There was once a time in professional sports where the players barely made enough money to live off of and many had to work secondary jobs in the offseason just to make ends meet.
But today the reality of athletes struggling to get by are about as long gone as Joe Montana’s credibility after doing those Sketchers commercials.
More recently, sports have become embedded into American culture and television contracts have exploded into billion dollar revenue sources which allow athletes to live comfortably.
When it comes to the NBA, we started along the financial path that has brought us to where we are today in the early eighties.
In 1983, as part of the new collective bargaining agreement and as a way to keep all teams on a level playing field, the NBA implemented a salary cap for the start of the 1984-85 NBA season.
The agreement stipulated that a team could spend a maximum of 53 percent of its gross revenue on player salaries.
In what seems unimaginable in today’s market, the salary cap for the 1984-85’ NBA season was $3.6 million dollars. Over the next 25 years the salary cap has risen incrementally to the $57.7 million dollar cap that was in place for the 2009 NBA season.
Because the NBA salary cap has steadily risen, so have player salaries, and we now find players who make over $20 million dollars just for one season.
While there are an abundance of NBA veterans collecting huge paychecks, there are also young rising stars whose contracts are a bargain compared to their high-priced counterparts.
There’s no doubt that if the players on this list continue their superb play, they will one day be rewarded with a huge contract, but for now they are part of the NBA’s all-value team for the 2009-10 NBA season.