Longevity and endorsements – key to wealth for today’s athletes

Top 5 wealthiest NBA players by net worth.


Longevity in the sport and corporate endorsements are key to wealth for today’s athletes, according to Wealth-X ranking of ultra wealthy players following this year’s NBA Draft.

The NBA’s wealthiest have been playing for an average of 15 years, or since 1998, which is considered a long career by athlete standards.

Leading the pack is Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers shooting guard, with a total net worth of US$220 million. Drafted in 1996, Bryant, who will earn US$27.85 million in the 2012-2013 season, continues to draw the highest salary in NBA. This is supplemented by multi-million dollar endorsements with Nike, Coca Cola, Turkish Airlines, Mercedes-Benz, Lenovo, Panini and Hublot.

Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnet ranks at number 2 with a net worth of US$190 million. The veteran player with a 17-year NBA career has endorsements with Anta, a Chinese sportswear company, and coconut water brand Zinco, worth US$4 million.

“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. 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,” said Wealth-X President David Friedman.

Top 5 wealthiest NBA players by net worth:

1. Kobe Bryant – net worth 220 (US$ million) – NBA Draft Year 1996 – Team: Los Angeles Lakers
2. Kevin Garnett – 190 (US$ million) – NBA Draft Year 1995 – Team: Boston Celtics
3. LeBron James – 130 (US$ million) – NBA Draft Year 2003 – Team: Miami Heat
4. Tim Duncan – 100 (US$ million) – NBA Draft Year 1997 – Team: San Antonio Spurs
5. Ray Allen – 100 (US$ million) – NBA Draft Year 1996 – Team: Miami Heat.