NBA players are especially sought-after for brand endorsement deals because of their international following. Even after the 20 percent salary cut NBA players took this year, after the 2011 lockout and the resulting 66 game series, “Forbes” reports that NBA players enjoyed sizable endorsement fees.
Here are the top 10 NBA players with the most lucrative endorsement deals.
10. Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics
Endorsement Total: $4 million Major Endorsements: ANTA, Zico
The Boston Celtics’ No. 5 was born in Greenville, SC and didn’t play organized basketball until he was in high school. That didn’t seem to matter to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The team drafted him straight out of high school. Garnett left Adidas sponsorship and has been affiliated with ANTA Sports Products since the summer of 2010.
9. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
Endorsement Total: $6 million Major Endorsements: Jordan Brand, JEEP, Powerade, Upper Deck
Serving as point guard for the Los Angeles Clippers, 27-year-old Paul is known for his charitable donations and he responded generously to the victims of hurricane Katrina. Paul endorses the Jordan Brand, and rumor has it that the players chosen to represent the brand are selected by the ledged himself, Michael Jordan, which is a major compliment.
8. Amare Stoudemire, New York Knicks
Endorsement Total: $8 million Major Endorsements: Nike, Sheets Brand energy strips
The 6’ 11” Stoudemire is a power forward and center for the New York Knicks. Stoudemire’s mother was a transient farmer, and as a result he played basketball for six different high schools. His reward came when he was honored with the title of Mr. Basketball in Florida. Stoudemire endorses Sheets Brand energy strips, which was co-founded by NBA super star LeBron James. According to ABC News, the energy strips contain about 50 milligrams of caffeine and have been scrutinized because of the potential for abuse and use by children.
7. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
Endorsement Total: $8 million Major Endorsements: Jordan Brand, Powerade, Sprint (Boost Mobile)
Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks are knocking out a killer 5-0 season. Some say head coach Mike Woodson deserves credit for getting Anthony to step up his game. If the Knicks keep up this winning streak, Anthony may have more endorsements coming his way.
6. Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers
Endorsement Total: $11 million Major Endorsements: Adidas, McDonald’s
Howard earned a nomination to the All-Defensive First Team four times. The question is, can Howard’s defense jolt the Lakers weak offense into motion? Until we get an answer to that, Howard is bringing in the cash from his affiliations with sneakers and Big Macs.
5. Dwayne Wade, Miami Heat
Endorsement Total: $12 million Major Endorsements: Li-Ning, Gatorade, Pepperidge Farms
Big news from Dwayne Wade: he won’t be sporting Jordan Brand this season. The Miami Heat star has signed on with Li-Ning, a Chinese shoe company. Prior to this, Wade and Converse enjoyed a six year relationship before he signed on with Jordan Brand.
4. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
Endorsement Total: $13 million Major Endorsements: Nike, Sprint, Gatorade, 2K Sports, Skull Candy
Durant joined the NBA in 2007 after playing college basketball at the University of Texas in Austin. He was the 2nd pick in the first round of the 2007 draft, picked by the Seattle Supersonics. The 24-year-old currently plays the small forward position for the Oklahoma City Thunder and “Forbes” reports that he’s on the brink of major stardom. Based on his current endorsement deals, he doesn’t seem to be doing bad now! It’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here.
3. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
Endorsement Total: $14.2 million Major Endorsements: Adidas, Powerade, Skull Candy
Derrick Rose wears the No.1 jersey for the Chicago Bulls, who selected him with the 1st draft pick in 2008. In addition to playing ball and his endorsements with Adidas, Skull Candy, and Powerade, Rose recently bought a minority stake in Giordano’s pizza. Now that he has bought into the business, he is the focus of Giordano’s new ad campaign.
2. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Endorsement Total: $32 million Major Endorsements: Nike, Vitamin Water, Smart Car
According to Lakers Nation, Bryant is the sixth highest paid athlete in the world. And a recent “Sports Illustrated” review of the 50 highest earning American athletes put Bryant 4th, when taking endorsement deals were added to the mix. Bryant has enjoyed heightened fame from his commercials for Smart Car and we have to admit, this is a pretty creative commercial.
1. LeBron James, Miami Heat
Endorsement Total: $40 million Major Endorsements: Nike, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Upper Deck
LeBron James is as hot as Miami and his endorsements help prove it. In addition to making the Miami Heat the NBA champions, he came home with an Olympic gold medal as a member of Team USA this year. He earns $12,880,000 from his work on the court, but brings in $33,000,000 from heavy hitting endorsements.
People around the globe idolize American professional athletes, and the payoff is big. Do you think these athletes are worth the money they get for simply linking their name with brands?
Top 10 NBA Players with the Most Endorsements
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