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The NBA Billionaires vs The NBA Millionaires

Talk about "shooting" yourself in the foot! Talk about "faking" us out! Talk about a blown "layup"!

The average NBA player's yearly salary is $5.15 million. Top players such as Kobe Bryant from the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics Kevin Garnett make over $20 million a year. Plus endorsement money, freebies and never waiting in line for anything.

The NBA owners are even richer. Richard DeVos (think Amway) owns the Orlando Magic and is worth $5 billion. Mark Cuban (Internet) who owns the World Champion Dallas Mavericks has over $2 billion. Paul Allen (Microsoft) has the Portland Trail Blazers and a net worth of about $13 billion.

We have been holding this list back for weeks. We were hoping we would never go to print with it. Holding and hoping and praying that just maybe...maybe, both sides would come to their senses and go back to work!

Well, we can't wait any longer! Both sides have "gone to the hoop" and they were both "rejected." We pick no sides. Because both sides are stubborn and hot headed and well, absolutely silly!

With our unemployment hovering around 10%. With US home foreclosure rates greater than any time since the Great Depression. With so many people who use sports as an outlet, and a way to escape from their reality. You know sometimes you just want to put a game on, and just "veg" out. Shame on both sides! Some of us like to watch a game every so often, and see how our "home" team is doing. Did I just say "HOME" team?

With all their wealth, you might think that the NBA owners and players would have some outstanding "in your face" homes. And you would be correct.

So, let's take a look "coast to coast" at some of the NBA players' and owners' "million dollar move" spectacular homes "from downtown" to "traveling" "out of bounds" in suburbia. Who needs more money? You be the "ref"!

NBA Owner's Homes

Mark Cuban | Owner Dallas Mavericks
Mark Cuban was born in Pittsburgh in 1958. His Jewish-Russian grandparents shortened their last name from Chabenisky to Cuban when they came to the United States in the early 1900s. His father was an automobile upholsterer. Perhaps Mark already knew that he had a future in the NBA when, as a child, he sold garbage bags to buy an expensive pair of basketball shoes.

Mark also showed his entrepreneurial skills at an early age when he brought in newspapers from Cleveland to sell during a newspaper strike in Pittsburgh. He skipped his senior year in high school to attend the University of Pittsburgh, but left there after one year to attend Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

Mark worked a variety of jobs in Bloomington including party promoter, disco-dance instructor (he lost 34 pounds and lasted five weeks on "Dancing with the Stars" in 2007), and powdered milk salesman. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune, Mark even started a chain letter while he was a student at Indiana University to help pay his tuition. He also opened a popular college bar in Bloomington that he called Motley's. Mark moved to Dallas in 1982 where he worked as a bartender and computer software salesman for a company called Your Business Software. He was soon fired from Your Business Software, and used some of his former employer's customers to start his own company MicroSolutions that he sold for $6 million. Mark then started that grew to over 300 employees. He sold the company to Yahoo in 1999 for almost $6 billion.

Mark bought the Dallas Mavericks in 2000 from H. Ross Perot, Jr. for $285 million. When he purchased the team, the Mavericks were on a twenty-year down slide but Mark immediately pumped money and enthusiasm into the organization. He went to every game, complained a lot about officiating, and bought the team a $46 million jet.

His Mavericks shocked everyone by winning the 2011 NBA title beating the heavily-favored Miami Heat with LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. According to Forbes, the Dallas Mavericks are the sixth-most valuable basketball franchise in the United States, worth about $438 million.

Mark and his wife, Tiffany, and their three children live in the Preston Hollow area of Dallas in a 24,000 square foot mansion. It is one of the most expensive properties in Dallas County with 10 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, a pool and tennis court.

