up being about LeBron. What the hell does his salary have to do about LeBron? O.o

    • pudgalvin - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:44 PM

      Relax. It’s just to show what the most recognizable face in the NBA right now makes in comparison to KG. It doesn’t have anything to do with Jordan either but you’re not complaining about that.

  3. lakerluver - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    I’m sure when endorsements are added LBJ will make more over his lifetime than KG. However, regardless to how much money LBJ makes he will never have as big of a heart as KG has. Huge bank account, tiny heart.

    • j0esixpack - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:22 PM

      Yeah… Sponsors are going to love associating themselves to a guy who dissed his home town, followed the money to join a Dream Team made of players who don’t know how to play as a team, while focused on individual stats and the goal of “being in a position to win (because that’s all people can really expect)” while failing to thus far win even one Champrionshio though multiples were promised.

      Guys like that are just meccas for sponsors concerned about their image.

      • mytthor - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:46 PM

        Yeah I haven’t seen a LeBron commercial in about 16 minutes. The sponsors sure have abandoned him.

      • j0esixpack - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:12 PM

        You don’t measure it in how many commercials. LeBron can always pimp himself for a moving company in Cleveland.

        It’s about the price he commands.

        Making good on his prediction of at least one of his expected three rings is a good place to start.

        Hre’s the thing though… Miami has had the Celts blocking their way for the last several years. Now OKC looks to be a potential roadblock of young unity players for years to come with an average age of 23.

        The window for the Heat is closing while their potential rivals in the west are getting better and also play as a team.

      • mytthor - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:37 PM

        Come on, man, I know it’s fashionable to not give Miami credit for anything, and some of it’s warranted. But “their window is closing?” They have the best player in the league and he’s 27, and one of the other top 10 players in the league and he’s only 30. Oh yeah, a top 10 big man and he’s 28.

      • loungefly74 - Jun 7, 2012 at 8:16 AM

        “Yeah I haven’t seen a LeBron commercial in about 16 minutes. The sponsors sure have abandoned him.” by mytthor…


        yeah, joe, you may hate Lebron but $ from endorsements is something he does not have to worry about. Price he commands? $33 million this year not enough for you? Look, you started off with the typical “Lebron is a jerk” routine but fell flat. obviously, you don’t know much about marketing.

        Window is closing? well…I say he has at least several more good years left in him. and I am not a Lebron fan. I think he is great but I don’t root for him.

      • redbaronx - Jun 7, 2012 at 2:10 PM

        I don’t know what market you guys live in, but I really can’t remember the last time I saw a LeBron commercial. Last one I remember is the car insurance one with the boxing gloves. So yeah Mytthor….sponsors have abandoned him.

        joesixpack makes a great point. LeBron hasn’t won a single ring, and he’s been arrogant and disrespectful to the game and fans by predicting 5, 6, 7 rings and at the same time disrespecting fans with his comments about people wanting his life etc.

        Frankly, he doesn’t deserve to win a ring. Guys like Durant, Westbrook and the rest of the Thunder have been working hard for a ring via teamwork and taking their lumps like champs. It’s no coincidence that the Thunder have beaten the last 3 NBA champs and look every bit deserving of being in the Finals. If the Heat make it to the finals it’s by Hero ball, not team ball. Last time I looked, Hero ball doesn’t win championships. Even if the Heat get past the Celtics, they’re not beating the Thunder. And even getting past the Celtics looks like a big IF at this point.

  4. isujames - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    Pure skill Biiiiiatch!!!

  5. isujames - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Probably won’t if everyone thinks like lakerlame.(LJames)

  6. isujames - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    The “man” always trying to put a limit on how much $$$ a brother can make, this would never happen with “America’s Past time”.

    • cullenand99 - Jun 7, 2012 at 7:32 AM

      What the hell are you rambling about?

      • magiclikenumbers - Aug 30, 2012 at 3:14 PM

        This comment made me laugh so much, because I thought the exact same thing when I read it. It makes zero sense.

