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While players in the MLB are landing contracts upwards of $400 million dollars and soccer players are garnering hundreds of millions of followers on social media, the top-paid NBA players quietly are making nearly a billion dollars. Tipping the scale in their favor, endorsements from sneaker brands, sportswear companies, and investments off the court. Thanks to in-depth reporting from sportico.com, we’ve got a look at the top-earning NBA players in the league right now.
After signing a lifetime deal with Nike that is worth around $1 billion, LeBron James reportedly will be earning around 40% of his off-the-court earnings thanks to The Swoosh. On the court, he’s earning $44.5 million while his endorsements earn him a staggering $75 million, meaning that Nike is paying the superstar around $30 million throughout the 2022-2023 NBA season. On top of this, James holds a stake in multiple sports teams, restaurants, production companies, and alcoholic beverages. Even with being 9th on the list of the largest valued annual contracts in North American sports, all of these off-the-court paychecks will continue to help push James into the upper echelon of society.
As the NBA continues to grow, we may see larger contracts from teams offered to the top talent in the league, though it seems that off-the-court will be where the large majority of these top players make their money. Sneaker deals alone like LeBron's or Steph Curry’s lifetime contracts (Nike and Under Armour respectively) can earn generational wealth for players and their families. Check below for a chart of the top 15 earners in the NBA courtesy of Sportico and keep it locked to our Twitter and the Sole Retriever mobile app to stay updated on the latest news, releases, raffles, and more in the sneaker world.
Image via Sportico