James Dolan | Owner New York Knicks
Although he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, thanks to his very wealthy, cable-TV pioneer father Charles Dolan, James has learned the business from the ground up, including a stint in Cleveland as a sports-radio station manager. Today, James is the president of Cablevision Systems Corporation and executive chairman of Madison Square Garden (MSG) and an owner of the New York Knicks. Riddled with controversy, a stint at the Hazelden clinic for drug problems, and bad luck with his purchase of the Wiz electronics stores that went kaput, Dolan is unpopular with Knicks fans who accuse him of bad management and poor business decisions. Fans blame Dolan for the team's problems pointing to missteps like paying former player Allan Houston a 6-year, $100 million contract in 2001 - about $25 million more than any other team offered. Houston retired four years later with over $40 million left on his contract. The Knicks have not won a playoff game since 2001 and a fan poll by Sports Illustrated ranked Dolan as the worst owner in the NBA. James started the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research and has donated money to many other causes including a hospital in Africa and Hurricane Katrina victims. Dolan, 55, is married and resides in Oyster Bay on Long Island with his second wife, Kristin, a Cablevision executive. They have five children and live in a lavish 10,000-square-foot Colonial mansion in Oyster Bay, next door to his father's even more lavish home. Dolan also owns a smaller adjacent house, which he's converted into a music studio for his music band. Dolan performs blues-inspired rock as the singer for JD & The Straight Shot. He tried to sell his home in 2006 for $13.5 million but it didn't sell.

Wycliffe Groesbeck | Owner Boston Celtics
You may have never heard of Wycliffe "Wyc" Grousbeck, but he is the part owner and CEO of the Boston Celtics, one of the NBA's most valuable teams, worth about $500 million. Wyc grew up in New England and went to the best schools getting his bachelors degree at Princeton University (where he was on the school's undefeated rowing team), a law degree from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Stanford's School of Business. He was a partner for seven years at a venture capital firm and bought the Celtics along with his father, H. Irving Grousbeck, and his friend Stephen Pagliuca in 2002 for $360 million. Wyc's father is a professor at Stanford Business School and was a visiting lecturer at Harvard Business School in the 1980s who specializes in entrepreneurship topics and issues. Grousbeck Sr. also co-founded Continental Cablevision. Stephen Pagliuca is a private money investor and managing partner of Bain Capital. He was one of four Democratic candidates to fill Ted Kennedy's vacant U.S. Senate seat in 2009, but finished last. Although the Celtics were the dominant NBA team from the 1950s into the 80s with 16 NBA championships, they had not won an NBA title since 1986 and the team was nothing special when Wyc's group bought the team in 2002. And then things got worse. They lost their star player Paul Pierce to a foot injury at the beginning of the 2006 - 2007 season and had only two wins in their next 24 games. They finished the year with a 24 - 58 record landing at the bottom of the NBA standings. Their luck quickly changed when the Celtics obtained both Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen for the 2007 - 2008 season. They started the new season with a bang winning their first eight games, finished the year with a 66-16 record and won the NBA Championship after a gap of 22 years. It was their 17th NBA title. Wyc and his wife Corinne live in a traditional New England-style mansion in Weston, Massachusetts with their two children, Kelsey and Campbell. They were living in California but moved to Boston for medical care of their son Campbell who was born blind with Leber congenital amaurosis, a rare inherited eye disease.

Dr. Jerry Buss | Owner LA Lakers
Jerry Buss is a real estate investor and former chemist, who likes to be called "Doctor". He was born in Salt Lake City in 1934, grew up in Wyoming and graduated from the University of Wyoming. He then moved to Los Angeles and earned both a masters degree and Ph.D in chemistry at the University of Southern California. Like Jerry Reinsdorf, Buss started out as a federal employee working as a chemist for the United States Bureau of Mines, and then worked briefly in the aerospace industry. He became a professor at the University of Southern California's chemistry department, and invested in real estate in his spare time to make enough money to continue his teaching.

