By Robert Stitt
With a league minimum salary of half a million dollars a year, it is possible for any player in the NBA to make serious cash. That said, there are some players who make a whole lot more than others. Most people think that giant salaries are offered as a reward for leading teams to championships. In many cases, however, there are several players who bank a lot of cash and have not yet made it to the finals, let alone won.
Here are eleven of the richest players in the NBA who have never won a championship.
1. New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis is earning $145 million over 5 years and has never reached the championships. He is, by far, the highest paid NBA Athlete who does not hold a championship win.
2. Paul Millsap of the Atlanta Hawks makes over $20 million each season. He’s been to the conference finals twice, but his team has lost both times.
3. Joe Johnson plays for the Brooklyn Nets and earns $20 million a year. Celebrity NetWorth notes that Johnson has played in 87 playoff games throughout his career, including the semifinals in 2009, 2011, and 2014, but the championship has eluded him.
4. San Antonio Spurs’ LaMarcus Aldridge earns over $21 million/year. In 2013-14, the Trailblazers went to the conference semifinal round but lost to San Antonio. Aldridge hopes that now that he is with San Antonio he will finally win.
5. Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets pockets 21,165,675 per season. He has only gone to the post-season twice and lost in the first round both times.
6. The Los Angeles Clippers pay Chris Paul $21,468,695 each season. The Clippers have not gone beyond the conference semifinals since Paul joined them.
7. Los Angeles Clippers’ star DeAndre Jordan may have signed a $21,904,013 contract, but, along with Chris Paul, has not been able to break into the big games.
8. Kevin Love was on the roster of the Cleveland Cavaliers when they went to the finals last year, but his $ 22,642,350 salary was earned on the bench since he was injured and did not play. Lucky for him the NBA doesn’t have a no play, no pay policy.
9. Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies earns $22,642,350 each season. Celebrity NetWorth notes that he was a Defensive Player of the Year and made it to the post-season in each of the last five seasons. He played in 53 games and in 2013 the Grizzlies made it to the NBA conference finals, but lost.
10. Damian Lillard worked out a contract with the Portland Trail Blazers for $24,100,520. He won rookie of the year in 2013 and made it to the conference semifinals in 2014. He has yet to score that championship.
11. One of the best known names on the list, Carmelo Anthony, moved to the New York Knicks from the Denver Nuggets. They offered 24,812,936 per year with hopes a championship would follow him to the team. The Knicks have gone to the post-season three times with Anthony, but lost in the first round twice (2011, 2012) and in the semifinals in 2013.
What is the lesson? You don’t always have to be the champion to make a huge payday.