Usually, when we see something that involves rich celebrities, stars, or athletes, we’ll come across lists or videos of their outrageous purchases. While at least some of the following athletes are most likely to have made an appearance or two in these sort of collaborations, that’s not what they are known for here.
We’re certainly not saying that the articles of clothing these uber famous athletes are wearing don’t cost a lot of money; there are plenty of designer t-shirts that cost thousands of dollars to be seen on these stars. What we’re saying is that these outfit choices look like something any everyday person might wear. As anyone will note, there isn’t an excess of blinding jewelry or extravagant threads and there aren’t abstract avant-garde pieces meant to steal the spotlight like there would be at the Met Ball.
From billionaires like Michael Jordan to athletes nicknamed “The Dream” and “The Glove,” these NBA all-stars really know how to dress in style. Whether it’s a pair of jeans, a basic button-up, a sweatshirt, or a regular tee, each one of these athlete’s looks reminds us of things we have in our own closet. That means anyone can easily mimic their favorite NBA player’s style or can rest assured that the rich and famous are just like the rest of us. Regardless of the amount of money they’ve made or will make in the future, these 20 basketball players dress like an average Joe.
20 Hakeem Olajuwon
This man is considered to be one of the best centers to ever play the game of basketball. Hakeem Olajuwon, a.k.a. “The Dream,” played center for both the Houston Rockets as well as the Toronto Raptors. He moved from his home country of Nigeria to play for Guy Lewis at the University of Houston where he took the Cougars to the Final Four three times!
This all-star athlete was then drafted by the Houston Rockets in the 1984 draft. The Rockets had clearly made an excellent decision since “The Dream” took the team to the NBA Championships back-to-back in 1994 and 1995. Olajuwon is the only NBA athlete in history to have received the NBA MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and the Finals MVP awards all in the same season. In 2008, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and in 2016 he was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Hakeem’s net worth is $200 million as of January 2018.
Of course, that is more money than most of us will see in a lifetime, but this athlete isn’t all about throwing it back in our faces. He makes clothing choices just like the rest of us and enjoys hanging out in a long sleeve button up with a pair of jeans.
19 David Robinson
Instead of splitting his career up and playing with two teams, David Robinson decided to go a different route and maintained his relationship with the San Antonio Spurs throughout his entire basketball career. Before he became an athlete, Robinson served the United States in the Navy, which earned him the nickname “The Admiral.” Also seen as one of the greatest centers of all time, David’s accomplishments are almost too many to mention. Not only has he won an Olympic gold medal twice, but he’s a ten-time NBA All-Star, NBA MVP, two-time NBA Champion, AND a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.
Robinson’s Legend Profile on NBA.com says that, although the end of his third season was disappointing because of his injury, he “established himself among the best in the league” during his first two and a half seasons on the court.
While it may seem a little strange that this athlete came from the Navy, he’s the first to do so. Robinson’s history with basketball is a funny one. When David’s dad, who was also in the Navy, and his family settled down in Virginia, David excelled in both his academic work as well as in most sports, except for basketball. He certainly tried his hand at the sport but soon quit. Thankfully, Robinson did eventually make his way onto the basketball court where he found his talent and now has a net worth of $200 million. Just like Hakeem, he chooses to dress casually with a simple button-up.
18 Yao Ming
Before this larger than life giant played for American basketball team, the Houston Rockets, Yao Ming was the star athlete of a Chinese basketball team called the Shanghai Sharks. His transition stateside wasn’t flawless. In fact, some of the then-Rockets actually wanted to make the trade for Lamar Odom instead. Even though Ming went into his NBA debut without scoring, the world became accustomed to him scoring with either hand, from either side of the basket, and as Grantland says, “from enough angles to fill up the pages of a geometry book.” Since then, he has been selected to start for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Games eight times and was a part of the NBA All-Star Game five times.
In 2009, he helped lead the Rockets in their win of the first-round series in the 2009 postseason, which had been the Rocket’s first playoff series win since 1997.
Yao Ming did, unfortunately, announce his retirement just two years later in 2011, after a series of foot and ankle injuries. Even though he didn’t stay in the game quite as long as some of his other teammates, Ming still brought in enough money to make his net worth $120 million. However, just like the others, he picks out the same clothes as the rest of us average Joes.
