During my daily browsing of Sports Internet® yesterday, I came across a Reddit post that stopped me mid-scroll:
Wait...what? How is this possible? Kevin Garnett didn't start that much earlier than Tim Duncan (two years). Kevin Garnett was great, but he wasn't necessarily (or at all) a better player than Tim Duncan. Hell, Timmy ended up not only winning four more rings than KG, but has since been crowned the consensus "Best Power Forward of All-Time" by everyone from Jerry Sloan (who coached Karl Malone) to the hyperbolic clowns in your barbershop. How is it possible that KG made so much more money?
Well, most of it has to do with the timing of Garnett's contracts. While some players (like Duncan) were taking pay cuts to stay in one place/keep their teams competitive, KG was getting his six-year, $126 million deal grandfathered in under the old collective bargaining agreement prior to the 1998 NBA lockout. Long story short: not only was Kevin Garnett getting heavier checks than EVERYBODY for a while, but every new deal he signed happened to come at the perfect time. Never earning less than eight figures since 1998? Y'all wanna live KG's lifestyle.
So we decided to make a visual comparison between Garnett and his wealthy NBA peers. All the greats—Jordan, Shaq, LeBron—made great money. But KG-level money? Not quite. Without adjusting for inflation (you hear me, Comment Section?), here are 15 NBA Legends Who Made Way Less Money Than Kevin Garnett.