LOS ANGELES, Feb 13 ― 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 yesterday.
Forbes said that Los Angeles Lakers star James was the highest-paid player in basketball for a fifth straight year, pocketing an estimated US$88.7 million (RM360 million) in 2018-2019.
Around US$35.7 million of James's earnings came from salary and bonuses, while US$53 million was generated through endorsements.
Golden State Warriors ace Stephen Curry ranked second on the earnings list with US$79.5 million, with salary accounting for US$37.5 million and endorsements US$42 million.
Curry's Golden State teammate Kevin Durant was third with US$65 million.
Around US$30 million of Durant's earnings are from his salary while endorsements account for US$35 million. Durant has earned more than US$400 million in his career to date, according to Forbes.
Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook was fourth on the list with US$53.7 million.
Most of Westbrook's earnings comes through his lucrative contract with the Thunder, reportedly worth US$207 million over five years. The triple-double king added a further US$18 million through endorsements.
Reigning NBA MVP James Harden rounded out the top five on the list with US$47.4 million (US$30.4 million salary and US$17 million endorsements).
The Forbes survey noted that that the top 10 earners in the NBA will make around US$540 million this year, up more than US$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. ― AFP