Back in the day, it was insane to think that an NBA player could’ve earned 25 or 30 million dollars per year, let alone 40 million like Stephen Curry. However, with no salary cap, players could make as much money as what the team’s management was willing to pay them.
Michael Jordan sure made the most of that opportunity and him being the greatest player on earth, made 30 and 33 million dollars over his last couple of seasons with the Chicago Bulls, which would translate to roughly 80 million nowadays.
Scottie Pippen, on the other hand, was often the odd man out when it came to receiving his paycheck. Back in 1997, he was 6th in Bulls’ salary despite being arguably the 2nd best player in the league and a pivotal part of their dynasty.
Pippen had signed a 7-year 18 million dollar deal that granted him roughly 2.7 million a year, which was laughable even at that time. Still, he ended up making more money on the court than Michael Jordan ever did. How’s that possible? Let’s break it down:
For starters, Scottie played 17 years, while Jordan played 15 seasons. Also, other than those final two seasons with the Bulls, Michael never earned more than 4 million dollars with the Bulls. He didn’t even make more than $850,000 until his fourth season in the league, as per Basketball Reference.
Moreover, once Pippen was finally out of the Bulls he made sure to get paid. The Houston Rockets gave him $11,000,000 for one season and then he amassed $66,356,730 million over a 4-year span with the Portland Trail Blazers. Talking about making up for the lost time.
Pippen is one of the greatest, most underrated players ever and he was vastly underpaid through most of his productive years. Blazers’ fans may not be much of a fan of him and the money they paid him, but justice was finally served.