Pick the highest-paid man, based on total playing-career compensation (not commercial endorsements), in the history of the National Basketball Association: a) Michael Jordan, b) LeBron James, c) Kobie Bryant, d) a former Mauldin High School star.
Correct answer: d). And while that ex-Mauldin (not Dallas) Maverick played his final high school season for Chicago’s Farragut Academy before jumping straight to the NBA, the Greenville native clearly ranks among the most accomplished athletes ever born and raised in our state.
Mr. Garnett, who though listed at 6 feet, 11 is widely presumed to be at least seven feet tall, recently signed a three-year contract extension with the Boston Celtics.
According to ESPN, that $34 million deal will boost his career earnings to $325 million, eclipsing the $292 million record set by his even taller — and much heavier — pal, 7-3 Shaquille O’Neal.
But while “Shaq” is retired as a player, “KG” is still going strong. After turning 36 in May, the 14-time all-star overcame nagging injuries to lead the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals, forcing eventual NBA champ Miami to a seventh game.
Among the many other high points of a stellar career that makes him a shoo-in for the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame: Mr. Garnett won the NBA’s most valuable player award while still a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. And he helped Boston to the 2008 league title, scoring 26 points in the clinching victory over the dreaded Los Angeles Lakers.
However, if you’re still having trouble comprehending how anybody could be worth $325 million — or how much money that is — ponder this off-court statistic:
Our federal government, on its current, unsustainable pace, spends that amount in roughly 45 minutes.
Heck, a single NBA game lasts 48 minutes — without overtime.