Who Is the Highest Paid Player in the NBA 2017?

Jimmy Remland
By Jimmy Remland 5 Min Read
5 Min Read

In the fast-paced world of professional basketball, where slam dunks and three-pointers reign supreme, the financial stakes are equally high. The NBA (National Basketball Association) boasts some of the most talented athletes globally, and their salaries reflect their prowess on the court. In this article, we delve into the intriguing question: Who was the highest-paid player in the NBA in 2017?

The Rise of Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry, the sharpshooting point guard for the Golden State Warriors, etched his name into the record books during the 2017 season. His contract negotiations catapulted him to the top of the earnings ladder, making him the highest-paid player that year.

Stephen Curry’s Monumental Contract

Curry’s contract was nothing short of staggering. He inked a 5-year deal worth $201 million, making it the largest contract in NBA history at the time. Let’s break down the numbers:

  • Starting Salary (2017-18 Season): $34,682,550
  • Final Earnings (2021-22 Season): A jaw-dropping $45,780,966

If Curry’s contract continues as anticipated, he is poised to become the first player to surpass the $50 million mark in the 2023-24 season .

The LeBron James Factor

While Curry’s contract was groundbreaking, we cannot overlook the perennial superstar, LeBron James. LeBron consistently ranks among the highest earners in the league. His combination of skill, marketability, and global appeal has translated into lucrative deals both on and off the court.

LeBron’s Earnings

During the 2017 season, LeBron James earned a hefty $30,963,450 . Although not the top earner that year, his overall career earnings remain unmatched. LeBron’s business ventures, endorsements, and savvy investments have contributed significantly to his financial empire.

The Changing Landscape

The NBA’s financial landscape has evolved since 2017. New stars have emerged, and contracts have continued to escalate. However, Curry’s groundbreaking deal remains a testament to the league’s financial prowess.

The Business Beyond the Court: NBA Players’ Earnings

In Part 1 of our exploration into NBA players’ earnings, we dissected Stephen Curry’s monumental contract and LeBron James’ financial prowess. Now, let’s delve deeper into the factors that contribute to NBA players’ bank accounts.

1. Endorsement Deals

While game checks form the bedrock of an NBA player’s income, endorsement deals elevate their earnings to stratospheric levels. Brands clamor to associate with star players, leveraging their on-court excellence and off-court charisma.

The LeBron James Blueprint

LeBron James, often dubbed the “King,” has mastered the art of endorsements. His partnership with Nike birthed the iconic LeBron signature shoe line, which consistently dominates the sneaker market. The LeBron 18, LeBron 19, and other iterations generate millions in revenue annually. In 2017 alone, LeBron’s Nike deal netted him a cool $32 million .

But LeBron’s endorsement portfolio extends beyond footwear. He collaborates with brands like Coca-ColaBeats by Dre, and Blaze Pizza. These partnerships not only boost his earnings but also solidify his status as a global icon.

2. Sneaker Deals

Sneaker culture is a phenomenon, and NBA players are at its epicenter. Their signature kicks become coveted collectibles, transcending the hardwood. Let’s break down some notable sneaker deals:

– Michael Jordan: The GOAT (Greatest of All Time) revolutionized sneaker endorsements. His partnership with Nike birthed the Air Jordan line, a cultural juggernaut. Even in retirement, Jordan’s sneakers continue to fly off shelves.

– Kevin Durant: The KD line by Nike showcases Durant’s versatility. His shoes blend performance and style, appealing to both ballers and fashion enthusiasts.

– Kyrie Irving: Kyrie’s collaboration with Nike resulted in the Kyrie line. These kicks emphasize agility and court control, mirroring Irving’s playing style.

3. Global Appeal

The NBA’s reach extends far beyond American borders. International fans fuel the league’s popularity, and players capitalize on this global appeal.

– Yao Ming: The towering Chinese center paved the way for NBA’s expansion into China. His impact transcended basketball, leading to lucrative deals with brands like Reebok and Visa.

– Giannis Antetokounmpo: The “Greek Freak” hails from Greece but commands a global following. His Nike deal and endorsements with JBL, T-Mobile, and BMO Harris Bank underscore his universal appeal.

4. Business Ventures

NBA players diversify their portfolios beyond the court. They invest in tech startups, real estate, and entertainment ventures. Shaquille O’Neal, for instance, is a savvy entrepreneur with stakes in companies like Google and Papa John’s.


The NBA’s highest-paid player in 2017 was Stephen Curry, but the league’s financial landscape continues to evolve. As new stars emerge and endorsement deals multiply, the race for the top spot remains fiercely competitive.

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