However with spectacular success in the real estate business, Jerry eventually dumped teaching and went into the real estate business full time. In 1979, Jerry bought Hollywood's most famous home, the "Pickfair Mansion", where Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford once lived, and maintained it until selling it to Pia Zadora in 1988. Buss has also been a high-stakes, cash-game poker player for many years. His best finishes include third place in the 1991 World Series of Poker Seven-Card Stud event and a second-place finish in the 2003 World Poker Tour Freeroll Invitational. He has appeared in the GSN-TV "High Stakes Poker" show and the NBC-TV series "Poker After Dark" .

Jerry bought the Los Angeles Lakers (they were the Minneapolis Lakers until 1961 - their name comes from the Minnesota nickname "Land of 10,000 Lakes"), the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League, and The Forum, where the Lakers and Kings played in 1979 for $67.5 million. At that time, it was the largest transaction in sports history. Since he bought the team, the Lakers have won 10 NBA championships with player stars like Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal and celebrity fans such as Jack Nicholson, Nikki Hilton, Sean Combs and Cameron Diaz. Jerry donated $7.5 million to USC's Department of Chemistry in 2008.

Jerry Buss lives in a $3.68 million mansion in Playa del Rey, California. He purchased the home of 10,846 square feet in 1995.

Jerry Reinsdorf | Owner Chicago Bulls
Jerry was born in 1936 in Brooklyn. His father was a sewing machine salesman. Jerry grew up near Ebbets Field and was at the Dodgers ballpark on the day that Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier. He graduated from George Washington University and moved to Chicago where he attended the University of Chicago Law School and Northwestern University School of Law. As an attorney, Jerry's first job was with the Internal Revenue Service. He soon left the IRS and went into private law practice, making millions while specializing in real estate tax shelters. Jerry bought the Chicago White Sox for $19 million at age 45 and made the long-losing team both profitable and a winner with five division titles and the 2005 World Series title. He bought the Chicago Bulls in 1985 for $16 million, and was largely responsible for turning a declining franchise into the most dominant basketball team of the 1990s with six NBA World Championships and 13 years of sell-out games. Forbes estimates the value of the White Sox at $450 million and the Bulls at $500 million. Reinsdorf lives in a large home fronting a golf course in Highland Park, IL.The home is surrounded by trees and is located among similar sized homes in the golf community.

Robert Sarver | Owner Phnx Suns
An Arizona native, Robert was born in 1961 and has been the majority owner of the Phoenix Suns since 2004. His father was Jack Sarver, a prominent Tucson businessman, banker and Howard Johnson's hotel developer, who was one of the first people in the United States to undergo bypass surgery. Jack Sarver died from a heart attack in 1979. Robert attended the University of Arizona where he earned a degree in business administration and founded the National Bank of Arizona when he was only 23 years old. He developed it into the largest independent bank in Arizona and sold it in 1994 to Zions Bancorporation. Robert is on several corporate boards of directors including the Sarver Heart Center (named after his father) at the University of Arizona. Robert is not one of the most popular owners in the league. Fans accuse him of being cheap, too quick to sell draft picks, and too slow to spend money on free agents. His best player is Steve Nash who is also one of the lowest-paid stars in the NBA. A local sports columnist wrote in 2011 that Sarver is: "widely considered among the worst owners in sports". Robert and his family live in a new $14 million estate in the Phoenix area. The estate has just about everything you would want in a home including 12 patios and a 12-car garage. The best thing about the house is its backyard basketball playground with a huge Phoenix Suns blue, gold and orange logo painted on the court.

