If you’re an NBA player and you succeed in the Association, you can be pretty sure that you’re never going to lack cash for the rest of your life, and the next couple of generations are very likely to be quite comfortable as well.
Nonetheless, nowadays athletes make twice, thrice and even four times more money off the court that actually playing, with sponsors spending a bunch load of dollars to make the best players in the world the face of their brand for the future in order to make fans go crazy about their products.
Social media and publicity stunts run the world in this era, so having one of the greatest players of the moment using your product pretty much grants that people are going to buy it, and even though there are few guys that could match Michael Jordan’s lifetime earnings (as much as 1 billion dollars), some basketball players are definitely keen to try it.
Today, we’re going to talk about 5 of the best players in the world and their biggest sponsor partnerships, just to make you get a tiny idea of how many cash flows through their bank accounts every year.
5. Kawhi Leonard - Jordan
Michael Jordan has had nothing but praise for Kawhi Leonard, recently stating that he was the best two-way player in the world nowadays, and that should come as no surprise as his royal Airness decided to make him part of the Jordan brand 4 years ago.
So, apparently Kawhi’s deal with the Jordan brand is exactly like him: Extremely good but he doesn’t say much about it. That means, this deal is supposed to put a huge paycheck on Leonard’s table, but details aren’t yet disclosed to the public.
4. Stephen Curry - Under Armour
Stephen Curry wasn’t making even close at what he actually deserved with his performances with the Golden State Warriors until this offseason the 2 time MVP and NBA Champion finally got the kind of money he deserved with that monster extension he signed.
Nonetheless, it wouldn’t be quite fair to feel sorry for Steph either, as he was already swimming in dough thanks to his decision to leave Nike and sign with Under Armour on a very lucrative deal through 2024, “saving” the brand after Durant’s decision to reject them.
3. Kevin Durant – Nike
Kevin Durant is one of the best players in the world since entering the league, blossoming as a two-way dominant player and even earning the honors to be called the NBA Finals MVP after finally winning his first NBA Championship with the Golden State Warriors.
And if you’ve seen his documentary, you should know how the Durant brand just keeps growing and growing, and how much he “hesitated” to ink his signature in one of the most lucrative deals Nike has ever made after Under Armour tempted him to be the face of their brand, making as much as 300 million dollars in endorsement.
2. LeBron James – Nike
What can we say about LeBron James that hasn’t already been said before? The man is a basketball machine and the best small forward in the history of the game, so there’s absolutely no doubt that pretty much every single brand in the world would be desperate to have him.
James is already a very successful businessman and investor, being smart as he is when it comes to handling his money. Of course, he has a lot of green to risk thanks to his deal with Nike, that guarantees him as much as 100 thousand million dollars to be one of the biggest representatives of the world famous brand.
1. Russell Westbrook – Jordan
And last but not least, we get Russell Westbrook, the NBA’s reigning MVP, an athletic freak and a player that’s keen and determined to win a Larry O’Brien trophy with the Oklahoma City Thunder after averaging a triple-double for a full season the prior campaign.
So, the Jordan brand just recently decided to make Westbrook their main guy for the future, inking him to a long-term deal. Of course, Westbrook and Michael Jordan himself have a very close relationship and MJ has had nothing but words of admiration towards Brodie, and you just can’t deny that he deserves every dime of that yearly 10+ million dollars deal he just signed, the biggest contract in the history of the brand that’ll keep him on board for 10 more years.