Sports agents get paid a lot of money for getting their players the best deal they can. More often than not, teams end up overpaying or agreeing to weird clauses to get the best players in the world to join their squads. However, that’s not always the case.
In fact, some subpar or below the average players have signed incredibly weird clauses throughout the course of NBA history. Superstars, on the other hand, make some bizarre demands that teams have no other choice but to meet if they want them to sign.
With that in mind, today we’re going to put together the ultimate list of the weirdest and most ridiculous contract clauses the NBA has ever seen. So, if you’re trying to make it in sports business, you better take note of the following paragraphs:
15. Matt Bonner’s Shooting Clause
Matt Bonner earned a reputation for being lights out shooter from beyond the arc. He didn’t bring anything to the table but his veteran leadership and that was just about enough for the San Antonio Spurs to keep him around for a very long time.
So, Bonner had a bit of an incentive during the 2010-11 season to keep his numbers up. Apparently, if the combined total of his three-point shooting percentage, free-throw shooting percentage, and field-goal percentage added up to 169, he’d end up getting a $100,000 bonus. Sadly, the total added up to just 157.
14. Nick Collison For MVP
Nick Collison was never known for being much of an impactful player. He spent his entire career with the Seattle Supersonics / Oklahoma City Thunder organization as their locker room leader and little more but still, they had plenty of faith in his talents.
That’s why Collison and the Thunder agreed upon a clause that was pretty reasonable for other players but somewhat odd for him. Thing is, the team would have to pay him an extra $100,000 if he were to win an MVP award. That’s a great deal for the team.
13. Sweat It Out, Mario Chalmers
Mario Chalmers had plenty of ups and downs throughout his career in the NBA. In fact, the word around the league is that LeBron James wasn’t fond of his game and that they were always some serious concerns about him in the franchise.
That explains why the Miami Heat added a $19,580 bonus for Chalmers just to make him show to Summer League and go through a team “skill/conditioning program,” as it seemed like he was pretty out of shape before the start of the season.
12. Bad Luck Baron Davis
Baron Davis was one of the most electrifying players in the league in his prime. Every team in the world wanted to have him on board so the Clippers made sure to keep him around by adding a huge financial incentive in his contract.
Given his history with injuries, Davis was bound to receive a $1 million payout if he were to play at least 70 games and the Clippers won at least 30 of them in the 2009 season. He ended up making 75 caps for the team but they only won 29 games. Tough luck.
11. Adonal Foye, Finals MVP
Chances are most of you haven’t even heard about Adonal Foye and for good reason. He was never a starter throughout his NBA career and only averaged 4.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game on 17 minutes a night.
Even so, Foye had a lot of confidence in his game. That showed on the contract clause he demanded the Warriors, as he asked to get an extra $500,000 if he ever won an MVP award, plus an extra $500,000 if he were to be named Finals MVP.
10. Overachieving Tony Battie
Tony Battie got overpaid through most of his career despite never being a star. In fact, he had a $6 million base salary in 2009 when he joined the New Jersey Nets but he still had the nerve to add plenty of financial incentives on his contract.
Apparently, the Nets would have to pay him an extra $100,000 if he played in 50 games and averaged at least 8 rebounds, another $100,000 if he averaged 5 free-throw attempts and an extra $100,000 if he was active for 50 games and his team made the playoffs. He played just 15 games.
9. You Better Pay Larry Hughes
Larry Hughes had bounced around the league long enough. He didn’t care where he had to play anymore and only had two things in his mind: making money and winning an NBA Championship, which was perfectly summed up on his contract clause.
Hughes demanded that he got a $1.6 million bonus if the team he played on – regardless of which team it was – won at least 55 games that season. He ended up playing a grand total of 45 games with the New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets.
8. Luke Ridnour, Defensive Player Of The Year
Luke Ridnour was a subpar defender for most of his career. Notably, he ended up with a -0.4 box plus-minus, 11.4 defensive win shares, and averages of 1.0 steals and 0.2 blocks per game. He was a solid role player but definitely not a stopper.
That’s why it was so strange to see him sign a deal with the Seattle Supersonics in 2006 that included a $1.5 million bonus if he were ever to win the Defensive Player of the Year award. Needless to say, he didn’t even come close to that goal.
7. Slim Baby Davis
Glen Davis was one of the most promising players in the world coming out of college. I mean, he was pretty raw on both ends of the floor but the physical traits were clearly there. He was the strongest young man you’ll ever find but that didn’t always work on his favor.
That’s why the Boston Celtics tried to keep Big Baby on a strict diet. Apparently, the former LSU player was going to cash in on a $500,000 payout if he were to make an unspecified weight at certain points in the season. I wonder if he made it.
6. Chris Webber’s Rookie Deal
Every franchise wants to tie their young superstars forever but the salary cap and the current structure of the CBA just doesn’t allow it. Back in 1994, however, that wasn’t the case, so teams could sign players to lifelong deals if they wanted to.
That’s why Chris Webber agreed to a 15-year, $74-million contract with the Golden State Warriors during his rookie season. Still, he ended up opting out of his deal after just one season, thus becoming a free agent and joining the Washington Bullets / Wizards.
5. Bill Walton, The Boss
NBA players and athletes overall make some eccentric demands from time to time, especially if they’re among the best in the world. That was the case with Bill Walton when the San Diego Clippers wanted to sign him entering the 1979-80 season.
Apparently, The Big Red refused to sign his contract with the Clippers unless they got him 8 tickets for every single one of Bruce Springsteen’s 7 sold-out shows at the Sports Arena. Hey, we don’t mess around when it comes to The Boss either, so props to Walton for that.
4. Scottie Pippen’s Terrible Contract
Scottie Pippen came from a low-income family. He had 11 siblings, his father was paralyzed due to a stroke, and one of his brothers also ended up in a wheelchair on a wrestling accident. That’s why he couldn’t afford to just get hurt and let his career go to waste.
Pippen put his family first and signed one of the worst contracts in NBA history. He agreed to a 7-year, $18-million deal with the Chicago Bulls that made him the most underpaid superstar of all time. He was the 6th highest-paid player in the Bulls’ payroll at some time.
3. Magic Johnson Forever
Magic Johnson was quite a durable player. He rarely missed any games and was always eager to suit up for the Los Angeles Lakers. He knew right away that he wanted to wear the purple and gold for life, and he proved it with a contract extension.
Back in 1981 (his second year in the league), Magic signed a 25-year $25 million dollar extension with the Lakers running from 1984 all the way to 2009. He retired in 1991 due to his HVI diagnosis and briefly came back for the 1995-96 season.
2. Michael Jordan Loves The Game
If Michael Jordan wants to play then he’s going to play. You just can’t tell the GOAT what to do, let alone when to hoop. I mean, you literally – or legally – couldn’t stop him from putting on some Air Jordan’s and playing any time he wanted.
Jordan had a ‘Love for the game’ clause on his contract that allowed him to play pickup basketball whenever, wherever he wanted. He could also attend any sort of exhibition game of his choosing without the Bulls being able to interfere.
1. Michael Jordan’s Baseball Salary
The Chicago Bulls wouldn’t be where they are as a franchise if it wasn’t for Michael Jordan. He turned them around from a mediocre team to the most feared dynasty of the early ’90s, so franchise owner Jerry Reinsdorf wanted to pay him back for his contributions.
Thus, Reinsdorf agreed to pay him the $4 million dollars he was due to get paid for playing basketball after his first retirement. Jordan was getting that much money for playing for the White Sox’ double-A affiliate, the Birmingham Barons.