Richard DeVos | Owner Orlando Magic
If you have ever been dragged to an Amway opportunity meeting, you can thank the owner of the Orlando Magic. Richard DeVos started Amway (American Way) along with Jay Van Andel in 1959 in Ada, Michigan. They pioneered the multi-level method of selling and distributing vitamins, cosmetics and cleaning supplies (their first product was an organic cleaner they called Frisk) that eventually grew into a $9 billion per year business operating in over 100 countries. Richard bought the Orlando Magic in 1991, shortly before they won the first pick in the 1992 NBA draft lottery and selected 7'1" center Shaquille O'Neal. The Magic won the first pick again in the 1993 NBA draft and added Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway to their lineup, and became one of the top teams in the league. With all-stars O'Neal and Hardaway, the Magic won 50 games in the 1993 - 1994 season and 57 games in 1995 - 1996. They made it to the championship finals in 1996 but lost to the Houston Rockets in four games. After O'Neal left in 1996, Orlando started a gradual downward spiral that culminated in the 2003 - 2004 season when they lost 19 consecutive games. They have made it to the playoffs ten times since O'Neal left but usually didn't get past the first round. Richard had bypass heart surgeries in 1983 and 1992 and a transplant in 1997. He is worth about $5 billion. DeVos is the father of four children and lives in a large beachfront home in Manalapan, Florida that opens to the bay with boat dock in the back that has deep water access to the Atlantic.

Clayton Bennett | Owner OKC Thunder
Clay Bennett, a native of Oklahoma City, has received many honors for his civic interests and activities and is deeply involved in the effort to revitalize and develop the downtown area of the city. He is President of Dorchester Capital, a private investment firm and serves as chairman of the Oklahoma City Thunder. He also serves on multiple civic boards and committees and is director of XOS Digital, Inc. He is married to Louise Gaylord Bennett, who's father was Edward L. Gaylord of Gaylord Entertainment Company and its many holdings, including The Oklahoman newspaper. Bennett purchased the Seattle Super Sonics through his ownership group, Professional Basketball Club, LLC, of which he is chairman. When it became apparent that the public funding of $500 million to build a new arena was unattainable, Bennett notified the NBA of his intent to move the franchise to Oklahoma City. He issued a plan whereby he would be free to change the team name, logo and colors. Pending the outcome of two active lawsuits by the city to uphold the lease and the former owner to rescind the purchase, the NBA gave approval to move the franchise for the 2008 - 2009 season. A settlement agreement with the city was reached in July, 2008, which made the move to Oklahoma possible. Due to this success, Bennett was made chairman of the NBA's Relocation Committee. Clayton and Louise Bennett live in Nichols Hills, a suburb of Oklahoma City. They have three children.

Paul Allen | Owner Portland Trailblazers
Paul Allen is a man of diversified interests and talent. He was born in Seattle and became friends with Bill Gates when they attended school together in Seattle. Paul was 14 and Bill was 12 at the time. Their friendship developed primarily due to their common interest in the new-age idea of home computers. After Paul dropped out of Washington State University and he convinced Bill to leave Harvard, they created Microsoft in 1975 to develop and market computer software. Their clients included Steve Job from Apple. Bill and Paul's big computer breakthrough came in 1981 when Microsoft bought the operating system Q-DOS, which under their reinvention of the system, became known as MS-DOS. Paul resigned from Microsoft in 1983 after learning he had Hodgkin's Disease, and would have to undergo a series of radiation therapy. He was only 30, but already a billionaire from the value of his Microsoft stock holdings. Since that time, Allen has turned to other projects, all in areas toward his long-term goal of a "wired world society" where all people would be online. He invested in a multitude of communications vehicles from computers to cable to entertainment, such as Dream Works, Imagine Entertainment, Charter Communications, and Oxygen Media with Oprah Winfrey. Paul is a big Jimi Hendrix fan and he owns the guitar that Hendrix played at Woodstock. Paul plays rhythm guitar for the Seattle band, Grown Men. He also owns one of the largest yachts in the world at 416 feet. Having never married, according to a 60 Minutes interview, he still hopes he meets someone and still wants a family. Paul bought the Portland Trail Blazers in 1988 for $70 million. Under his ownership, the Blazers reached the NBA Finals in both 1990 and 1992, and continued their consecutive home games sell-out streak of 814 games that ended in 1995. The 2000's started off bad for the team with legal problems including several players charged with marijuana possession, one player who was convicted of staging pit bull dog fights in his house, and another player who was suspended for seven games for threatening a referee. After several dismal seasons, the Trail Blazers made the playoffs in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Allen also purchased the Seattle Seahawks in 1997 for $194 million to keep the team in the Pacific Northwest. According to Forbes, the two teams are now worth a total of about $1.3 billion. Paul is one of the largest charitable contributors in the United States. Since 1990, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has given away over $400 million. Paul lives in a large estate-compound over 9 acres on Mercer Island in Seattle with multiple buildings including his own home at 10,680 square feet, his mother's home at 11,300 square feet, a car museum, indoor pool, gym, two indoor tennis courts, concert hall, and three guest homes.

