Most basketball superstars earn a great deal of their money through endorsements. Retired professional basketball player Kevin Garnett was different compared to most. Garnett played 21 seasons with the NBA, and he earned a total salary of $291 million throughout those years. That’s an impressive amount of money; but when you look at his endorsements, he only made a total of $4 million out of them. During his time with the NBA, Garnettt didn’t have a ton of endorsements compared to other players in the league. Before we look at what he’s been up to after his retirement from playing basketball, let’s take a look at how he got started to begin with.
Kevin Garnett got drafted straight out of high school into the 5th overall position during the 1995 NBA Draft. Among his peers that year were Jerry Stackhouse (3rd overall), Rasheed Wallace (4th overall), Damon Stoudamire (7th overall), and Antonio McDyess (2nd overall). He was among a handful of tremendous ballers, but Kevin was quick to shine. He’s highly recognizable on the court with his stature. Aside from that, his playing style was hard to deny. He’s actually considered to be one of the greatest power forwards the league had ever seen. He was drafted into the Timberwolves, and he led the team to the playoffs consecutively for 8 years starting with his rookie year. In 2004, he received the NBA MVP Award during the Western Conference Finals. He won a few other accolades with the Timberwolves before he moved on to a bigger stage.
In 2007, Garnett became part of a blockbuster trade that landed him with the Boston Celtics. During that first year of being with the Celtics, his team went on to the championship. He’d end up staying with the Celtics for about 5 seasons before getting traded to the Brooklyn Nets with fellow Celtics Paul Pierce in 2013. Just a couple of years later in 2015, Garnett would move back to Minnesota, and he eventually retired with the Timberwolves in 2016.
The concise version of Garnett’s career leaves so many important details unmentioned. The fact is Garnett became one of the best players in the league, and his peers looked up to him in many ways. As recognizable as Garnett was, he still didn’t land too many endorsements. Many claim that it’s because Garnett is just not quite marketable enough, but big fans agree that Garnett probably just wanted to focus more on the game. Garnett retired partly because his knee was starting to bother him. He probably would’ve kept on playing if his body felt better. It was definitely a wise decision for Garnett to call it quits when he could and on his own terms.
After basketball players retire from the sport, there’s a big responsibility on the part of ex-pros to keep making money. No matter how much money players amass during their basketball career, it’s all still money—and money runs out eventually. Retired players such as Kevin Garnett can’t just very well rely on their savings. Since he didn’t have many endorsements, Garnett had to figure out a different way to make money.
When he retired in 2016, Garnett was hired to become part of the crew for TNT’s Inside the NBA. It was a decent fit, and it’s always nice to see actual ex-pros explain and break down the game from a player’s perspective. Network executives saw his potential, however, and gave him his own segment called Area 21. This happened just a month after he joined Inside the NBA. Area 21 was essentially a talk show that tackled anything and everything about the latest and most current in basketball. Rasheed Wallace was a regular guest on the show, and the two did an incredible job with their debates and with using the cuss button as well.
The following year in 2017, Garnett went back into the basketball court but only as a consultant for the Los Angeles Clippers. It was his ways of helping all these young athletes become better versions of themselves. The idea stuck somehow because around the same time, Garnett also consulted for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Throughout the years, Garnett has tried to be smart with his money. He set out to invest his money, and he had a solid portfolio. However, he lost quite a bit of his money due to some investments that were just neglected. In fact, Garnett actually lost a total sum of $77 million. After losing that much money, Garnett had to let go of a few things in his life that he obtained when he still had a ton of money. The first to go was his 7-acre property in Malibu. California is expensive, and Malibu is even more expensive than the average home their on the wet coast. However, the house has been halfway done for many years now, and it has also cost Garnett a large amount of money for renovations. The property is now for sale for $20 million.
Apart from the work that he’s doing on television, Garnett is just enjoying his retirement. Garnett and his ex-wife Brandi Padilla may have divorced in 2018, but they still take care of their 2 daughters together. Garnett is spending as much time as he can with his daughters. The 43-year old retired NBA star is still quite young, and he’s still exploring other avenues into making money. Garnett is actually starring in a film this year called Uncut Gems, which is a story set in the diamond district of New York. The movie is currently in post production and is guaranteed to make Garnett even a little bit of money. It’s unclear whether acting is Garnett’s future. We’ll probably find out after the movie is released.
Written by Liz Flynn
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