People love knowing how much money athletes make, so we oblige the public and its wishes – Here are the top ten earners in the NBA for the up and coming 2010-2011 season, with the Lakers and the Magic both sending two players, without Shaq, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Jermaine O’Neal and Tracy McGrady (no.1 last time) who were in the top 10 last season and a whole lot of eye popping figures, some deserve, some not, most of us can only dream of.
For the 2009-2010 list, go here.
Number 10 – Vince Carter, Orlando Magic, 17,522,375 Dollars
“Half-Man, Half Amazing” did make his first Conference Finals last season with the Magic, but didn’t live up to the role intended for him, which was to fill the missing piece that would take Orlando all the way to the title. Carter scored 16.6 points per game for Orlando during the season but had a very series against the Celtics (4-2 loss), averaging just above 13 points per game and shooting way below 40% from the field, ending his first season in Florida in a rather negative note. Carter is making 1.4 million dollars more this year than his first with Orlando.
Number 9 – Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies, 17,666,666 Dollars
Like Carter, Randolph had his first season with a new team, and despite not making the playoffs, was as usual, very productive, delivering his pretty much given 20-10 stat line, finishing with 20.8 points and 11.7 rebounds a night, helping Memphis reach 40 wins, their best record since 2005-2006 and with hope of a bright and playoff filled future at Memphis. Randolph is making 1.6 million dollars more this year than in 2009-2010.
Number 8 – Yao Ming, Houston Rockets, 17,686,100 Dollars
Yao hasn’t played basketball in over a year, but will be ready to start 2010-2011, so it seems. The 7’6 center is rumored to be limited to 24 minutes a night next season, to reduce stress on those fragile, fragile bones. In 2008-2009, Ming averaged 19.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, playing 77 games and 9 playoff games before, as usual, going down for the count.
Number 7 – Gilbert Arenas, Washington Wizards, 17,730,694 Dollars
Before Arenas’ legal trouble (understatement) last season, he did pretty well, averaging 22.6 points and 7.2 assists. Then things turned south. Arenas is back, and the record says that when he’s healthy for a full season, the Wizards make the playoffs. With a potential exciting combo with John Wall, if Arenas’ return will be like Vick’s early success at Philly, things could be pretty sweet for Washington.
Number 6 – Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers, 17,823,000 Dollars
The real Finals MVP if you ask me, Gasol took the summer off, resulting in Spain’s very disappointing performance in the World Championships, but priming himself for another great season with the Lakers. In 2009-2010 he did miss 17 games, and the Lakers need Gasol more than ever. Kobe is still number 1 in LA, but he probably wouldn’t be with his fifth and fourth ring if Gasol was still in Memphis. Just to jog your memory, Gasol’s Game six and seven production – 17 and 19 points, 13 and 18 rebounds, 9 and 4 assists, 3 and 2 blocks. Huge Defense. Huge in the clutch. Deserves every dollar. And for those interested in numbers, Gasol is making 1.4 million more this year than in 2009-2010.
Number 5 – Michael Redd, Milwaukee Bucks, 18,300,000 Dollars
One of the two biggest “What the F@$@” on this list, Redd was number 10 in the league last year, making 17 million. Redd has played 51 games in the last two seasons combined, and I’m still hurting from picking him as one of the top 5 shooting guards in the league before the season. The Bucks did very well without him last season, and Redd won’t be back till early 2011 so it seems. More months of collecting the cash while healing.
Number 4 – Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics, 18,832,044 Dollars
How much does KG have left? His 2009-2010 regular season wasn’t his finest (14.3 points per game, lowest since his rookie season) but his energy, defense and leadership carried the Celtics, along with Rondo’s incredible talents, to a few minutes away from another title to the C’s, especially during the series against LeBron and the Cavs, averaging 18.8 points during that series. Quite a few writers, bloggers and fans I’ve been reading lately swear that Garnett will have a great 2010-2011, but I don’t. Age, injuries, mileage, the body pays for those. Garnett still has plenty of fighting spirit, but he’s not going to have a great year.
Number 3 – Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs, 18,835,381 Dollars
Number 4 on last year’s list with 22 million, Duncan, like Garnett, is declining, with 2009-2010 his weakest season yet statistically, averaging 17.9 points and 10.1 rebounds, not too shabby, but not what we’re used to from probably the greatest PF of all time, who’s actually a center these days. Apparently, Duncan, 34, is coming into the season 15 pounds lighter, which might make it easier for the big guy to keep his high level of play for a bit longer. There’s seems to be enough fire and will in the Spurs organization for another title run. Talent? Possibly. Staying injury free will be the key. Don’t see it happening.
Number 2 – Rashard Lewis, Orlando Magic, 19,573,511 Dollars
Number 9 last season with 18.8 million, Lewis actually took a step backwards last season, scoring only 14.1 points with 4.4 rebounds, his lowest scoring average since the 1999-2000 season. He also saw a 3 minute drop in his playing time, averaging 32.9 a night, the lowest since 1999-2000. Lewis isn’t worth the money, we all know that, but his horrible series against the C’s, along with the entire team, just make the amount of cash he’s making much more annoying and difficult to grasp (8.2 points in the conference finals against the Celtics).
Number 1 – Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, 24,806,250 Dollars
Five time NBA champions and two time NBA Finals MVP. He’s not the best player in the league, LeBron is, but no one wants to win more badly than Kobe, and thanks to Gasol and the huge talent surrounding him, Bryant does win more than anyone else, and deserves to be on top of this list, which he was runner-up on last season, thanks to McGrady still earning huge cash for nothing. Just for the info, McGrady will be wearing Pistons uniform in 2010-2011, making 800,000 dollars.