With basketball being synonymous to a religion in America, it is inevitable that the fanatic appeal that this sport generates is matched by an equally humongous payroll to its stars. In this article we have compiled the 10 highest NBA stars in 2021.
The sums that will be given in this article are annual estimates of wages expressed in gross and were accounted by Forbes. These sums take into account income related to franchises and sponsors but do not take into account any contractual bonuses from players.
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Highest Paid NBA Players in 2021
10. Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers) = $39 million
While he is not among the best paid for his basketball income, his income from sponsors allows Damian Lillard to be among the highest paid basketball players on the planet. The majority of his sponsorship-related income comes from the Gatorade brand and his new drink Bolt24 of which he is the muse.
9. Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder) = $40.1 million
While he has the 3rd biggest salary in the NBA, Chris Paul is not as bankable as other NBA players. Indeed, his 7 million advertising revenue is far from Kyrie Irving’s 17 million and Klay Thompson’s 15 million. That doesn’t stop him from being one of the highest paid players in the NBA.
8. Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets) = $ 43 million
Despite the fact that he is not among the top 10 best paid players for his basketball income, like Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving is still an icon of global basketball. His 17 million advertising revenue, obtained mainly from Nike and Pepsi, tell its own truth.
7. Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors) = $ 43.3 million
Injured to the Achilles tendon and absent from the basketball courts since the 2019 playoffs, Klay Thompson continues to sell without even punting a ball. Indeed, with 15 million in advertising revenue, he is one of the highest paid players in the NBA. His XXL contract with the Warriors is the major factor behind his 7th place on this ranking.
6. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) = $ 49 million
Double MVP at only 26 years old, Giannis Antetokounmpo is already a world icon of this sport. Coming from a very disadvantaged background in Greece, his success and his career did not fail to interest the largest film industries. This is how Disney acquired the rights to make a film about the life of the world-renowned basketball player. Its sponsorship revenues therefore reach the sum of $ 22 million. A quite impressive figure, especially for a non-American.
5. James Harden (Brooklyn Nets) = $ 50 million
James Harden , who recently joined the Brooklyn Nets, is one of the league’s most expensive players. Indeed, he has a staggering salary commensurate with his talent. His 17 million advertising revenue makes him the 5th highest paid player in the NBA in 2021.
4. Russell Westbrook (Washington Wizards) = $ 58.1 million
Criticized but also adored, Russell Westbrook is a product and a name that is renowned being marketable, and for good reason. His contract with Nike pays him almost as much as his basketball income. In fact, he makes about 33 million in salary with the Wizards and 25 million in advertising revenue. He is therefore 4th in this ranking.
3. Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets) = $ 65.2 million
Considered by some to be the best player of the 2010s, Kevin Durant is also an icon of world basketball. Beyond his Nike-affiliated income, it is his investments in a start-up that allows him to have 34 million income related to sponsorship in 2021. Hats off!
2. Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) = $ 74.4 million
While he already has a huge contract with the Golden State Warriors, Stephen Curry is one of the NBA’s top earner because he is a most successful businessman. Indeed, with his collaboration with Audible (Amazon) and Unanimous Media, his production company, Stephen Curry already has his post-basketball reconversion. In addition, his contract with Under Armor is another laudable mouth-watering investment. All of his contracts and investments will allow him to earn $ 40 million in non-basketball income in 2021.
1. LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers) = $ 95.4 million
Here is one of the richest sportsmen on the planet. LeBron James is paid at the height of his importance and legacy to basketball which has immortalised him as a model and icon. All of his qualities make him one of the most bankable products on the planet. The superstar’s release of a new Space Jam follows that made with Michael Jordan in 1996.
LeBron James is in a way Jordan’s heir for world basketball alongside the illustrious late Kobe Bryant. In any case, LeBron James is selling and his $ 64 million in income besides basketball is proof of that.
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