Three NBA superstars, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kobe Bryant, entered the top 10 in the list of Forbes’ “World’s Highest-Paid Athletes of 2016”. James, Durant, and Bryant landed on the 3rd, 5th, and 10th spot in Forbes’ annual look at highest earners in sports over the past and a half decades.
LeBron Raymone James also known as LeBron James became the highest-paid NBA player in 2016 (3rd highest-paid athlete) with total earnings of $77.2 million (Salary: $23.2 million, Endorsements: $60 million). According to Forbes, the two-time NBA champion signed a lifetime contract with Nike, the first time in the company’s 44-year history.
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are currently battling the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. They were defeated twice by the Warriors in the first two games but has managed to bounce back in Game 3. James decided to play at Cleveland to end its NBA title drought but has failed in his first attempt in the 2014-15 NBA season.
Kevin Wayne Durant or known as Kevin Durant became the second-highest-paid NBA player in 2016 (5th highest-paid athlete) with total earnings of $56.2 million (Salary: $20.2 million, Endorsements: $36 million). Durant’s endorsement deals include 2K, Nike, Panini America, Sprint, Sparkling Ice, BBVA and AFI.
Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder managed to enter the Western Conference Finals 2016 but were beaten by the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors, who almost got eliminated after being down from a 1-3 deficit. Durant is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 but will most likely re-sign with his current team.
Kobe Bean Bryant or known as Kobe Bryant became the third-highest-paid NBA player in 2016 (10th highest-paid athlete) with total earnings of $50 million (Salary: $25 million, Endorsements: $25 million). According to Celeb Net Wealth, Bryant endorsed Turkish Airlines , Adidas, The Coca-Cola Company , Russell Corporation, McDonalds, Guitar Hero World Tour, Ferrero SpA’s, Nubeo, Call of Duty: Black Op, Nintendo.
Kobe Bryant decided to end his basketball career in the 2015-16 season where he spent all 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant was a five-time NBA champion and 18-time NBA All-star.
Topping the list of the Forbes’ “World’s Highest-Paid Athletes of 2016” are Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo with $88 million and FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi with $81.4 million, dethroning Tiger Woods and Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the first and second spot.
Photo courtesy: Charles Krupa/AP