17 Harrison Barnes
Back in 2009, Barnes was known as the best high-school basketball player in the whole country, at least according to The Atlantic. It seems the rest of the country thought so too since schools were lining up to take him out and show him what they had to offer. Even though he had lunch with the chancellor at UCLA, met with the dean of the law school at Duke University, and had met various other talents, it wasn’t until Harrison met with University of South Carolina’s alumni, Michael Jordan that he chose where he would be attending college and playing ball. He was now on the Tar Heel Team.
In 2012, he was drafted into the NBA and although he worked out with four other teams, he was selected 7th overall by the Golden State Warriors.
Harrison then had some ups and downs over the next few years, becoming a reserved player after the arrival of Andre Iguodala and then taking center stage again under new head coach, Steve Kerr. In July 2016, Barnes was offered a $94 million dollar contract with the Dallas Mavericks, which he accepted and signed. Although there were some people out there who scuffed at the measly offer, there are plenty more Americans who wouldn’t dream of turning that kind of money down. Even though he’s a millionaire, he still dresses casually with an Adidas shirt while on vacation in Rome.
16 Tim Duncan
He may be retired now, but Tim Duncan had a 19-year long run with the San Antonio Spurs, and he played a good game. Often considered to be the most powerful forward of all time, Duncan is the only player to have been selected as both the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams for THIRTEEN consecutive seasons. In addition to that incredible feat, he is a five-time NBA Champion, two-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA Finals MVP, an NBA All-Star Game MVP, and a fifteen-time NBA All-Star. With all of that talent, it’s easy to see why his net worth is $130 million. Duncan has a psychology degree and created the Tim Duncan Foundation which helps raise health awareness and funds multiple sports programs for youth around America.
He, unlike some of his fellow teammates, is considered quiet and humble.
In an interview with HoopsHype, David Robinson goes on to say that Tim Duncan joining the team was “probably the best thing that ever happened to [him].” Not only did the team win championships, but they seemed to reach each of their long-term goals with Duncan by their side; he was the “last piece of the puzzle.” This swimmer turned BBall Star excelled at the sport even though he didn’t turn to the game until well into the ninth grade. Even so, he’s just a t-shirt and jeans sort of guy.
15 Shaquille O’Neal
One of the most popular and well-known basketball players is none other than Shaquille O'Neal. According to WealthyGorilla, his net worth is $400 million, as of 2018. Now, that large sum of money comes from his multitude of endorsements and other odd jobs, but with that much money, it’s a wonder he doesn’t walk around in 24K gold shirts with pants just as glorious to match. Instead, you’ll catch this guy wearing the same things as everyone else. Shaquille, otherwise known as “Shaq,” is retired now but you can still find him analyzing sports on Inside the NBA. O’Neal was one of only three to win NBA MVP, All-Star Game MVP, and Finals MVP all in the same year.
Of course, he has a multitude of other accomplishments including being elected into both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the FIBA Hall of Fame. Shaq is a man of many talents. He has released not one but four rap albums, with the first going platinum, and has appeared or starred in a number of movies. Even though he has strayed from the court to pursue different endeavors in recent years, Shaq is known for breaking records and setting new standards in the NBA.
14 Kevin Garnett
Garnett is one of the players in this piece who have specialized in more than one position in the NBA. Kevin is not just talented as a power forward but as a center as well. As one might suspect, Garnett showed talent right out of the gate when he became the first NBA player to be drafted directly out of high school for the past 20 years, back when he entered the 1995 NBA draft. He then spent 12 years with the Minnesota Timberwolves where he led the team to eight consecutive playoff appearances.
After that, he joined the Boston Celtics in 2007 and in 2013 he was traded again and ended up playing for the Brooklyn Nets. In 2015, he went back to playing ball for Minnesota and a year after that he announced his retirement from the sport. After his retirement, GQ gave Kevin the title of being one of the “best hosts on TV” for his segment “Area 21” on Inside the NBA. Business Insider lists his net worth as $326 million, making him one of the richest players mentioned in this article. Still, he dresses like your average guy in a button-up and a pair of jeans.
