Michael Jordan is still widely regarded as the greatest basketball player of all time. While the debate is and forever will remain ongoing, however, there’s little arguing which NBA player — former or present — is most influential when it comes to sneakers.
To this day, Michael Jordan rakes in an estimated $130 million annually from Jordan Brand, Forbes reports, making him the top earner among NBA player sneaker deals. Far behind Jordan is LeBron James and his $32 million from Nike. MJ hasn’t played a professional game in over a decade and a half, but more Jordan Brand shoes are still being sold than every other signature line from current NBA players combined.
Forbes goes on to point out that sneaker deals are the biggest endorsement for most NBA players, accounting for the majority of their off-court earnings. Nike and Jordan continue to dominate the league, as almost 75 percent of players in the NBA wore Nike or Jordan sneakers last season. Nike and Jordan Brand look to carry on their supremacy by signing the latest up-and-coming talent, including this year’s overall number one pick, Zion Williamson.
There are 14 current or former NBA players with at least $9 million shoe deals, ranging from Michael Jordan ($130 million) to Klay Thompson ($9 million). Nike and Jordan Brand are in contract with nine of these athletes, while the likes of adidas, Under Armour, Anta, and Li-Ning, among others, sign players whenever they can.
For a look at the biggest NBA sneaker deals, see below, then be sure to visit Forbes for a more in depth breakdown of the endorsements.
1. Michael Jordan (Jordan), $130 million
2. LeBron James (Nike), $32 million
3. Kevin Durant (Nike), $26 million
4. Stephen Curry (Under Armour), $20 million
5. Kobe Bryant (Nike), $16 million
6. James Harden (adidas), $14 million
7. Zion Williamson (Jordan), $13 million
8. Dwyane Wade (Li-Ning), $12 million
9. Russell Westbrook (Jordan), $12 million
10. Kyrie Irving (Nike), $11 million
11. Derrick Rose (adidas), $11 million
12. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Nike), $10 million
13. Damian Lillard (adidas), $10 million
14. Klay Thompson (Anta), $9 million
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- Source: Forbes