With the wealth that playing basketball professionally brings, there are few things an NBA player can’t afford. The sport’s largest salaries are themselves close to $50 million a year, with sponsorships and endorsements often more lucrative.
Even the NBA’s lowest paid player, Ish Wainwright, takes home over half a million per year prior to sponsorships and endorsements. The staggering sums involved in professional basketball have funded the most extravagant of lifestyles for those in basketball’s top league.
A range of expensive cars, big houses, and jewelry are all status symbols often flaunted by NBA stars. It’s common for them to own mansions across the globe, some valued at tens of millions of dollars.
Steph Curry is the sport’s current highest paid athlete, and one of the greatest of all time. After his heroics in last year’s finals, this comes as no surprise.
Although Golden State has been worse this season, the NBA playoffs odds still have them as one of the favorites.
Curry has endorsements with Infiniti, Chase, Rakuten and Calloway Golf as well as a $48 million salary.
The point guard resides in a $31 million mansion in Atherton, California and possesses an assortment of luxury sports cars. Curry owns a Tesla Model X, a Porsche 911 GT3 RS and a Mercedes Benz G5 to name a few.
Kevin Durant, another of the NBA’s highest paid, has an equally impressive collection of real estate and luxury cars. A recent acquisition of the Phoenix Suns’s power forward is a $15.6 million Hidden Hills mansion.
Lebron James has been an NBA mainstay for nearly two decades since his 2003 initial draft. Despite pushing forty, James is still brimming with quality, which is reflected in his earnings.
An annual salary of a little under $45 million puts the Lakers small forward a few million behind Curry. James’s other income stems from an ownership stake in Liverpool FC and the lifetime contract he signed with Nike in 2015
Training and Lifestyle
The life of an NBA player isn’t all play, and maintaining performance at the highest level requires arduous daily training. Both on and off season, most NBA players stick to a strict healthy lifestyle that prohibits most people’s vices.
Fried food, alcohol, junk food and artificial drinks and sugar are all usually off-limits. Whilst there are the bad boys who are snapped stumbling out of clubs at 2 am, most NBA stars are very dedicated.
NBA players have to attend countless meetings with personal trainers, nutritionists, recovery experts and physical therapists to maintain their performance levels.
The late, great Kobe Bryant– shared his grueling ‘666’ workout routine for the offseason. This demanded training for six hours a day, for six days a week for six weeks prior to training camp.
The six hours consisted of two hours of track, two hours of basketball skills practice and two hours of weights/ cardio.
Although the heavier workouts will be done during the offseason, most NBA players train all year round. With training and such a packed game schedule, Lebron has previously questioned if NBA players get enough downtime.
An individual’s training is dynamic, and tailored towards their adapted personal needs. Occasional niggles may alter the intensity and frequency of training, or the specific recommended exercises.
Recreation is another area of NBA life that requires sacrifice as top teams can’t risk injuries to their key players. Low intensity activities with little to no injury risk are all that’s usually permitted.
A standard NBA contract often includes a clause that demands the player seek consent before engaging in strenuous physical activities.
Just this season, Chet Holmgren, no. 2 overall pick in the 2022 Draft was seriously injured off the court. The Lisfranc injury to the rookie’s right foot happened during a Pro-Am game and reignited the debate around player freedoms.
Pro-Am games, that mix professional and amateur basketball players, are an important part of the game’s culture. Stars as big as Lebron James and DeMar DeRozan attend such games, all of which are free.
Considering the ever increasing price of NBA tickets, these matches are a welcome event for many fans.
Bowling, golf and gaming are the most played by professional NBA players as they carry very little injury risk. The latter took off during the NBA’s suspension in the 2019-2020 season and has remained popular ever since.
Some of the league’s most known and accomplished players stream on Twitch in their spare time. Luca Doncic, Devin Brooker and Alex Caruso all have a dedicated following on the platform, drawing in thousands of viewers.
As one of the world’s most watched leagues, the extortionate wealth of NBA players isn’t surprising. The world’s largest sponsors endorse both the league itself as well as many of its players.
Whilst professionalism does restrict some liberties, NBA stars still live amazing lifestyles.