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Jeremy Lin Salary Potential vs. His Former Harvard Teammates

Topics: Current Events

Only 11 days into his starting status with the New York Knicks, Jeremy Lin has been generating the kind of buzz a young NBA player only dreams about. While Lin has been breaking records and driving up NBA ticket prices, the press has been speculating on whether he can keep this streak going and become a top earner in the NBA.

I’m not one to put a damper on the Linsanity, but I think it might be a little early to elevate Lin to the same level as NBA veterans and top earners — Kobe Bryant ($53.2 million), LeBron James ($49 million) and Dwight Howard ($28.9 million). It will likely be a while before he’s able to generate anywhere near that type of income, even if the Linsanity continues indefinitely.

Lin’s contract for this season was nailed down this week at $762,000, according to Forbes, and his endorsement deal with Nike doesn’t bring in much additional income at the moment. Also according to Forbes, “the intricacies of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement and salary cap will likely limit Lin to a contract next year that starts around $5 million whether with the Knicks or someone else.”

Lin’s former Harvard teammates have also been riding the Linsanity wave, and Harvard basketball has been getting a nice lift in interest as well. So, what about the members of Harvard’s basketball team that don’t make it into the NBA, which (let’s be honest) is going to be most of them? What can they hope for in terms of salary post-graduation? Some could get pretty close to or exceed Lin if they manage to become a CEO, which according to PayScale data, is a popular choice for Harvard grads (and if their company is successful, of course). CEO pay can really vary.

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Typically, though, the median annual starting salary for Harvard graduates is around $54,100 and by mid-career it’s $116,000, according to the 2011-2012 PayScale College Salary Report.

Here’s a look at some of the most popular career paths for Harvard alumni and what those jobs pay.

harvard university harvard university
Jobs ranked by popularity among graduates. Annual pay for Bachelors graduates without higher degrees from all colleges. See full methodology for more.

Sources: Salary information for the top NBA earners is from

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