This number is one he has proudly mentioned a number of times, making it a can’t-miss element of his recruitment strategy for the Wildcats. It has been mentioned in a number of official statements from the Kentucky athletic department and is something Calipari references regularly in interviews and speeches, and most recently on Twitter.
But, they all know that their brand and value will ultimately be decided between the white lines! That has always been the case here and it’s why our players have earned $3 billion in NBA contracts. The brand will always be WINNING!
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) July 23, 2021
Clearly this is something he is extremely proud of, and rightfully so. The goal of most high-major basketball players is to play in the NBA and make tons, and tons of money. Calipari totalling the amount of money signed to his players and showing it off as a reason to come to Kentucky is a pretty good sell job.
After seeing the $3 billion number thrown out once again, it had me thinking–just how much have Florida players made in the NBA in that same time? Should Mike White be flaunting just how much money Gators have made in the NBA?
To find out, I used several contract tools such as Spotrac, HoopsHype, and NBA Statistics to look at the career earnings of every Gator in the NBA.
However, to compare it next to Kentucky’s crop of NBA talent, I capped it from 2009 to the present. That’s because when Calipari references the $3 billion number, it’s Kentucky players from during his tenure. He’s been at Kentucky since 2009, so we’ll just be looking at Gators’ earnings from 2009 to the present. That means that a number of players such as the members of the national championship teams, Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem, and David Lee’s total earnings for this exercise aren’t their career earnings, as they started their careers before 2009.
The numbers include all contracts that are currently signed, so there is money from 2022 and 2023 that is being counted in these numbers since the NBA has guaranteed contracts and players such as Bradley Beal and Al Horford are signed for multiple more years. When John Calipari counts his players’ money he’s also counting upcoming money from contracts that have been signed, so that’s how it’s being counted here as well.
Here are all the Gators, in alphabetical order, that have played in the NBA since 2009 and their earnings during that time.
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