David Stern | Owner New Orleans Hornets
Pro basketball has undergone a rather strange trip in New Orleans. The city had the New Orleans Jazz from 1974 until 1979 when the team moved to Utah and became the Utah Jazz. The Hornets actually started off in Charlotte, North Carolina where they played from 1988 to 2002, but moved to New Orleans to replace the departed Jazz in 2002. The New Orleans Hornets then left for Oklahoma City after Hurricane Katrina almost destroyed the town in 2005. While they were in Oklahoma they were called the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets and played most of their home games at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, but they still played a few of their home games in New Orleans. After two years in Oklahoma, they returned to New Orleans in 2007. Today, the Hornets are different than every other team in the NBA as they are actually owned by the league. With David Stern at the helm, the NBA owners decided in 2010 to purchase the Hornets for $300 million, with the idea that the league would have greater control over the eventual sale of the franchise to a buyer who would keep the team in New Orleans. David Joel Stern obtained his law degree in 1966 from Columbia Law School. Stern is quoted in saying about his education, "Others talk about working as clerks for supreme court justices or federal judges, but I enjoy saying that my first clerkship was at Stern's Delicatessen". As a young lawyer, David was hired by the Proskauer Rose Goetz & Mendelsohn law firm and became the youngest partner in their history at age 32. While working at the law firm, Stern helped to arrange the 1976 NBA merger with the ABA. He left the firm in 1978 to join the NBA and became its commissioner in 1984. In his 33 years with the NBA, David is widely considered to be one of the best sports executives in the United States. He is largely responsible for bringing the NBA from near bankruptcy into a profitable organization. David Stern and his wife, Dianne Bock Stern, live in Scarsdale, NY. They have two adult sons.

NBA Player's Homes

Dirk Nowitzki | Dallas Mavericks
Dirk Nowitzki was born in Würzburg, Germany in 1978. His mother was a professional basketball player in Europe, and his sister was a track and field star. Dirk first attracted U.S. attention in 1997 when he was 19 and played in the Nike-sponsored "Hoop Heroes Tour", where he went up against Charles Barkley and other NBA stars. In talking about Dirk's basketball talents, Barkley said: "The boy is a genius. If he wants to enter the NBA, he can call me". A year later, Dirk was drafted from the German DJK Würzburg basketball club by the Milwaukee Bucks and was immediately traded to the Dallas Mavericks (Mavs GM Don Nelson engineered trades that year that brought both Nowitzki and Steve Nash to the team). Dirk struggled in his first year averaging only 8.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, and he thought about going home to Germany. However things turned around fast and his game production improved to 17.5 points and 6.5 rebounds under new owner Mark Cuban in the 1999 - 2000 season. Dirk is a 10-time all-star and led the Mavericks to 11 consecutive NBA playoff appearances and the 2011 NBA World Championship. He is the first European player (Nowitzki is a seven-time European Player of the Year winner) to be awarded the NBA Most Valuable Player award. Dirk's career average is 23 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. He founded the "Dirk Nowitzki Foundation," that has provided help to a number of charities including Habitat for Humanity, Make-a-Wish Foundation and the YWCA. Dirk was scheduled to earn $19,092,873 for the 2011 - 2012 NBA season. Dirk lives in a home that was built in 2003 in Dallas. It is 9,215 square feet with 5 bedrooms, 5 baths and a tennis court. It is worth about $6 million.

