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2012's Richest NBA Players List: Kobe, LeBron Lead the Pack Once Again

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Forbes Magazine has released its yearly tally of who in the NBA is earning the most. By calculating a player's total earnings via both their salary combined with their off-court endorsements, Forbes put together a list of the top 10 highest-earning players currently playing.

The Top-Earning NBA Players | Forbes

It is not surprising to see Kobe at the top of the list, as he currently owns the richest contract in the NBA. He is also second only to LeBron in using his notoriety to earn endorsement deals off the court. You can see with these two players that when it comes to the biggest endorsements, there is only room for one or two at the top. Kobe also demonstrated his ability to tap into the foreign markets as well, which further helps his name recognition as well as his bank account.

Over the summer, we examined Fortune Magazine's own player ranking, which you can find here. It looks like they may be using slightly different means to calculate the endorsement number, but by and large the order of the ranking looks similar. Also, some of the yearly salaries differ from other sources that we frequently use here (such as HoopsHype), but for consistency's sake we're only reporting Forbes' published numbers.

OKC's own Kevin Durant cracks the top 10 now that his new contract extension has kicked in this year.

Name Salary ($M) Endorsements ($M) Total ($M)
Kobe Bryant $25.2 $28.0 $53.2
LeBron James $16.0 $33.0 $49.0
Dwight Howard $17.9 $11.0 $28.9
Dwyane Wade $15.7 $12.0 $27.7
Carmelo Anthony $18.5 $8.0 $26.5
Amare Stoudemire $18.2 $8.0 $26.2
Kevin Garnett $21.2 $5.0 $26.2
Kevin Durant $15.5 $9.0 $24.5
Tim Duncan $21.3 $2.0 $23.3
Chris Paul $16.4 $6.0 $22.4

*all data provided by