The list of the top 10 highest paid athletes in the world has been released with two of the biggest superstars in the NBA making the cut. As usual, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers has made the list, but he might not be as high up on the list of the highest paid athletes as you might expect.
With an eye-popping $32 million from endorsements, Kobe continues to make more money off the floor than he does on it. The five-time NBA champion took a 20 percent pay cut over the course of the 2011-12 NBA season due to the NBA lockout, but still managed to earn an impressive salary of $20.3 million in the process.
The 10 athletes on this list play in six different sports with no more than two from each sport.
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Top 10 Highest Paid Athletes
10. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos ($42.4 million)
After receiving a payout of $26 million from the Indianapolis Colts and a signing bonus of $6 million with the Broncos, Manning was able to make this list without playing a single game under center for the Colts in 2011. Manning also earned $10 million in endorsements.
9. Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid ($42.5 million)
As arguably one of the most popular and talented soccer players in the world, Ronaldo is also one of the richest earning $20 million with Madrid and even more than that off the pitch with $22.5 million from Nike, Konami and Castrol.
8. David Beckham, Los Angeles Galaxy ($46 million)
Even though Beckham is no longer a premiere soccer player in the world and is nearing the end of his playing days on the pitch, the Galaxy superstar still gets paid like one of the best midfielders in the world with $9 million a year from Los Angeles and an impressive $37 million in endorsements.
7. Phil Mickelson ($47.8 million)
Despite always being overshadowed by Tiger Woods, Mickelson continues to make almost as much money as his nemesis with $4.8 million in earnings on the golf course and an incredible $43 million off of it with lucrative endorsements.
6. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers ($52.3 million)
With Kobe seemingly turning back the clock this season, the Lakers superstar may continue to be one of the highest paid athletes in the world, but falls short of LeBron this time around.
5. Roger Federer ($52.7 million)
Federer may no longer be considered the best tennis player in the world as he experienced a steady decline as of late, but he makes up for that in with extremely lucrative endorsements that pays him more than seven times his earnings ($7.7 million) on the tennis court.
4. LeBron James, Miami Heat ($53 million)
Over the past decade or so, Kobe has been the highest paid player in the NBA with numerous endorsements and a huge annual salary. Now that distinction goes to LeBron as the perennial All-Star cashes in on $40 million over the past year with high-paying endorsements from Nike, McDonalds and Coca-Cola.
3. Tiger Woods ($59.4 million)
After a severe decline in winnings and many endorsement deals not being renewed over the past few years, Woods still makes more money than any athlete in the world outside of boxing. With $55 million from endorsements from companies like Nike, Woods isn’t going broke anytime soon.
2. Manny Pacquiao ($62 million)
The outcome of the fight with Timothy Bradley may have shocked the world as it was arguably one of the most controversial decisions in boxing history, but Pacquiao isn’t feeling the effects to his bank account with earnings of $56 million in his last two fights and the rest coming from HP and Nike.
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr. ($85 million)
Even though Mayweather is trapped in a jail cell in Las Vegas for the next couple of months, the undefeated boxer is still the highest paid athlete in the world with $85 million earnings without any endorsements.