Carmelo Anthony | New York Knicks
Carmelo was born in New York City to a Puerto Rican father, who died when Anthony was two years old, and an African-American mother. Carmelo and his mother moved to Baltimore when he was eight years old. He commuted to Towson Catholic High School in Towson, Maryland where he was a three-year basketball star and played his senior year at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia. Carmelo played just one year of college ball at Syracuse University where he led the team to a 30 - 5 record and its first NCAA championship in 2003. He then went pro drafted as the #3 pick by the Denver Nuggets, and scored 30 points in just his sixth game - the second youngest NBA player after Kobe Bryant to hit 30 points. Carmelo is a four-time NBA all star and key player in the Nuggets 2004 to 2010 playoff run. He was traded to the New York Kicks in February and helped get the team to the playoffs for the first time since 2004, losing to Boston in four games. Carmelo's career average is 24.8 points per game. He has been generous to a number of charities since turning pro donating over $4 million in 2006 alone to various causes. Carmelo was scheduled to earn $18,518,574 for the 2011 - 2012 NBA season. His Colorado home is 12,700 square feet with both an indoor basketball court and batting cage (he was recruited by several colleges as a high school baseball player) and 8 bedrooms on 5.7 gated acres.

Kevin Garnett | Boston Celtics
Kevin Garnett was born in 1976 and currently plays for the Boston Celtics as a power forward. Garnett played high school ball at Farragut Career Academy in Chicago, skipped college, and was selected the 5th overall pick in the 1995 draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was traded to Boston in 2007 after spending 12 seasons in Minnesota. The Celtics were busy that summer of 2007 and also acquired Ray Allen. The trio of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett were naturally referred to as "The Big Three" - an obvious throw back to the Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert ("The Chief") Parish threesome back in the 1980's. Known for his tenacious defense, Garnett helped the Celtics to their 17th NBA Championship in 2008. Kevin was scheduled to earn $21,247,044 for the 2011 - 2012 NBA season. We had great difficulty deciding which player's home, of "The Big Three", we would feature. The homes of both Ray Allen and Paul Pierces would make any NBA player proud. We selected Garnett's $7.5 million Malibu estate for obvious reasons. Located on the Pacific Coast Highway, Garnett purchased the home in 1997 for $3.6M.

Kobe Bryant | LA Lakers
Kobe Bryant is the son of the former Philadelphia 76er's Joe Bryant (his parents named him after Japan's Kobe beef) and the top-rated high school player in the country in 1996 at Lower Merion High School in suburban Philadelphia. Although he was a straight-A student with a 1300 SAT test score, Kobe decided to skip college to play professional basketball. He was only 17 when he was drafted at #13 by the Charlotte Hornets and immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. By his second year, Kobe was an impact player averaging 15.4 points per game, winning the NBA Slam-Dunk Contest and signing an endorsement deal with Coca Cola at age 18. He led the league in scoring in both the 2005 - 2006 and the 2006 - 2007 seasons, scoring 81 points (second highest in NBA history) in a 2006 game. Kobe is widely considered to be one of the top players in NBA history with 24 fifty-point games, 13 All-Star games and three All-Star MVP awards, 11 selections to the leagues All-Defensive team, and NBA Finals MVP awards in both 2009 and 2010. He has played his entire career with the Lakers, averaging over 25 points and almost 5 assists per game. He passed Laker-legend Jerry West to become the team's all-time scoring leader in 2009. Kobe was scheduled to earn $25,244,493 for the 2011 - 2012 NBA season. Kobe lives with his wife and two daughters in an exclusive guard-gated community in Newport Beach, Calif. The Mediterranean-style estate has expansive ocean views, a pool, spa and laser-security system.

