In the NBA, it seriously pays to be a major talent. Contract extensions are something that most players dream about—it means their specific franchise has faith in their abilities.
There are some moments when a lump sum of cash brought zero results, though. Here are five NBA ballers with some of the biggest contracts ever—but did they manage to make a huge impact for their respective teams? Read on.
The Eighth Wonder Of The World
Kobe Bryant is one of the hottest talents in the NBA. While he went through a major sexual allegation case in 2014, he was still able to sign a seven-year contract lasting him until 2011. Of course, he extended his contract a couple times before his retirement at the end of the 2015–2016 season.
His original seven-year deal was worth $136.4 million. Unlike his first eight seasons with the Lakers, his final 12 years in the franchise only brought two NBA Championships and a ton of injuries. He did walk away with a plethora of NBA records that won’t be broken for a long time.
J.O. In The House
After four years with the Portland Trail Blazers, Jermaine O’Neal was traded to the Indiana Pacers. During his seven years with the team, he earned nearly $127 million.
Unfortunately, nothing came out of a massive contract aside from six appearances at the NBA All-Star Game. His nagging injuries forced the team to send him to the Toronto Raptors in the 2008 NBA Draft.
The Big Ticket
Kevin Garnett was one of the leading stars of the Minnesota Timberwolves. In 1997, he extended his contract to one worth $126 million. Critics called this move dangerous as it would prevent the Timberwolves from signing anyone else. The anger over his extension even led to a lockout in the 1998-1999 season.
Eventually, the Timberwolves would kick themselves repeatedly, as they had nothing to show for such a huge contract. They traded Garnett to the Celtics in 2007, but the star would have the last laugh. That following season, he led the Celtics to their first NBA Championship in 22 years.
The Big Fundamental
Due to winning two NBA Championships as part of the “Twin Towers” duo, Tim Duncan was offered a seven-year contract extension worth $122 million. The longtime Spurs star delivered the goods with two additional NBA Championships in 2005 and 2007.
Seven years after the Spurs’ last NBA Finals appearance, Duncan brought them another Championship victory. He was the only player to have taken part in all five of their Finals victories.
After seven years with the Toronto Raptors, Chris Bosh signed a six-year contract with the Miami Heat worth nearly $110 million. During his time with the team, he led them to back to back NBA Championships in 2012 and 2013 and earned them four straight conference titles from 2011 through 2014.
While Bosh is no longer with the team due to a possible career-ending illness, his number 1 jersey will be retired in honor of his work.