While this is a comprehensive list of the worst contracts in NBA history, it trends towards the league’s most recent years. That, of course, is due to one reason: Michael Jordan. Yup, in a sense, this is all MJ’s fault. As Jordan’s popularity boomed, so did the league’s revenues, thus producing larger contracts. Which is fair. If owners are making more, so should the players who are earning it for them, right? Well that delicate balance reached a tipping point in 1996, when Jordan renegotiated his contract with the Bulls, re-signing for one year at a whopping $30 million. The following year, he re-upped again with Chicago for $33 million.
Sure, Money was underpaid; he generated billions for the league. But his paycheck was right there for the world to see and other agents began to use it as a measuring stick. “If Jordan is worth $33 milli, then my client is surely worth at least….” the reasoning went. Nah, son. He’s not. Michael paid the cost to get paid like the boss. The rest of these cats were just stealing money. But they got away with it, leading to these awful cases of fiscal irresponsibility.
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