Carlos Boozer | Chicago Bulls
Carlos Boozer is a military son who was born in West Germany and grew up in Juneau, Alaska. He led his high school to two state championships, was Alaska Player of the Year three times and a Parade Magazine All-American twice. He played at Duke University on their 2001 NCAA Division I championship team and was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the 2002 draft. He averaged 10 points and 15 points per game in his first two years, but then left for the Utah Jazz as a free agent in 2004. Despite a series of injuries, Carlos performed well in Utah averaging 17 points and 9 rebounds in his first year and 20 points with 10 rebounds in his second year. He made the NBA All-Star team in 2007 and 2008. Boozer was traded to Chicago in 2010 where he scored over 17 points and averaged 9 rebounds per contest. His career average is 17.3 points and 10.1 rebounds. Carlos was scheduled to earn $13,500,000 for the 2011 - 2012 NBA season. Carlos bought a Mediterranean-style 7,002 square foot home in Miami with a guest house, 5 bedrooms, pool and boat dock in 2007 for $7.3 million and sold it in 2009 for $5.5 million.

Steve Nash | Phoenix Suns
Born in South Africa, Steve Nash grew up in Canada where he didn't start playing basketball until age 13. Although he was a high school star in British Columbia, the only college that recruited Steve was Santa Clara University, where he became the school's all-time assists leader. Nash was the 15th pick by the Phoenix Suns in the 1996 draft but he was only a part-time player, and he was traded to Dallas in 1998 (Dallas also obtained Dirk Nowitzki in a 1998 trade). Steve became an All-NBA and All-Star Game MVP in Dallas. In 2004, Steve returned to the Suns as a free agent and was largely responsible for improving the Suns record from 29 wins and 53 losses in 2003 - 04 to a league-best 62 victories and just 20 losses in 2004 - 05. Steve was the NBA's most valuable player in both 2005 and 2006 and MVP runner-up in 2007. Nash is the leader in several NBA career statistic. He is tied with Mark Price for free-throw success at 90.4%. He has led the league in assists five times averaging 11.5 assists per game and his three-point field goal completion rate is over 40%. Steve was scheduled to earn $11,689,062 for the 2011 - 2012 NBA season. Steve lives in a 6,460 square foot home with a guest house and pool in a gated community in the Paradise Valley section of the Phoenix suburbs.

Dwight Howard | Orlando Magic
Dwight was born in Atlanta in 1985. His father is a Georgia State Trooper, who was also the athletic director at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, where Dwight was the star player on their 2004 Georgia state high school championship team. He was the Gatorade National Player of the Year, Naismith Prep Player of the Year, and the McDonald's National High School Player of the Year in 2004. He went straight from high school to the Orlando Magic as the #1 pick in the 2004 draft. His career started off well and has only gotten better. He averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds and played in every game as a rookie. His consecutive games played streak reached 351 games before he finally missed a few games in 2008 with a knee injury. At 6-11 and 270 pounds, Dwight has one of the best bodies in professional sports. He was the cover picture for a 2010 Men's Health article. And he looked like "Superman" when he won the NBA slam dunk contest in 2008 while wearing the "Man of Steel's" shirt and cape. Dwight is a five-time All-Star and All-NBA team selection, and the youngest player ever to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. In 2010, Dwight passed Wilt Chamberlain to become the first player to lead the league in rebounds for five consecutive seasons. His career average is 18.2 points and 12.9 rebounds. Howard has a strong Christian faith and has been involved in several charities. His Dwight D. Howard Foundation has helped over 100 Atlanta children with educational financial assistance. Dwight was scheduled to earn $18,091,770 for the 2011 - 2012 NBA season. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Dwight paid $8 million in 2008 for his "Chateau d' Usse" home in Longwood, Florida. The mansion is over 11,000 square feet on 3 acres with features such as an office with a secret room that goes to his bedroom closet, a swimming pool with a lazy-river and waterfall, five bedrooms and baths, a game room, family room, home theater, art gallery and two guest suites. The home had been listed for $9.7 million.

