The World’s Highest-Paid Athletes (Infographic)
Another player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, the newly crowned NBA champion and finals MVP, may have dominated the athletic headlines this week, but LeBron James made waves off the field as well. For one thing, he’s currently appearing in Space Jam 2, in which he fills the gigantic shoes of Michael Jordan, who first appeared in the 1996 film Space Jam.
More crucially, on Thursday, James made headlines for becoming the first active NBA player to become a billionaire, a feat Jordan only achieved after retiring from the game. According to Sportico, James has earned more than $1 billion in his career from wages and endorsement deals, putting him far ahead of Kevin Durant ($580 million) and Steph Curry ($430 million), the other two active players who could become billionaires in the future.
According to Forbes, between May 1, 2020, and May 1, 2021, James earned a total of $97 million, ranking him fifth among the highest-paid sportsmen. Conor McGregor grabbed the money crown last year, earning a stunning $180 million largely to the sale of his whiskey brand Proper No. Twelve, as shown in the graph below.