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The ultimate NBA career stat: Money

March 9, 2011 |  8:30 am

Richlakers There were two smart stories in The Times on Tuesday about NBA players and money:
Mike Bresnahan’s piece on NBA Players' Assn. president Derek Fisher, and Jerry Crowe’s profile of former Trojans star Harold Miner.

Because of a possible lockout by NBA owners this summer during new labor negotiations, Fisher said he’s advised players all season to conserve their cash in case their paychecks stop coming.

Meanwhile, Crowe’s story pointed out that Miner, who played four seasons in the NBA and retired in 1996, has literally retired from the workforce. Miner has not worked since he stopped playing, thanks to some smart investments. He earned $5.3 million in player salary and $14 million from a Nike deal.

That got me wondering about a career stat rarely talked about: lifetime earnings as a player.

So I went through the Lakers current roster, and using stats from assembled the career salaries for each player through this season. The lesson? If you stay in the league long enough, you can build a real fortune.

I warn you, there are some are eye-popping numbers:

Player; NBA seasons; career salary.

--Ron Artest; 12; $58.4 million.
--Matt Barnes; 8; $9.4 million.
--Steve Blake; 8; $20.8 million.
--Shannon Brown; 5; $7.0 million.
--Kobe Bryant; 15; $196.2 million.
--Andrew Bynum; 6; $35.1 million.
--Derrick Caracter; 1; $473,604.
--Devin Ebanks, 1; $473,604.
--Derek Fisher; 15; $57.8 million.
--Pau Gasol; 10; $99.6 million.
--Lamar Odom; 12; $98.9 million.
--Theo Ratliff; 16; $102.4 million.
--Joe Smith; 16; $61.2 million.
--Luke Walton; 8; $22.1 million.

-- Barry Stavro

Photo: Lamar Odom, Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol and Ron Artest catch a breath during against the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals last spring. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times