Top 100 NBA Career Salaries – The Muggings

The good folks over at WarriorsWorld tweeted a very interesting list recently – the top 100 NBA career salaries of all-time.  And, not surprisingly, there are some truly hideous names on the list.  Whether it was gaudy scoring numbers or the old adage that “you can’t teach height”, some players were able to convince NBA GMs to spend an exorbitant amount of money to acquire (or keep) their services.

So which players mugged their respective teams the worst?  Our choices are below:

Gilbert Arenas – $119,906,799 (43rd)

The Mugging: 2008 – $111 million over six years
The Victim: The Washington Wizards

Who could have guessed that signing an unpredictable player (on and off the court) with a serious injury history to a huge contract would blow up in a team’s face?  The crazy part – Arenas turned down an even more lucrative deal with the Wizards to allow them the ability to sign other players.  Agent Zero ended up playing only 55 more games for the Wiz.

Allan Houston – $117,556,500 (44th)

The Mugging: 2001 – $100 million over six years
The Victim: The New York Knicks

A $100 million max contract extension for a 30-year-old who had never made an All-Star Team at that point (and never would)?  Couldn’t be anyone but James Dolan and the Knicks, now could it?!

Brian Grant – $109,842,052 (51st)

The Mugging: 2000 – $86 million over seven years
The Victim: The Miami Heat

You can’t question Pat Riley’s success in basketball, but $86 million for a bench player who averaged 7 points and 6 boards the year before?

Antoine Walker – $108,142,015 (54th)

The Mugging: 1999 – $71 million over six years
The Victim: The Boston Celtics

The sad part?  All of that $100 million plus has been blown by Walker – plus more.

Steve Francis – $103,501,131 (60th)

The Mugging: 2003 – $80 million over six years
The Victim: The Houston Rockets

Stevie Franchise didn’t quite live up to his billing for Houston, now did he?  No All-NBA appearances.  No All-Star Game selections.  Lots of money, though.  The people of Vancouver shouldn’t feel so bad that he stiffed them on draft night.

Jalen Rose – $102,438,250 (64th)

The Mugging: 2000 – $93 million over seven years
The Victim: The Indiana Pacers

$93 million?!  That rose doesn’t smell so sweet.

Theo Ratliff – $102,351,958 (65th)

The Muggings: 1999 – $61 million over seven years; 2004 – $35 million over three years
The Victims: The Philadelphia 76ers and The Portland Trailblazers

Need further proof that it pays to be tall?!

Michael Redd – $101,991,325 (66th)

The Mugging: 2005 – $90 million over six years
The Victim: The Milwaukee Bucks

Need further proof that scoring is overvalued and overpaid?!

Damon Stoudamire – $99,672,198 (71st)

The Mugging: 1999 – $81 million over seven years
The Victim: The Portland Trailblazers

For those keeping track at home (and I know you all are), Mighty Mouse made over $1.4 million per inch of height over his career.

Erick Dampier – $97,963,871 (73rd)

The Mugging: 2004 – $73 million over seven years 
The Victim: The Dallas Mavericks

Oh, the joys of being (almost) seven feet tall.

Not-So Honourable Mention:

Vin BakerLatrell Sprewell, Larry HughesJerry Stackhouse, Juwan Howard


About Jeff Fox

Jeff Fox is Mr. Manifesto - the Supreme Leader and evil mind behind The Hoops Manifesto, The MMA Manifesto, & A Dry Heat.