It’s good to be the king. For the fifth year in a row, Los Angeles Lakers superstar small forward LeBron James is the NBA’s highest-paid player.
Forbes estimated that James made $88.7 million in the 2018-19 season, with $53 million coming from lucrative endorsement deals with Nike, Coca-Cola, and Beats By Dre. James also has a significant stake in Blaze Pizza. Curry made $79.5 million with $42 million in endorsements. Following James’ lead, Curry has created the SC30 company to manage his interests and started his own production company.
— Kurt Badenhausen (@kbadenhausen) February 12, 2019
Rounding out the top five is Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. James, Curry, and Durant were all reported to make more off the court than through their NBA salaries.
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.
James is an excellent businessman. The King understands how to make money off his brand and he’s been doing it for years and years. Moving to Los Angeles wasn’t only an NBA move, it was a power move to further diversify James’ portfolio. James is well on track to be the first billion-dollar athlete, while still playing the sport he loves.