Kevin Durant | OKC Thunder
Kevin Durant (born September 29, 1988) plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder as a small forward/shooting guard. After a standout freshman season at the University of Texas, Kevin opted to enter the 2007 NBA draft, where he was selected second overall by the Seattle SuperSonics. (Greg Odem was selected #1 by the Portland, Trailblazers). Durant won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award after that debut season. Last summer, Durant signed a five-year contract extension, with the Thunder, that begins next year and will keep him in Oklahoma City through the 2015-16 season, reportedly worth about $86 million. Kevin was scheduled to earn $13,603,750 for the 2011 - 2012 NBA season. Pictured is the $1.825M condo unit at 900 Biscayne Blvd., Miami that was purchased by K. Durant Enterprises, on March 30th of this year. The unit is a three-bedroom, 3,535-square-foot condo. The 63-story skyscraper is just blocks away from American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat, and only a short drive from Miami Beach. Also, last month Durant closed on a 3,460-square-foot home in Gaillardia, OK for $1.8 million.

Brandon Roy | Portland Trailblazers
Brandon Roy is a Pacific Northwest guy. He was born in 1984, raised and played high school basketball in Seattle. He was not a good student and had a bit of a learning disability. He struggled to meet the SAT requirements to play at a division-1 school, taking the test four times before he finally met the NCAA standard. He even took a job as a Seattle dock worker in case his sports future did not work out. Nevertheless, Brandon turned down the chance to jump to the pros early and spent four full years at the University of Washington. He was the Pac-10 player of the year and a first-team All-American at Washington. Brandon was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves as the #6 pick in 2006, but was immediately traded to the Portland Trail Blazers, where he has spent his entire professional career. Brandon got off to a fast start with the Trailblazers. He scored 20 points in his first game in his Seattle hometown against the SuperSonics, averaged 16.8 points per game for the season, and was an almost unanimous choice as the NBA Rookie of the Year. Brandon has had problems with ankle and knee injuries in the last three seasons, but still managed to score 52 points in a 2008 game, and was selected for the NBA All-Star games in 2008, 09 and 10. He played a big part in getting the Trailblazers to the playoffs the last three seasons. Brandon's career average is 19 points and 4.7 assists per game. He signed a four-year contact in 2009 that will keep him in the Pacific Northwest through the 2013-14 season. He started the Brandon Roy Foundation that provides Seattle-area disadvantaged youth with educational tutoring and mentors. Brandon lives in Washington, is married with two children, and was scheduled to earn $15,032,144 for the 2011 - 2012 NBA season. By NBA standards, Brandon Roy's home is quite modest. It is 3,590 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 3 baths. He bought the home in 2007 for $859,000. It does not have a pool, tennis court or an air-conditioned dog house like Dwayne Wade's $10.6 million Miami Beach home.

Chris Paul | New Orleans Hornets
Chris Paul (born May 6, 1985) was raised in Lewisville, North Carolina. He played only two years of varsity high school basketball and still managed to attend Wake Forest University on a full scholarship. Chris declared for the NBA draft after his sophomore year, and was selected fourth overall in the 2005 draft by New Orleans. In 2006, he was named the NBA Rookie of the Year and he has been selected as an All-Star four times. When not playing basketball, Chris is a fan of ten-pin bowling and participates in numerous celebrity charity events. On September 10th of this year, Chris Paul tied the knot with Jada Crowley. The couples' 2-year old son Chris Jr., was also in attendance. Had it not been for the current lock-out, Chris was scheduled to earn $16,359,805 for the 2011-2012 season. In July 2007, Chris Paul purchased adjoining condo units at One River Place, New Orleans, for $1.8M. The 14-story building has a swimming pool and fitness center. Chris' two adjacent units have four bedrooms, 4 1/2 bathrooms and is 4,558 square feet. In addition, Chris has a home, in Lewisville, North Carolina that is 3,000 square feet and has a classic Colonial facade.