It’s no secret that professional athletes make a lot of money. In comparison to the highest paid coaches in sports, the highest paid athletes make almost three times as much on average. Of course, soccer is the most popular sport in the world, but Major League Soccer pails in comparison to the major North American sports. There are plenty of athletes, such as Ronaldo and Messi, that make more money than some of the guys on this list. With that being said, here are the top 5 highest paid North American athletes.
5. James Harden – NBA
2017 Earnings: $46.6 million
The Beard has been among the best players in the NBA since he was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Houston Rockets. He has finished as runner-up for Most Valuable Player in each of the past two seasons, so it’s not surprising that he makes a healthy salary for his efforts. On the other hand, his iconic image and what it’s worth to advertisers is what lands him in the top 5.
4. Stephen Curry – NBA
2017 Earnings: $47.3 million
Steph Curry is a 2-time MVP and a 2-time NBA Champion, so again, it’s not surprising that he makes a sizeable salary for his play; however, the difference between him and other athletes above and below him is his relatability to the average American athlete. He is not a big guy. He is not overly fast. What he does possess is a tremendous work ethic that led him to becoming the greatest shooter the NBA has ever seen.
3. Andrew Luck – NFL
2017 Earnings: $50 million
Another lead man with an impressive beard landed in the top 5 highest paid North American athletes, but this one didn’t really earn a lot of his income this year. Andrew Luck is a former number one overall pick and the quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts. Despite dealing with injuries that sidelined him for the duration of the 2017 NFL season, Luck brought in an amazing $50 million from his salary and endorsements.
2. Kevin Durant – NBA
2017 Earnings: $60.6 million
Kevin Durant, aka Durantula, aka KD, is hands-down the second-best basketball player in the world. He is a freak athlete that combines tremendous length, elite athleticism, and unmatched skill. He is so good that he left a good team for one of the best teams in NBA history and still remains the best player on his team. Once old man James decides to hang it up, Durant will take over as the face of the league.
1. LeBron James – NBA
2017 Earnings: $86.2 million
This one does not need much of an explanation. LeBron James is arguably the best athlete on the planet, but even more important for his pockets, he is the most marketable athlete in the world. His net worth keeps climbing, but with all due respect, he will never pass Michael Jordan in money earned or basketball greatness.