LeBron James: Star Player's Net Worth Below Kobe Bryant's And Kevin Garnett's Due To Shorter Career; Study Finds Longevity, Endorsement Accumulation Is Key
July 3, 2013 4:50 AM EST
A new study suggests that big endorsement deals and long careers combined are what make many professional athletes wealthy, not their lofty salaries.
Wealth-X, a service that provides analytics for high-net worth private banks and luxury brands, released a study Tuesday that ranked wealthy professional basketball players, following last week's NBA Draft. The group, which defines high net worth as those with assets of $30 million and above, found that 75 percent of the wealthiest NBA players who played in the recently completed season, have been playing for an average of 15 years and were already playing in the league by 1998.
Kobe Bryant, drafted in 1996, ranked highest with a total net worth of $220 million.
"Bryant, who will earn $27.85 million in the 2012-2013 season, continues to draw the highest salary in NBA," the study reports. "This is supplemented by multi-million dollar endorsements with Nike, Coca Cola, Turkish Airlines, Mercedes-Benz, Lenovo, Panini and Hublot."
LeBron James, drafted in 2003, ranks below 17-year veteran Kevin Garnett, drafted in 1995. Garnett's net worth is $190 million, spurred in part by a $4 million deal with coconut water brand Zinco and another with Chinese sportswear company Anta.
James' net worth at the time the study was conducted was $130 million and as the star player of this year's championship team, the Miami Heat, his endorsement deals are likely to increase.
"Against the backdrop of the NBA Draft last week, it is interesting to explore the correlation between talent, performance and net worth that is revealed in this ranking," said Wealth-X President David Friedman. "It provides a window into the value that society implicitly places on the skills of these professional athletes and the role of entertainment within our culture."
Tracy McGrady, who has not been a starting player for a number of years yet was drafted back in 1997 made the study's top 10 ranking in the final spot with a net worth of $80 million.
The study connects longevity and endorsements because familiar players can continue to accumulate endorsement money beyond their playing careers.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Top 5 Richest Tennis Athletes
- Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt Heads to Malta For New Movie After A Whirlwind French Wedding [PHOTOS]
- 2014 US Open Update (Day 4 - Men's Singles): Murray, Djokovic, Raonic and Isner Advance to 3rd Round [PHOTOS]
- Kate Middleton’s Mom Accused Of Being A Social Climber, Prince George Not Seen By Relatives
Join the Conversation
- 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup Group A Preview, Prediction, Roster, Schedule: Spain and Brazil To Clinch Top 2 Spots, France, Serbia, And Iran To Battle For Remaining Slots
- 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup Team Preview: Puerto Rico Roster, Key Players And Schedule
- Kevin Love Tells Minnesota Timberwolves Owner Glen Taylor To Mind His Own Team
- UEFA Champions League Draw: Schedule, TV and Live Stream Information
- Without LeBron James, Kevin Durant And Other Stars, Team USA Looks to James Harden As Leader In 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain
- Apple iWatch is iPhone 6 Accessory on Sept 19 Release Date: 6 Confirmed Specs & Features
- iPhone 6 Release Date Update: 4.7-Inch Model Scores 65.8% In Screen-To-Size Ratio; A Surprise Entry Scales Top Spot [List Attached]
- Canada Vs Russia War Erupts Via Twitter on Russia-Not Russia Maps
- Product Recall Alert: Hewlett-Packard Pulls Out 6M Power Cords from US, Canada Over Fire Hazard Concerns, Australia Also Affected
- ISIS Wants $6.6M and Release of Aafia Siddiqui in Exchange of Head of Female US Humanitarian Aid Worker, 1st American Fighting for Jihadis Dead
- James Foley Torture Involves CIA Waterboarding Technique
- Ukraine Ceasefire Looks Remote As Putin Talks Tough At Meeting With Poroshenko