NBA players are some of the most well-paid people on the planet. The better you play, the higher the chances that you are going to get paid mega money. But stardom also extends beyond the court; many players get sponsorships with brands who write them a nice check in exchange for partnering with them to promote their brand. Sponsorships also extend beyond retirement, and once their careers are over, many NBA stars find investment opportunities and other careers waiting for them. All in all, there are many options for building wealth as an NBA player as long as the player is smart and driven to do so.
How much money did Chris Webber make? In his 15 years in the NBA, Chris Webber accumulated around $178 million in career earnings. Outside of the NBA, contributions to Webber’s wealth include his post-NBA career as a sports broadcaster and TV analyst, as well as his investments in the cannabis industry and NFT space. Webber’s net worth is reported to be between $70-$80 million.
How much money did Chris Webber make as an NBA player?
Chris Webber was drafted by the Golden State Warriors with the #1 overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. Since this was two years before the NBA introduced rookie scale salaries, the Warriors gave Webber a whopping 15-year, $74.4 million contract. However, he opted out after just one season due to an irreparable rift in his relationship with the Warriors coach, Donnie Nelson. In a sign-and-trade deal, Webber was sent to the Washington Bullets. Webber negotiated a new contract with the Bullets, which came out to be $58.5 million over 6 years, making him the 5th–highest paid player in the league that season.
Webber was traded to the Sacramento Kings in 1998, and played out the rest of his contract that he previously signed with the Bullets. In 2001, when Webber became a free agent, he inked a new deal with the Kings, a 7-year, $122.7 million contract, which was just about the maximum the league allowed. Halfway through the 2004-2005 season, the Kings traded Webber to the Philadelphia 76ers. Due to injuries affecting Webber’s play, the 76ers bought out Webber’s contract in January 2007, agreeing to pay the remaining amount on his contract for 1.5 seasons. Webber signed with the Detroit Pistons in 2008, and then with the Golden State Warriors in 2009, for the veteran minimum of $1.2 million; however, this amount was split since Webber played half a season each for both teams. Webber retired at the end of the 2008-2009 season.
In total, Webber amassed $178,230,697 over 15 years in the NBA. The highest earnings Webber had in a single season was $19.125 million, in the 2005-2006 season he spent with the 76ers.
What were Chris Webber’s other sources of income during his time in the NBA?
Webber was a popular player coming out of college, and he was ready for the endorsements as soon as the ink started to dry on his rookie contract. He had a 2-year shoe deal with Nike, which saw a release of his own signature shoe, but Webber and Nike had a falling out. Webber was unhappy that his signature shoes were pricing out the low-income youth they were marketed towards, and also cited violence in sneaker releases that soured his relationship with Nike, who he felt didn’t do enough to respond to his claims. Webber then signed a 3-year deal with FILA and later a short deal with company DaDa, both of whom gave Webber a signature shoe. While the financials for this deal are not known, Webber was a hot prospect for sneaker deals, and it can be presumed that he made a significant amount with his signature shoes.
How did Chris Webber make money after retiring from the NBA?
After retiring from the NBA, Webber quickly transitioned into sports broadcasting and TV analyst positions. He worked with NBA TV, appearing on the program NBA Gametime Live. Webber was also a part of TNT since 2008, often appearing as a guest on the popular Inside the NBA program. He also appeared on Players Only since 2017, and did play-by-play commentary for NBA games as well as NCAA tournament March Madness games. In 2021, Webber left TNT just before the 2021 NBA playoffs, in a reported rift with management. Salary details for Webber’s 13-year tenure with TNT are unknown, although top commentator and analyst positions for basketball can potentially go north of $1 million a year.
Chris Webber has also made business investments with his wealth. His most notable investment is a $100 million that Webber put in a private equity fund that will provide support to minority entrepreneurs to make headway in the legal cannabis industry. Webber has been outspoken about the legality of cannabis, pushing for more awareness: he has long been a proponent of the medical use of cannabis for NBA players and other athletes. Webber has also been vocal regarding the unjust discriminatory attitudes the government and the media has taken against minorities when it comes to cannabis. As such, Webber has fueled his passion for the issue to introduce the private equity fund, which was created in 2021: Webber said, “It’s crucial that we diversify leadership within the cannabis industry and level the playing field for people from our communities. For far too long, minorities have been excessively punished and incarcerated for cannabis while others profited.”
In 2022, Webber entered a partnership with a tech company named Coinllectables, to create NFT collections in the sports and entertainment industries. This partnership is fuelled by Webber’s own collecting habits, as he extensively collects African-American historical art and signature sneakers.
NBA stars often put themselves in a strong financial position in their careers, knowing that every dollar matters, especially when their post-NBA futures are uncertain. However, some often set themselves up for post-NBA career opportunities, which is seen with Chris Webber, who’s had a great career as a TV analyst and sports broadcaster, while also affiliating himself with business opportunities connected to his own passions. Webber is a great example of how an NBA player can leverage their career earnings to set themselves up for the rest of their life.