The wealth of the world’s top athletes and biggest NBA stars is hard to comprehend. This includes top Sixers James Harden and Joel Embiid.
Forbes has released its new Highest-Paid Athletes List for 2022, laying out the top 50 athletes in total income from May 1, 2021 to May 1, 2022. The earnings include all salary and bonuses, plus additional money made from everything such as sponsorship deals to appearances.
The top four on the list is dominated by the world’s top soccer stars, led by Lionel Messi at a staggering $130 million, with Cristiano Ronaldo ($115 million) in third and Neymar ($95 million) in fourth. LeBron James ($121.2 million) is unsurprisingly the top NBA player as the second-highest athlete overall, with Steph Curry ($92.8 million) and Kevin Durant ($92.1 million) following.
Then, slightly farther down the list at 12 is the first Sixer, James Harden, at $74.4 million. Harden made $43.84 million from his NBA salary alone in 2021-22 and has a major deal with Adidas. As Forbes noted, Harden also had an equity stake in Bodyarmor and received a payout when Coca-Cola brought the company in 2021, and he invested $15 million in 2019 to acquire a stake in the MLS team Houston Dynamo.
Embiid comes in at 40 on the list with total earnings of $39.7 million. The big fella made $31.57 in the 2021-22 season from his NBA contract, boosted by his endorsement deal with Under Armour.
Basketball players accounted for more athletes than any other sport on the list, leading the way with 18 (followed by football at 14, then soccer at five).
More interesting than the absurd individual wealth of these athletes, though, is what the Sixers will be doing in the offseason to strengthen their roster. Will they really pursue another star? Will they make effective use of their limited cap space in free agency to add some much-needed depth? Will Harden opt into his $47.4 million player option for 2022-23, or will he be signed to a new contract?
There are lots of questions and possible changes to consider. We’ll have coverage of every update and potential move here at Liberty Ballers.