In Forbes’ most recent 100 highest-paid athletes in the world list, nearly one-third of those that made the cut play in the NBA.
Last year, only 18 NBA players made the list.
What’s the biggest difference? Sure, salaries will go up every year as long as the salary cap keeps expanding – mostly due to the league’s TV contracts with ESPN/ABC and Turner, but individually?
As Mars Blackmon said in those late-80’s Nike Air Jordan ads: “It’s gotta be the shoes.”
And guess what? He’s right. In fact, on the list of the biggest money-makers in terms of sneaker revenue in the past year, there are retired NBA players as well. Not like those guys need the extra income; they’re doing just fine financially.
Without further ado, here are the 12 top sneaker sellers of the last 12 months.
11. Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony
Amount: $5 million each
Brand: Nike (Jordan)
From Forbes: Westbrook and Anthony are the two most high-profile, active endorsers of the Jordan brand, which still sells roughly half the basketball shoes in the U.S. under the Nike umbrella. Jordan released Westbrook’s second signature off-court shoe in 2016. The lifestyle model retails for $140. Melo’s has had 13 signature shoes with Jordan since entering the NBA in 2003.