First Million Dollar NBA Player
The first $1 million salary for one year was Moses Malone in the 1978-79 season. He was paid exactly $1 million. This was when Bird and Magic were the two best players in college and Jordan was in high school. In the mid-70s, top players like Julius Erving and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were making between $300,000 and $700,000 per year.
Maravich never signed for $1 million per year. He signed a multi-year deal for $1.6 million total. The year Magic and Bird got to the league (1979/80), only 12 players made $500,000 or more.
Malone was the only $1 million player. Kareem was next with $825,000. Others were (in order): David Thompson (750), Larry Bird (650), Marvin Webster and George Gervin (600), Julius Erving (580), Bob McAddo (525), and Magic, Bob Lanier, Norm Nixon, and George McGinnis (all 500).
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