13 Chandler Parsons
If you didn’t know the name Chandler Parsons because of his skill with a basketball and a netted hoop, you might just know the name from his time as NBA’s #1 stud. TMZ claims that he is indeed settling down with model girlfriend, Cassie Amato, and becoming a “one-woman man,” but that wasn't always the case, he had a reputation for being a player. Before making it big with the Houston Rockets, Chandler first made a name for himself in basketball with the Florida Gators. He was the very first Gator to be named SEC Player of the Year back in 2011, the same year he was drafted by the Rockets. In January 2014, Parsons set the NBA record for the most three-pointers made in a half when he made ten in the second half of a game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Because of him, the team also set the record for the most three-pointers made in a regular season game. Parsons then went on to play for the Dallas Mavericks after being offered a $46 million dollar contract, and after that, he played for the Memphis Grizzlies until a partially torn meniscus made him watch the game from the sidelines. He may not make as much money as some of these other athletes but he could wear incredibly expensive clothes if he chose to. As it turns out, he boards the plane in the comfiest outfit he could find, just like we would.
12 Ray Allen
Ray Allen is a former NBA player with 18 seasons notched on his belt of experience. He has played with some of the most beloved teams in America, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Seattle SuperSonics, the Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat. Allen has won an Olympic Gold Medal in 2000 and is widely known as having one of the most accurate three-point AND free throw shooters in all of NBA history. Just last year celebritynetworth.com listed Allen as having a net worth of $100 million with an annual salary of $10 million, which is down from the $19 million dollar annual salary he had received in previous years. Ray, like Shaq, tried his hand at acting and was in the 1998 Spike Lee film He Got Game. The retired guard has since moved from acting and the game to the title of published author after his book From the Outside: My Journey through Life and the Game I Love.
This book is a tell-all about his experience being a basketball star for almost two decades. Sporting News does a good job at breaking down the most dramatic moments from the book and Ray Allen’s life. In his book, Allen himself says “The locker room is like high school sometimes, with the cliques that form and the gossip, much of it untrue...” Even with all that money, Ray is sitting with his friends, blending right into the crowd. Just like the cool kids in school.
11 Dwight Howard
Dwight has a “modest” net worth of just $70 million dollars. To match this modest income, Howard relaxes in just a tank top and shorts. Seem familiar? Although regular people wear the same sort of clothing, most of us don’t match the man in talent when it comes to the game of basketball. He plays center for the Charlotte Hornets and is constantly ranked as one of the best in rebounds, blocks, field goal percentage, and in free throw attempts. Dwight Howard followed in idol Kevin Garnett’s footsteps when he decided to forgo the idea of college for the NBA draft. He took the number 12 for his jersey which was a mirror of Garnett’s number 21 when he played for Minnesota. Howard finished his rookie season with Orlando Magic by setting several NBA records. He then became both the youngest player in history to average a double-double in the regular season and to average ten rebounds in just one season.
It was under his leadership that the Orlando team qualified for the 2007 NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2003. From 2012 to 2013, Howard played for the Los Angeles Lakers and from 2013 to 2016, he was a part of the Houston Rockets team. In June 2016, he signed a three-year contract to play with the Atlanta Hawks. Time will only tell what road he takes next. As he told USA Today, his best basketball is still ahead of him.
10 Kevin Durant
According to a CNN report, Golden State Warriors player Kevin Durant has been characterized as a “villain” because he has recently been kicked from five games for cursing at refs. He was heavily recruited just out of high school and was thought of as the second-best player in his class. After playing just one season at the University of Texas, Durant was named Naismith College Player of the Year. He was the first freshman to get the honor. After, he played nine seasons in Oklahoma City before he ultimately signed with the Golden State Warriors in 2016 where he won the championship in his debut season. Now, Kevin doesn’t just make money while he’s on the court, he makes plenty of it when he’s off it too.
He has endorsement deals with the likes of Nike and Foot Locker, which have helped get him to that $150 million dollar net worth. Over the past few years, he has also contributed to The Player’s Tribune, both as a writer and a photographer. Despite his immense wealth and his portfolio of miscellaneous jobs, you won’t catch this guy in any avant-garde ensembles. Now, if only he could control his temper and mind his manners during the game.
9 Bradley Beal
Forbes Magazine says that Beal “broke the bank” when it comes to the $126 million, 5-year max-level contract Bradley signed in 2016 with the Washington Wizards. While this seems pretty amazing, remember Beal has shown great promise beginning at the end of his senior season when he was recognized as the top high school basketball player in the state of Missouri and named the 2011 Mr. Show-Me Basketball. In addition to the title of Mr. Show-Me, Beal also managed to snag the 2011 title of Gatorade National Player of the Year.
