Kobe Bryant is the NBA’s Highest Earner

by January 26, 2012
10


Kobe Bryant’s Lakers are the League’s most valuable franchise, and according to Forbes, Bryant is the NBA’s biggest earner on an annual basis (LeBron James is number two): “Bryant’s following has allowed him to amass an endorsement portfolio of global brands including Nike, Smart Car, Panini and Turkish Airlines that pay him $28 million annually. Factor in his league leading $25.2 million salary from the Lakers and Bryant is the NBA’s top-earning athlete at $53.2 million. Bryant’s Lakers salary is $3 million greater than any other NBA player thanks to the idiosyncrasies of the NBA’s maximum salary rules on individual players. Under the old collective bargaining agreement, 10-year veterans could sign deals for 35% of the salary cap which was $58 million last season. Yet players can sign deals worth 105% of their previous salary even if it exceeds the salary ceiling. Bryant has 15 seasons under his belt, but is still just 33-years-old and has signed a series of maximum deals which is a rarity in the NBA as players typically slow down as they approach their mid-30s. Bryant can command escalating salaries from the wealthy Lakers who last year inked a deal with Time Warner Cable that will pay an average of $200 million annually over 20 years.”