Inking a three year, $34 million contract last month, Kevin Garnett officially became the highest paid player to ever play the game of basketball. With total career earnings of $328,562,398 (not including endorsements), Garnett shows us all why not going to college isn’t always too bad. But all kidding aside, in just 17 years of playing, KG has made more than Shaquille O’Neal ($292, 198, 327), Kobe Bryant ($279,738,062), Tim Duncan ($224,709,155), Dirk Nowitzki ($204,063,985), Joe Johnson ($198,647,490), Jason Ki– wait a second… Joe Johnson?!?
With $198,647,490 already in the banks for Joe Johnson, the “silent assassin” has earned his spot as the sixth highest paid NBA player in history. Think about that for a minute- a player who’s averaged 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists for his entire career has brought home more money in 12 years than any player in the Hall of Fame, as of today. Obviously, the era in which Joe Johnson plays in is a big factor, now that teams seem to throw cash around every time they see a player they think is promising. But nonetheless, the ridiculous amount of money that Johnson has been given over his short lived career shows nothing more than the fact that he has abused every franchise that he’s played for. Most recently signing a six year, $119 million contract with the Hawks, and having the remainder of the contract (four years/$90 million) rollover to the Brooklyn Nets, Johnson has not produced or played anywhere near worthy of the superstar contract he has attracted. Johnson’s current contract is so horrendous that it makes it seem like the Hawks might have gotten the upper hand in their trade with the Nets. And trust me, it’s pretty hard to say that a team has an upper hand in a trade when they receive Johan Petro as part of the deal.
In no way am I admonishing or belittling Joe Johnson’s accolades or his career in general, but to just realize that he is the sixth highest paid NBA player ever is astonishing, for lack of a better word. There are very few souls out there that would say Kevin Garnett doesn’t deserve every penny of his $328,562,398 contract, and it isn’t hard to see why. Over his career, Garnett has played his way to the Hall of Fame, picking up a championship and an MVP along the way. When I look at Joe Johnson’s career in comparison to Garnett’s, it actually seems like a joke. Nets fans all over will just have to pray that Johnson justifies his contact his these upcoming years, which seems close to impossible at this point. Hey, at least Deron Williams’ contract is only five years, $100 million!…..