LOS ANGELES, Feb 13, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – LeBron James remains the top-earning player in the NBA while an increasing number of stars have boosted their income through off-field activities, a Forbes survey revealed Tuesday.
Forbes said that Los Angeles Lakers star James was the highest-paid player in basketball for a fifth straight year, pocketing an estimated $88.7 million in 2018-2019.
Around $35.7 million of James’s earnings came from salary and bonuses, while $53 million was generated through endorsements.
Golden State Warriors ace Stephen Curry ranked second on the earnings list with $79.5 million, with salary accounting for $37.5 million and endorsements $42 million.
Curry’s Golden State teammate Kevin Durant was third with $65 million.
Around $30 million of Durant’s earnings are from his salary while endorsements account for $35 million. Durant has earned more than $400 million in his career to date, according to Forbes.
Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook was fourth on the list with $53.7 million.
Most of Westbrook’s earnings comes through his lucrative contract with the Thunder, reportedly worth $207 million over five years. The triple-double king added a further $18 million through endorsements.
Reigning NBA MVP James Harden rounded out the top five on the list with $47.4 million ($30.4 million salary and $17 million endorsements).
The Forbes survey noted that that the top 10 earners in the NBA will make around $540 million this year, up more than $180 million from five years ago.
The report pointed to several stars who have looked to diversify their brands into different areas, with James, Curry and Durant all setting up their own companies to manage business opportunities in media and marketing.