A Jarring Look At How Much The Biggest NBA Salaries Have Changed In 25 Years

It is no surprise that salaries in professional sports continue to rise. But looking back to how much players made just 25 years ago shows how drastically salaries have changed.

Recently, Darren Rovell of ESPN came across a list of the 15 highest-paid players in the NBA during the 1988-89 season as originally reported in Sport Magazine.

Those 15 highest-played players 25 years ago had an average salary of just $US1.9 million or approximately $US3.7 million in today’s dollars. For comparison, the 15 highest-paid players in the NBA this season will make an average salary of $US20.3 million.

On the next few pages we will take a look at the 15 highest-paid players in 1988-89 and how they compare to the current highest-paid players in the NBA (2013-14 salary information via Spotrac.com).

#15 Joe Barry Carroll (New Jersey Nets) and Zach Randolph (Memphis Grizzlies)

Joe Barry Carroll's 1988-89 salary: $US1.4 million

Adjusted for inflation: $US2.8 million

Zach Randolph's 2013-14 salary: $US17.8 million

#14 Dominique Wilkins (Atlanta Hawks) and Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Dominique Wilkins's 1988-89 salary: $US1.5 million

Adjusted for inflation: $US2.9 million

Kevin Durant's 2013-14 salary: $US17.8 million

#13 Robert Parish (Boston Celtics) and Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings)

Robert Parish's 1988-89 salary: $US1.5 million

Adjusted for inflation: $US3.0 million

Rudy Gay's 2013-14 salary: $US17.9 million

#12 Danny Manning (Los Angeles Clippers) and Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets)

Danny Manning's 1988-89 salary: $US1.5 million

Adjusted for inflation: $US3.0 million

Deron Williams's 2013-14 salary: $US18.5 million

#11 Moses Malone (Atlanta Hawks) and Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers)

Moses Malone's 1988-89 salary: $US1.5 million

Adjusted for inflation: $US3.0 million

Chris Paul's 2013-14 salary: $US18.7 million

#10 Charles Barkley (Philadelphia 76ers) and Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat)

Charles Barkley's 1988-89 salary: $US1.5 million

Adjusted for inflation: $US3.0 million

Dwyane Wade's 2013-14 salary: $US18.7 million

#9 Jack Sikma (Milwaukee Bucks) and Chris Bosh (Miami Heat)

Jack Sikma's 1988-89 salary: $US1.6 million

Adjusted for inflation: $US3.2 million

Chris Bosh's 2013-14 salary: $US19.1 million

#8 Alex English (Denver Nuggets) and LeBron James (Miami Heat)

Alex English's 1988-89 salary: $US1.7 million

Adjusted for inflation: $US3.3 million

LeBron James's 2013-14 salary: $US19.1 million

#7 Akeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets) and Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers)

Akeem Olajuwon's 1988-89 salary: $US1.8 million

Adjusted for inflation: $US3.6 million

Pau Gasol's 2013-14 salary: $US19.3 million

#6 Larry Bird (Boston Celtics) and Dwight Howard (Houston Rockets)

Larry Bird's 1988-89 salary: $US1.8 million

Adjusted for inflation: $US3.6 million

Dwight Howard's 2013-14 salary: $US20.5 million

#5 Ralph Sampson (Golden State Warriors) and Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)

Ralph Sampson's 1988-89 salary: $US2.0 million

Adjusted for inflation: $US3.9 million

Carmelo Anthony's 2013-14 salary: $US21.4 million

#4 Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls) and Joe Johnson (Brooklyn Nets)

Michael Jordan's 1988-89 salary: $US2.2 million

Adjusted for inflation: $US4.2 million

Joe Johnson's 2013-14 salary: $US21.5 million

#3 Magic Johnson (Los Angeles Lakers) and Amar'e Stoudemire (New York Knicks)

Magic Johnson's 1988-89 salary: $US2.5 million

Adjusted for inflation: $US4.9 million

Amar'e Stoudemire's 2013-14 salary: $US21.7 million

#2 Patrick Ewing (New York Knicks) and Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks)

Patrick Ewing's 1988-89 salary: $US2.8 million

Adjusted for inflation: $US5.4 million

Dirk Nowitzki's 2013-14 salary: $US22.7 million

#1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Los Angeles Lakers) and Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 1988-89 salary: $US3.0 million

Adjusted for inflation: $US5.9 million

Kobe Bryant's 2013-14 salary: $US30.5 million

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