LeBron James is the highest-earning player in the NBA for the seventh consecutive year.
While James does not have the highest on-court salary (he’s only held that distinction once, in the2016-2017 season), the Los Angeles Laker far outstrips his colleagues with endorsements deal that bolster his wealth.
Based on his current earnings, which are expected to hit US$95.4 million this season – with US$64 million coming from endorsements, memorabilia and media – James will become only the fifth athlete to hit the US$1 billion mark in earnings while alive. The others? Some names you may have heard before…Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Of that notable $1 billion haul, US$700 million would have been made off the court.
Runner-up to James on the NBA earnings list is Stephen Curry, who made US$74.4 million including $40 million off the court. The Golden States Warriors player is back after missing much of last season due to injury.
The top 10 is completed by Kevin Durant ($65.2 million), Russell Westbrook ($58.1 million), James Harden ($50 million), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($49 million), Klay Thompson ($43.3 million), Kyrie Irving ($43 million), Chris Paul ($40.1 million) and Damian Lillard ($39 million).