Forbes released its annual top-100 highest paid athletes list, which saw the Los Angeles Lakers represented. The Lakers being on the list in some way is no surprise as Kobe Bryant was a regular for quite some time, but this year it was a different player.
Brook Lopez came in at No. 95 on the publication’s list.Lopez earned $23.1 million total last year, $22.6 million of which came from his contract with the Lakers while the other $500,000 came from endorsements.
He was tied with three other athletes for 95th: Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano, New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, and San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge.
Lopez was acquired by the Lakers last summer along with a first-round draft pick in exchange for D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov. He played in 74 games for the Lakers this past season and had his share of ups and downs.
His rebounding struggles were a cause of concern for many fans, but he provided solid rim protection throughout the year and showcased his versatility offensively. Early in the season Lopez tended to spend too much time on the perimeter, but things turned around later in the year, especially in the month of March when he averaged 17.6 points on 57 percent shooting.
He became an unrestricted free agent this summer and though there was speculation Lopez would be re-signed, he wound up joining the Milwaukee Bucks on a one-year deal. At his exit interview Lopez said he would be open to re-signing at a discount if the Lakers assembled a roster that could contend.
As for Forbes’ list itself, boxer Floyd Mayweather was far and away the highest paid athlete, making $285 million last year. Soccer stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo followed with $111 and $108 million respectively.
UFC Star Conor McGregor was fourth at $99 million and soccer player Neymar came in fifth at $90 million. LeBron James ($85.5 million), Roger Federer ($77.2), Stephen Curry ($76.9), Matt Ryan ($67.3) and Matthew Stafford ($59.5) rounded out the top 10.
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