LeBron James is the Second Highest Paid Athlete in America

by May 15, 2013

According to SI‘s annual list of the highest paid athletes in the USA, LeBron James and his estimated earnings of $56.5 million in 2013 rank number two (numero uno is the boxer Floyd “Money” Wayweather). Other NBAers joining LeBron on the list’s Top 10 are Kobe Bryant (no. 4) and Derrick Rose (no. 7): “Floyd Mayweather was No. 1 on Sports Illustrated’s Fortunate 50 last year—knocking out Tiger Woods, who had been No. 1 every year since SI started producing the list in 2004—it looked like a fluke, the result of the $85 million he received for his fights with Victor Ortiz and Miguel Cotto. Now Mayweather is proving that he belongs at the top. From just two bouts this year, one earlier this month and the other scheduled for September, he will earn at least $90 million, and that’s conservative; he could make as much as $128 million. There are other notable shifts this year. LeBron James (No. 2) passed Kobe Bryant (No. 4). Tiger Woods (No. 5) is back above Phil Mickelson (No. 6)—thanks to $4 million more in tour winnings. Drew Brees wasn’t on last year’s list but he burst into the top five thanks to a $37 million signing bonus from his new contract. The findings consist solely of salary, winnings, bonuses and endorsements. SI consulted players’ associations, tour records, online databases, agents and media reports. The endorsement estimates come from a stable of marketing executives, agents and other experts, including Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing. Candidates for the Fortunate 50 must be U.S. citizens or play in a U.S.—based league. Endorsements reflect current deals, and salaries are based on current or most recently completed seasons.”