The NBA has come a long way since its inception in 1946. After decades of stars and teams doing their thing on the basketball court, the league has grown in popularity to the point where it has become one of the most successful and widely-followed sports on the globe.
This success has trickled down to the players, who are being rewarded with contracts paying them millions.
In fact, today’s top NBA superstars are some of the highest-earning athletes in the world.
Here’s the list, which features three NBA players, of the global top-10.
Roger Federer (tennis): $106.3 million
Cristiano Ronaldo (soccer): $105 million
Lionel Messi (soccer): $104 million
Neymar (soccer): $95.5 million
LeBron James (basketball): $88.2 million
Stephen Curry (basketball): $74.4 million
Kevin Durant (basketball): $63.9 million
Tiger Woods (golf): $62.3 million
Kirk Cousins (football): $60.5 million
Carson Wentz (football): $59.1 million
With LeBron James 5th in the entire world, it’s clear his brand has grown to transcend the game itself. After years of dominating the NBA and building up his fame, James may be one of the most recognizable athletes on planet earth. His partners include Nike, Coca-Cola, Beats, and Blaze Pizza.
Steph, meanwhile, is almost single-handedly responsible for the modern transformation of the NBA. With his electric playstyle, basketball heroics, and electric personality, he has become a household name for basketball, especially for the NBA’s youngest fans. He makes $42 million from endorsements alone.
Third on the list, right behind Curry, is his former teammate Kevin Durant. He is widely regarded as the second-best player in basketball and (thanks to his tenure in Golden State), he has the postseason success to go with it. His most recent contract with the Brooklyn Nets will pay him $164 million over the next for years.
Clearly, the NBA has successfully become one of the biggest sports leagues on the globe. With its top players among the highest-paid athletes, star-power is clearly not lacking.