    • redbaronx - Jun 7, 2012 at 2:13 PM

      Uh isujames……all 3 of the players in that graph were black and among the highest paid NBA players. I don’t think there are many brothers (or sisters for that matter!) making that much money in any sport.

  7. bandanamac - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    More interesting than the fact that Kurt questioned the ability of his Lord & Savior Lebron James is the NBA salary cap structure.

    I once heard that a NBA Superstar is worth five times his salary to a franchise, so why are they constantly taking money away from them?

    • pudgalvin - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:46 PM

      You don’t get rich by giving money away.

  8. bearsstillsuck - Jun 6, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    I’d like to know where Kobe fits on this graph.

    • therealhtj - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:22 PM

      Kobe’s approaching 200. Got another 57 coming his way. If he manages to play a few years past this contract, he could get to that 300mil figure, but it’s a long shot.

    • cosanostra71 - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:44 PM

      Kobe Bryant:
      1996-97 $1,015,000
      1997-98 $1,167,240
      1998-99 $1,319,000
      1999-00 $9,000,000
      2000-01 $10,130,000
      2001-02 $11,250,000
      2002-03 $12,375,000
      2003-04 $13,500,000
      2004-05 $14,175,000
      2005-06 $15,946,875
      2006-07 $17,718,750
      2007-08 $19,490,625
      2008-09 $21,262,500
      2009-10 $23,034,375
      2010-11 $24,806,250
      2011-12 $25,244,493

      Career $221,435,108

      • therealhtj - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:14 PM

        This year his prorated figure should be around $20mil though for the shortened season.

      • cosanostra71 - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:46 PM

        True. Drops his total to around $215-217 million.

  9. pastabelly - Jun 6, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Not a bad investment by Danny Ainge.

  10. laleafs - Jun 6, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    Guy works his tail off, every play. Don’t like him. Don’t like his team. But love the way he plays. Worth every penny. Certainly earned his money more than A-Fraud has or Pujols will. LOL

    • mannyfresh209 - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:37 PM

      Baseball is a far tougher game to play compared to basketball. Why don’t we compare apples to apples: Rashard Lewis, Tracy McGrady, Gilbert Arenas, KG.

      • 6thsense79 - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:35 PM

        Yes because fine physical specimen like Prince Fielder proves baseball is a far tougher game than basketball.

      • beagle11 - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:51 PM

        I do not agree with comparing baseball to basketball either. But, you need to elaborate on why baseball is tougher than basketball.
        If anything its MUCH easier to evaluate talent (and give proper contracts) in baseball than it is basketball.

      • patsfiend - Jun 7, 2012 at 1:39 PM

        Baseball might be a longer grind, but obviously you’ve never played basketball with the big boys if you think baseball is tougher.

  11. mungman69 - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Hey Kevin: Can I borrow a couple bucks? To invest, to invest.

  12. hojo20 - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    KG – the highest paid NBA player of all time? “ANYTHING’S POSSIBLLLLLLEEEE!!!!!!”

  13. sockherplayher - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    KG isnt the highest paid. take a look at shaqs earnings. i think its shaq then KG then kobe

    • patsfiend - Jun 7, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      Please, don’t mention Shaq right now. It’s like farting in a moving car (in the rain.) I still have nightmares thinking about how he looked in the playoffs last year (though now that he’s in the booth he’s so fit and in-shape.) He punked the Celtics.

  14. giselleisasucubus - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    I remember when KG changed the game w/the contract renewal after his third year. He legitimately changed the game and helped a lot of guys get rich. The owners have hated this guy since the day he came in the league. People may not like him, but you can’t say he isn’t sure of himself and set in his ways. Also, everyone assumes he is coming back and playing for a contract. If they win, he retires. Even if they only beat the Heat, that might be enough for him to walk away.

