Blog Entry

Kobe tops LeBron as highest-paid NBA player

Posted on: June 1, 2011 6:48 pm
Kobe Bryant tops LeBron James as the highest-paid NBA player. Posted by Ben Golliver. kobe-lebron

After a dominant, awe-inspiring performance against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night, it seems like nobody can beat Miami Heat forward LeBron James on the court.

When it comes to who is bringing home the big money off the court, however, King James isn't yet the King.

In a evaluation of the world's 50 highest-paid athletes, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant checks in ahead of James. Forbes says Bryant has earned $53 million in the last 12 months, $5 million more than James' $48 million.

Bryant and James are the only two NBA players ranked in the top 10. Golfer Tiger Woods holds the No. 1 spot at $75 million.
Bryant leads 15 basketball players that made the list, more than any other sport. Bryant added Turkish Airlines and Mercedes-Benz’s Smart Car to his endorsement portfolio this year. His $24.8 million salary with the Los Angeles Lakers is $4 million more than any other NBA player. No. 3 on the list is Miami Heat forward LeBron James, who earned $48 million over the past year.
Forbes notes that its rankings "are derived from salaries, bonuses, prize money, appearance fees, licensing and endorsement income in the 12 months ending May 1" and do not account for "taxes or agents’ fees."

Just as James looks poised to win his first NBA title this month, he could overtake Bryant -- and possibly even Woods -- on this list in the future. A recent report noted that a Heat championship could mean a billion dollar windfall in China for Nike and could push James past Bryant in terms of popularity in that crucial market. 

The next highest NBA player on Forbes' list is Houston Rockets cente Yao Ming, ranked No. 18, at $27.7 million. Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard is ranked No. 19 at $27.6 million. Dwyane Wade, James' Heat teammate, and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony are the other NBA players that appear in the top 25.

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: June 1, 2011 11:37 pm

Kobe tops LeBron as highest-paid NBA player

Your response has very little to do with the actual question. That was just a strawman. You just took any Lebron-related story and diverted it into something it wasn't, just because you wanted to bad mouth Lebron.

I think a lot of people outside of Heat Fans would be upset if Lebron wrecked his knee.  Lebron is a ratings monster...even if he's polarizing, he's one, if not the most unique talent to ever play this game.  The NBA is a far superior product with Lebron.  His combination of size, speed and talent is unmatched.  Does he have flaws in his game? Sure.  Is he a little bit of an arrogant jerk? Sure...but Lebron drives ratings and he brings windfall profits to basically any company or team that associates with him.

Steroids? This is just speculative crap based on nothing.  Then again, that's the great thing about these sites huh? Guilty until proven innocent.

And to say he's a coward for leaving Cleveland?  That's just stupid...he's clearly at his best when he distributes and plays the "whole game" instead of needing to be the end-all every game.  No player in history has ever been the end all (including Jordan) and I don't see why Lebron should be held to any different standard.

Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: June 1, 2011 11:00 pm
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