Brian Cardinal Bio: Stats, Contract, Wife & Net Worth

This article was last updated by on

Brian Cardinal, a former NBA player, played 456 games between 2000 and 2012. He won an NBA championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.

Many young athletes want to copy their idols and forget who they are. But Brian Cardinal just appreciated himself and succeeded in his career.

Although he wasn’t talented, Cardinal always did extra things, taking charges and diving for a ball. So, he was named “the custodian” for his notorious playing style.

Brian Cardinal, An NBA Player
Brian Cardinal, An NBA Player (Source: eBay)

Over 12 years of his NBA career, he has played for 6 professional basketball teams. 

Since retiring from NBA, Cardinal is still contributing to basketball by mentoring future generations.

To find out more about Cardinal, his life stays with us until the end. But first, let’s look at some quick facts.

Quick Facts

Name  Brian Lee Cardinal
Date of Birth May 2, 1977
Birth Place Tolono, Illinois
Nick Name The Custodian
Age 46 Years Old
Gender Male
Religion Unknown
Nationality American
Ethnicity White
Horoscope Taurus
Height 6’8″/2.03 m/203 cm
Weight 111 kg/245 lb.
Build Muscular
Wingspan Unknown
Eye Color Brown
Father Name Rod Cardinal
Mother Name Mary Cardinal
Siblings Troy Cardinal, Lisa Cardinal
Relationship Married
Wife Danielle Bird
  • Bryson Cardinal (Eldest Son)
  • Emery Cardinal (Daughter)
  • Delanie Cardinal (Daughter)
Profession Former Basketball Player  
Education Unity High School (High School) & Purdue University (College)
Position Power Forward/ Small Forward
Draft 2000 / 44th Overall pick/ Detroit Pistons
NBA Debut 2000
Jersey Number
  • #35 (Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors)
  • #14 (Minnesota Timberwolves) 
Net Worth $15 Million
  • Detroit Pistons (2000–2002)
  • Washington Wizards (2002)
  • Pamesa Valencia (2002–2003)
  • Golden State Warriors (2003–2004)
  • Memphis Grizzlies (2004–2008)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (2008–2010)
  • Dallas Mavericks (2010–2012)
Playing Career 2000-2012
Social Media Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Merch  Basketball Trading Card Autographed Warriors Card
Last Update February 2024

Early Life, Family & Education

Brian Cardinal was born on May 2, 1977, in Tolono, Illinois. He was born to parents Rod Cardinal (father) and Mary Cardinal (mother).

His father Rod was a head basketball trainer at Illinois between 1973 to 2003. 

Brian grew up with his parents, with his two siblings, Troy Cardinal, and Lisa Cardinal.

Growing up, Cardinal was a fan of the Chicago Bulls. He has been good at public speaking since his childhood.  


Cardinal’s notorious playing style earned him the nickname “the Custodian.” He got his nickname from Piston teammates. 

In college, he was nicknamed “The Janitor” because of the way Cardinal cleaned the floor while diving for loose balls.

During his college years, he also received “Mr. Hustle” and “Courage Awards” for 4 consecutive years.

How Tall Is Brian Cardinal? Body Measurement & Playing Style

Brian Cardinal is 46 years old as of 2024.

He stands 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m) and weighs 111 kg (245 lb). After calculating his height and weight, Cardinal’s BMI is 26.9. 

Cardinal was not athletic, but his effort and intelligence were of different levels. He was intelligent in pick-rolls, transitions, and offensive rebounds.

The most substantial part of his offense was perimeter shooting. He was the spot-up shooter who could make 3 points when necessary.

Moreover, Cardinal was well-known for all-out hustling, picking fouls, and rebounding. He was the definition of a complete, true professional player.

High School & College Career

Cardinal played for Unity High School alongside his brother Troy in high school.

During his senior year, he played in the Class A Illinois Basketball Coaches Association All-Star game. Later, he was named the most valuable player.

He scored the highest point in the Coca-Cola High School All-Star Game, recording 24 points and 13 rebounds representing the West team. 

