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LeBron James tops list of NBA's top earners for 2022-23 at $124.5m

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 10/14/2022 Alex Raskin Sports News Editor For Dailymail.com

LeBron James tops Forbes' list of the NBA's highest earners with a pre-tax income of $124.5 million, which includes endorsements, licensing fees and other business endeavors, not to mention the $44.5 million the Los Angeles Lakers will pay the four-time MVP for the upcoming season.

James, who averaged a career-high 30.3 points a game last season at 37, enjoys a $30 million cushion over second-ranked Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors star who tied James in June by winning his fourth NBA title. 

The league's top-10 highest-paid players will earn around $750 million before taxes and agent fees, breaking last year's unofficial record of $714 million.

James tops Forbes ' list of the NBA's highest earners with a pre-tax income of $124.5 million, which includes endorsements, licensing fees and other business endeavors, not to mention the $44.5 million the Los Angeles Lakers will pay the four-time MVP for the upcoming season

James tops Forbes ' list of the NBA's highest earners with a pre-tax income of $124.5 million, which includes endorsements, licensing fees and other business endeavors, not to mention the $44.5 million the Los Angeles Lakers will pay the four-time MVP for the upcoming season
© Provided by Daily Mail

James signed a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension back in June. The deal includes a player option for the 2024-2025 season and makes James the NBA's highest-paid player ever, with $532 million in guaranteed money over his career. Kevin Durant previously held that distinction, with $509 million in guaranteed contracts.

James' off-court earnings have increased to $80 million, which is one reason Forbes declared him to be the NBA's first active billionaire back in June.

The 18-time NBA All-Star's Nike contract remains one of the highest-profile deals in sports, but he's also added a litany of other sponsors, such as Walmart, GMC, AT&T, and PepsiCo, all of which he can endorse to his 200 million social media followers.

And then there's the brands he's personally invested in, like Calm, Ladder/Openfit and Lobos 1707 tequila.

Finally, there are the businesses that James owns with his partners, such as The SpringHill Company, a seven-year-old media and consulting firm that expects to earn more than $100 million in 2022, according to Sportico.

Curry not only has the highest salary in the NBA at $48 million, but he recently signed a four-year, $215 million extension, which will see him earn $59.6 million for the 2025-26 season © Provided by Daily Mail Curry not only has the highest salary in the NBA at $48 million, but he recently signed a four-year, $215 million extension, which will see him earn $59.6 million for the 2025-26 season

James also has stakes in Liverpool, of the the English Premier League, as well as the Boston Red Sox and their home network, NESN. He recently invested in a Major League Pickleball team.

In May, James was named the highest earner among all athletes by Sportico, edging out international soccer icons Lionel Messi ($122 million) and Cristiano Ronaldo ($115 million). Tennis star Naomi Osaka ranked atop all female athletes, and 20th overall, with $53.2 million in earnings, most of which came from endorsement deals as she missed several tournaments while battling mental health issues.

Curry not only has the highest salary in the NBA at $48 million, but he recently signed a four-year, $215 million extension, which will see him earn $59.6 million for the 2025-26 season. Curry also has $48 million in off-court earnings, thanks to endorsement deals with Under Armour and other brands. 

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant ranked third on Forbes' NBA list at $88 million, followed by Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo at $86.5 million, and Lakers veteran Russell Westbrook at $82.1 million.

All are coming off strong seasons besides Westbrook, who saw his scoring average drop to 18.5 points a game (he averages 22.8 for his career).

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo ranked fourth on the list at $86.5 million © Provided by Daily Mail Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo ranked fourth on the list at $86.5 million Read more
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