Despite not having hit the court in almost two decades, six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan is still winning. Forbes has listed the former Chicago Bull and arguably the greatest player to ever grace the basketball court as the NBA player with the highest-earning sneaker deal this year, 16 years after lacing up for the last time.
Jordan’s association with footwear giants Nike has been one of the most lucrative partnerships in sports history, with both parties making serious bank from Jordan Brand. This year alone the Nike off-shoot earned a tidy US$3.14 billion. Of that US$3 billion, Jordan took home an estimated US$130 million, a whopping four times more than closest rival LeBron James’ annual sneaker deal pocket money. To put that in perspective, more Jordan-branded shoes and apparel are being sold than the signature lines of every other current NBA player combined.
Other big names making up the top 10 highest sneaker earners this year include Kevin Durant (US$26 million), Stephen Curry (US$20 million), James Harden (US$14 million) and rookie newcomer Zion Williamson (US$13 million), who recently signed a multi-year deal with Jordan Brand to become the new face of the marque sneaker label.
Check out the top 10 earners for this year below and discover the full list at Forbes.com.
1. Michael Jordan (Jordan Brand) – US$130 million
2. LeBron James (Nike) – US$32 million
3. Kevin Durant (Nike) – US$26 million
4. Stephen Curry (Under Armour) – US$20 million
5. Kobe Bryant (Nike) – US$16 million
6. James Harden (adidas) – US$14 million
7. Zion Williamson (Jordan Brand) – US$13 million
8. Dwyane Wade (Li-Ning) – US$12 million
9. Russel Westbrook (Jordan Brand) – US$12 million
10. Kyrie Irving (Nike) – US$11 million