  15. nghtrder169 - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    This is the real reason behind the age limit for entering the NBA that extra year or 2 in college saves the NBA a lot of money because those years make a difference between 1 max deal vs that 2nd deal before they on the wrong side of 30

  16. isujames - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    @mannyfr baseball is a tougher sport, yea right.See the ball,hit the ball,run,catch the ball.To be good at basketball you have to be able to run,have athleticism,good ball control/handle,a decent shot,defend,etc,etc,etc, and thats just to be good at it,not great.If you need proof there fella,just look @ the years after l bird, a whole race of people eliminated from that sport.To be honest after l bird,you could count on one hand how many good players of his kind came along and were actually good in the NBA,not great.C mullin,S Nash,Dirk,T Chambers,P Gasol.Thats it, maybe Dan Maerle so by a tougher sport,what do you mean?????

    • mytthor - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:53 PM

      Baseball’s a tougher sport mentally, basketball’s tougher physically. And how about Stockton, Mark Gasol, Divac, Stojakovic, Manu, Mark Price, just off the top of my head? Not to mention how does there being less white players mean the sport is harder? Black players have dropped way down in baseball, does that mean anything? No. What you’re saying doesn’t make sense.

      • pglive21 - Jun 7, 2012 at 9:44 AM

        Please, a tougher sport mentally? Basketball has infinitely more mental decisions that have to be made instinctively with a minimum of reaction time. Baseball players face that, what, maybe twice a game? Baseball is a sport (and I’m using that term generously) that requires less skill, athleticism, innate ability and mental faculties than basketball. I can’t even see how that’s a debate.

        That being said, isujames is still a moron spouting off about race when that’s not even relevant.

      • mytthor - Jun 7, 2012 at 10:17 PM

        The decisions are tougher in basketball but the reactions are MUCH faster in baseball. But I think the mental difficulty of baseball is more based on the level of focus required. You can’t make a mental lapse while hitting in baseball and hit the ball. Period. It doesn’t happen. If a basketball player mails it in for a game he doesn’t play well but can still contribute. If a baseball player mails it in, he goes 0-5 at the plate. Every time.

  17. j0esixpack - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    …. Garnett’s play has made him a very hot commodity for any team on the cusp of winning a championship. I guess the question is only whether they can compete for him,

    A $20 million 2 year contract isn’t out of the question if Garnett wants to follow the money. Whether teams can afford that is another question.

    He may opt to play closer to home with the Lakers if Kobe makes him feel welcome and the price is right.

    Garnett would make that mediocre team an instant contender… And might be the only way that Celtics and Garnett hater sees his beloved Lakers win. It’d be worth it to see Garnett leave the Celts just to watch bozosforall flip flop and become Garnett’s biggest cheerleader.

    • loungefly74 - Jun 7, 2012 at 8:42 AM

      “…mediocre team…” (joesixpack referring to the lakers)

      HAHA! uh yeah…7 Finals trips in 12 years…mediocre? 5 Titles in 12 years…mediocre? tell me, who has had more success in that time span? I’ll then tell you who the mediocre team is.

      joe must be excited to see someone else in the Finals from the West besides the Mavs, Lakers, and Spurs in a while…and with that, is probably a “johnny come lately” fan of the Thunder. Yeah, how many Sonics/Thunder fan do we really know? if that’s not the case, then joe is a typical hater. good joe…keep hating. we love it. Life is good as a laker fan. I stick with them every year regardless of how the season ends and know they try to field a competitve team every year.

      • patsfiend - Jun 7, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        Somebody is a little touchy. They lost, resoundingly and embarassingly, 2 years running.

      • loungefly74 - Jun 11, 2012 at 8:20 AM

        eh…no, not touchy, just real…give me what the Lakers have done in the past 12 years..heck…25 years over any other team in the NBA. yeah, we lost 2 years in a row…can’t win them all…but damn, we try…and try real good.