He scored 40 points in two games in his senior year and was named among the Top 100 USA high school seniors.

College Stats (Purdue)

Cardinal later attended Purdue University after completing high school. Although he was redshirted in his first season, he regularly practiced with the team. 

During his 1996-97 freshman year, Cardinal started all 30 games for the Boilermakers. Cardinal registered his first college double-double against Western Michigan, posting 13 points and 12 rebounds.

That season, Brian was the team’s third-leading scorer with 10.6 PPG. Likewise, he also grabbed the team’s second-highest 182 rebounds. 

Team Captain & Reputed

Cardinal was named Purdue team captain during his 1998-99 junior campaign. Cardinal averaged 11.4 points and became Boilmaker’s all-time steals leader with 259 steals.

On January 23, 1999, the Cardinal scored a career-best 33 points against Michigan. He was later named All-Big Ten Third Team for the second consecutive season.  

Cardinal was again named as the team captain. Later, he finished his final year with 13.9 PPG and season-high 203 rebounds.

He also earned the All-Big Ten Second Team honor during his senior year. Later, he again led Purdue to the NCCA tournament.

He made a perfect 4 tournament appearance in his four years. But during his final year, Boilermakers made a deep run into Elite 8. 

Brian Cardinal’s 1,584 points rank him 18th all-time scoring for Purdue.

His 259 steals are second on all-time. It was broken by Chris Kramer (2006-2010) with 260 steals.

Brian is also second in starts for Purdue with 125, behind E’ Twaun Morre with 136 game starts. 

He developed a reputation for his hard-nosed play and work ethic during his career at Purdue University. However, that was not an intentional act. 

Brian added, ” I was proud to be here and wear that Purdue uniform.” His reputation dropped him into the Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame throughout a 12-year NBA career.

Brian is one of the all-time leaders at Purdue game starts, steals, and rebounds.

After his sophomore season, Brian was called up to represent team USA in the 1998 Goodwill games and won the gold in the tournament.

Professional Career

In the 2000 NBA Draft, Brian Cardinal was selected as the 44th overall pick by Detroit Pistons.

He made his NBA debut in a 114-83 loss against Portland Trail Blazers. He scored 3 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in his debut.

Cardinal only played 15 games in his first season. Likewise, he averaged 1.0 points and 1.5 rebounds.

Later, Cardinal was traded to Washington Wizards on September 11, 2002. But after playing five matches, he was waived.

He played for Pamesa Valencia for the rest of the season and also won ULEB Cup there.

Break-Through Campaign

After returning to the USA, Cardinal signed with Golden State Warriors. It was the best season for Brian, playing in 76 games and averaging nearly 10 points and 4 rebounds.

Cardinal also became an NBA MVP finalist. On February 11, 2004, Cardinal scored a career-high 32 points in a 110-99 win over Phoenix Suns.

Later on February 28, 2004, he recorded a career-high 14 rebounds in an 87-81 loss against the Bulls. Further, Cardinal signed with Memphis Grizzlies in free agency.

Brian Cardinal Driving Past Udonis
Brian Cardinal Driving Past Udonis (Source: SFGATE)

During the 2004-05 season, he started in career-best 16 games. Likewise, Cardinal recorded a career-best 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals in the same season.

Cardinal averaged 6 points and 2.5 rebounds in his four years in Memphis. Cardinal was later traded to Minnesota Timberwolves in 2008.

In the following season, he only played in 27 games averaging a team-low 9 MPG. Later, he was traded to New York Knicks on February 17, 2010.

But within 2 days, he was waived again. Despite that, he re-signed with the Wolves on March 23.

NBA Champion

Cardinal signed with Dallas Mavericks on September 27, 2010. At Dallas, he got to team up with Dirk Nowitzki, who was also chasing his first ring.

Later, Cardinal won his first and only NBA championship beating the LeBron-led Heat 4-2.