In both December 2012 as well as January 2013, Bradley was named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month. It wasn’t until 2014/ 2015 that he started to have some issues.
First, with a wrist injury and then later, with an injury to his big toe. The 2015/ 2016 season didn’t suit him too well either since it was also plagued with multiple injuries preventing his gameplay. Still, despite his past injuries, the Wizards re-signed Bradley in 2016. His luck turned around in 2017 when he became the youngest in history to reach 700 successfully made three-pointers. It seems that whether he is grabbing someone’s throat for the price of $15K or becoming a part of NBA history, Beal remains looking cool in some pretty average clothes.
8 Chris Paul
Often regarded as one of the world’s best point guards is NBA athlete Chris Paul. Coed.com remarks that he has the ability to make better players out of his teammates and is known league-wide as one of the better leaders in the sport. Paul has won Rookie of the Year, an NBA All-Star Game Most Valued Player award, as well as two Olympic Gold Medals. The only thing that has eluded the player at this point is a championship ring, the most coveted piece of jewelry a basketball player could own. He has played for the New Orleans Hornets, the Los Angeles Clippers, and now, the Houston Rockets, with whom he hopes to one earn that championship ring.
Just like some of these other athletes, his talent stretches beyond the court to multiple endorsement deals. The income from his appearance in commercials along with what he makes playing the game gives him a combined net worth of $75 million. Regardless of how much money he makes, Chris Paul still takes his mom out in sweats. If you didn’t know who he was, he would look just like anyone else walking down the street.
7 Grant Hill
Currently the host of NBA TV’s NBA Inside Stuff, Grant Hill used to be a pro basketball star. He graced the courts with four different teams throughout his career, beginning first with the Detroit Pistons, then on to Orlando Magic, to the Phoenix Suns, and then finally to the Los Angeles Clippers with whom he retired. You might not be able to tell by his relaxed casual attire that this athlete was a seven-time NBA All-Star, five-time All-NBA selection, and a three-time winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Hill has a net worth of $180 million between salary and a handful of endorsements.
Even though he played a great game and was a well-known face on and off the court, Grant announced his retirement back in June 2013 after a long 19 years in the league.
He made some big moves in 2015, alongside Tony Ressler and a few others when they collectively bought the Atlanta Hawks for $850 million. As icing on the cake, Grant Hill was named as a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in March of this year. He shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.
6 Jrue Holiday
Holiday plays the part of point guard/shooting guard for the New Orleans Pelicans. He started off the game in college where he played for the UCLA Bruins for just one season. He was then picked to play for the Philadelphia 76ers which he did for four seasons before being traded to the Pelicans in 2013. Before being traded to the Pelicans, Jrue was picked to be a reserve in the Eastern Conference All-Star team for the NBA All-Star Game of 2013. Once selected, the 22-year-old became the youngest player in franchise history to named an All-Star. Through wins, losses, and injuries, Holiday and the Pelicans stuck together and he re-signed his contract in 2017.
At the end of that year, Holiday helped his team beat his former team, the Philadelphia 76ers 131-124, which must have been a major self-victory and a substantial measure of growth. Hoopshype lists Holiday’s net worth at just over $25 million. Although he might be on the lower end of the payment spectrum in this article, $25 million is nothing to scoff at. However much money he makes doesn’t seem to influence his clothing options. His sweatshirt and necklace might cost a small fortune, but it’s still an outfit composed of a sweatshirt and jeans.
5 Magic Johnson
Also known as one of the most successful black businessmen in the United States, Magic Johnson is known as a star athlete. His net worth is estimated to be over $500 million and is referred to by Fortune Magazine as a “business powerhouse.” Yet, regardless of his incredible athletic feats in the 80s, Johnson knows how to keep it real with clothes that relate to the regular people, like jeans and a sweater. As you might remember, Magic played point guard for the LA Lakers for 13 seasons after winning championships both in high school and college ball. He won both a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season.