      • redbaronx - Jun 7, 2012 at 2:23 PM

        @loungefly What Joesixpack meant was that TODAY the Lakers are not an elite team in the NBA. Next year Kobe is a year older. Gasol is a year older. Metta is a year older. The Lakers as they are currently constructed are not championship caliber. Just because someone speaks the truth doesn’t mean they’re a “hater” and if you were realistic you’d get that. But of course you’re blind to it all.

        The Lakers could still trade and upgrade the Point Guard position. That’s why losing out on CP3 this year was such a big deal. The Lakers really needed him, and Ramon Sessions is not the answer. Steve Nash would be a great option even now. The Lakers need a top flight Point Guard if they want to see the Finals again before Kobe retires. That’s not “hating”. It’s just reality! A younger, more athletic and productive bench would also be nice.

      • loungefly74 - Jun 8, 2012 at 1:32 PM


        ive been hearing every year for several years now how the Lakers will be mediocre. thats my point. i do agree roster adjustsments will have to be made to compete with the up n coming teams such as the Clips/Grizz/Thunder. I just hate the arguement of ” oh…uh fine, you won last year…but what about this year?” talk. all im saying is show some respect. thats all. im just saying what any fan would say defending their team.

  18. jumpman2325 - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    @isujames Sir, your statement has no relevance to this article, but hey, way to make it about race. Baseball and basketball are equally as taxing in completely different ways. Since baseball is so damn easy, which team do you play for?

  19. isujames - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    axI guess I offended you with my comments/expertise on this subjeect.First off baseball if anything is dominated by spanish speaking people currently,and Im not making this a black/white issue,just stating the obvious facts.Im not going to argue the mental aspect,though I can.Furthermore besides Stockton the list of people you named lack longevity,and are just average non caucasian players.They are good players/decent like t kukoc,horace grant,kenny anderson,clarence weatherspoon,etc,etc.They are among that group/type of players, not the penny hardway,t mac,steve francis,grant hill,type of players who had “great years”,good careers,not HOFers.Then you have the greats;Jordan;bird,dirk,stockton,malone,clyde,d wilkins,I think you get the point.Oh yea,as far as blacks not being in baseball anymore all I have to say is stop reaching for stuff son, you really sound SILLY with that comment.

  20. isujames - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    ^ After reading this comment above about the heat,I understand who I am talking to.When did I ever say baseball was “easy”.READ, “it’s the key to a better you and me lol.”

  21. jumpman2325 - Jun 7, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    “baseball is a tougher sport, yea right.See the ball,hit the ball,run,catch the ball.” You obviously have no clue about baseball. You may have a vast knowledge of basketball, but you come off extremely naive in the way you speak about baseball. Your comment would lead one to think that you believe any chump can pick up a bat and hit a 95 mph fastball. Do you think Paul Pierce (just throwing a name out there) could play centerfield and cover the ground necessary to make routine plays? I doubt it. However, he would run circles around any MLBer on the court. I was simply getting at the fact that you are comparing apples to oranges. Not to mention, you take the conversation from the sports realm and turn it into a race issue.

  22. isujames - Jun 7, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    Yes I do, and he would be a stud out there in center field.Hey, it didn’t take MJ that long besides you can eat chicken,drink beer and go out there and play the next inning lol.

  23. scalfor3 - Jun 7, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    KG has lots of money

    why are we talking about baseball again?

  24. eltoro1000 - Jun 7, 2012 at 6:00 AM

    Business Insider, according to the chart, who is this Micahel Jordan you speak of?

  25. paulhargis53 - Jun 7, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    lounge: He’s referring to the fact that as of late, the Lakerss are also rans. Swept out by Dallas last year, 4-1 by the Thunder this year.
    With Kobes contract, they have no discernable way of getting better, unless they want to go into luxury tax hell.
    The days of “reloading” like they used to are over. You won’t get Value for Gasol.
    Bynum is a head case. I wouldn’t give him max dollars when he only shows up half the time. Glad you stick with them no matter what, they aren’t contending anytime soon though. Kobe is done winning rings.

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