During the playoffs, he played in 9 matches averaging 1.1 PPG. Likewise, in the regular season, he played 56 matches averaging 2.6 points and 1.1 rebounds.

On December 12, 2011, the Cardinal signed a veteran minimum deal with Dallas. Later, he retired at the end of the 2012 NBA season.

Career Totals

Points 2,108 (4.6 ppg)
Rebounds 1,050 (2.3 rpg)
Assists 465 (1.0 APG)

Post-NBA Career

Even after retiring, Cardinal is still contributing to the NBA. He frequently works with NBA Academy, mentoring future players.

In 2013 after retirement, Cardinal joined Purdue as an assistant director of John Purdue Club.

Moreover, he is serving as the the director of International Elite Basketball of the NBA after assuming the role in January 2023.

Cardinal, his wife, and NFL quarterback Drew Brees got involved in donations to Purdue athletics. They started initiating fundraising, awareness, and motivation campaign.

Salary, Net Worth & Career Earnings

Brian Cardinal earned $39,334,595 from his NBA career contract.

The Pistons drafted Brian in the 2000 NBA Draft, and the Cardinal signed a one-year contract worth $316,969. Later, he extended his contract for 2 years worth $1,053,285.

After being a free agent, he signed a 1-year $664K with Golden States Warriors on October 1, 2003.

After a great season with the Warriors, Cardinal signed 6 year, $34.6 million deal with Memphis on July 14, 2004.

Although he planned to retire after the 2009-10 season, he was offered a Dallas contract. Later, he signed a 1-year deal worth $1.35 million in December 2011.

The estimated net worth of Brian Cardinal is $15 million as of 2024. 

Personal Life & Wife

Brian Cardinal is happily married to his beautiful wife, Danielle Bird. She also won the 1999 National Women’s Championship for the Purdue Boilermakers team.

They have 3 children; a son named Bryson, who is also the oldest, and two daughters named Emery and Delanie. 

Purdue even named the Mackay Arena Complex basketball practice court after Cardinal and Bird to honor them.

Social Media Presence

Although he has social media handles, he is not much active on the platforms.

He is a follower who likes to follow others on these platforms. His somewhat famous quote is, “But it kept getting sore every single day.”

  • Instagram: 3.8K Followers
  • Twitter: 31.4K Followers
  • Facebook: 7.3K Followers

Search Graph

Brian was drafted in 2000 as the 44th overall pick and played in the NBA for 12 seasons.

Brian Cardinal's Illustrated Search Rate
Brian Cardinal’s Illustrated Search Rate (Source: Google Trend)

Search rate of Brian is highly mobile, which indicates its high search rate.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where is Brian Cardinal now?

Currently, Cardinal is the assistant director of the John Purdue Club. Similarly, he also works for the NBA academy. He was also involved in charity work after his retirement.

How much is Brian Cardinal's career earning?

From his 12 years of basketball career in the NBA, Cardinal made $39,334,595. Moreover, Brian signed the highest-earning contract with Memphis Grizzlies in 2004, worth $37 million over 6 years. Currently, Cardinal estimated net worth is around $15 million.

Where did Brian Cardinal attend college?

Cardinal Brian attended Purdue University. Furthermore, over his 4 years, he recorded 1,584 points and 259 steals in 125 starts. Likewise, he captained the team since junior year. During his senior year, he led Purdue to elite 8.

When did Brian Cardinal retire?

Brian Cardinal retired from his basketball career at the end of the 2012 season.

When did Brian Cardinal win the NBA championship?

Cardinal won his only and first championship ring with Dallas in 2011. He played five games in the finals out of six.

Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah is an engineer and content writer passionate about sports and athletics. With a background in engineering and a love for all things active, Sanjib brings a unique perspective to the world of sports writing. Whether he is covering the latest trends in sports technology or sharing tips on improving your game, Sanjib's words are always rooted in a deep appreciation for players' hard work and dedication everywhere. In his free time, you can find him hitting the courts or hitting the trails, always looking for new ways to challenge himself and improve his skills.

Related articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share article

Latest News