Although he played well and accomplished a lot both on and off the court, Magic Johnson retired after contracting HIV in 1991. He did return both in 1992 and 1996 to play a total of 33 games for the Lakers before protests from his fellow teammates pressured him to retire for the third and final time. He has received too many awards and titles to name, the most honored title being one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. He is currently the President of Basketball Relations for the LA Lakers. Sounds like a pretty sweet gig.
4 Gary Payton
Retired NBA player Gary Payton has racked in a net worth of $130 million dollars after his time playing for the Seattle SuperSonics, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Fame and fortune haven’t swayed Payton’s style, though, as he can be seen in a Nike sweatshirt. Despite his normal clothing brand, Gary has been inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and been named nine-time NBA All-Star as well as nine-time All-NBA Team member. He was also selected to be in the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times, which is a record he shares with Michael Jordan, Kevin Garnett, and Kobe Bryant.
In a The Player’s Tribune article that Payton wrote himself, he spills the beans on his first lessons in the game, paying his dues to the “O.G vets,” and the time Xavier McDaniel took him in a vice grip in front of the team to teach him a lesson on listening. Funny thing is, the two are still friends to this day. Payton has four children, two of which are also named Gary Payton, although a "Jr" and an "II" has been tacked on at the end. Gary Payton II seems to be following in his father’s footsteps since he has recently signed a two-way contract with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Wisconsin Herd. We’re sure Daddy Payton’s proud.
3 Lebron James
Earning himself a cool $85 million in 2017, Lebron James is indeed a rich man with a net worth of $400 million. He has been ranked as one of America’s most influential and popular athletes having been featured in a multitude of media including books, documentaries, TV shows, commercials, and even movies. That’s certainly a far cry from where he grew up in Akron, Ohio with his mom, Gloria. After realizing that her son would be better off in a more stable family environment, she signed off on young James living with local youth basketball coach, Frank Walker.
It must have been fate when Walker introduced Lebron to the sport at just nine years old since his fame in the franchise is now NBA history.
After graduating high school, soon-to-be “King James” was selected by his home team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. He played for them until 2010 when he left the team to play for Miami Heat. After only spending four seasons with Miami, Lebron made the decision to go back to playing for the Cavaliers. In recent events, James has once again taken over the Eastern Conference, eliminating the Toronto Raptors for the third year in a row. The Ringer says “the east will always be at the mercy of Lebron James.” It appears he can even mop up the courts in his sweats.
2 Kobe Bryant
Lord of the LA Lakers is Kobe Bryant, the athlete who played his entire 20-year career with the same team, winning five NBA Championships with them. He entered the NBA straight out of high school and never looked back. Bryant is an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team. In addition to numerous other awards and titles, Kobe was the very first shooting guard to play for at least 20 seasons.
Even as a rookie at the beginning of his career, Bryant quickly became a fan favorite after his display at the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest.
By his second season, he was named an All-Star. Just after he turned 34 – 104 days after to be exact – Bryant became the youngest player in history to reach 30,000 career points. CNN Money lists Bryant’s net worth to be a combination of the $323 million salary from the Lakers and the $280 million he’s received through endorsement deals. He may have lost some endorsements, like his McDonald's endorsement, after the allegations against Kobe back in 2003 but that doesn’t mean that he’s in any way, shape, or form, short of money.
1 Michael Jordan
Although he looks super casual here, Michael Jordan is anything but a casual athlete. Forbes lists his net worth at $1.65 billion dollars, making him the richest athlete here. As most know, Jordan played a combined 15 seasons with the Chicago Bulls and the Washington Wizards. He was one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his time with his presence being considered an instrumental part of NBA becoming a worldwide watched sport in the 80s and 90s.
Although he is a well-rounded businessman, Jordan is probably best known around the world as either “Air Jordan” or “His Airness” due to his ability to slam dunk from the free throw line.
Since his free throwing days, Jordan is now the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets and tries to spend as much time as he can with his five children, three of them now grown adults. His long-standing deal with Nike is still strong and profitable and he is the third richest African-American, behind Oprah Winfrey, of course. All that money and fame and you can still catch the guy in a regular t-shirt, just like your average Joe.
References: celebritynetworth.com, nba.com, grantland.com, theatlantic.com, hoopshype.com, wealthygorilla.com, gq.com, tmz.com, sportingnews.com, usatoday.com, cnn.com, forbes.com, coed.com, fortune.com, money.cnn.com