Three-quarters of the top 10 ultra wealthy National Basketball Association (NBA) players were drafted in the mid-1990s, suggesting longevity in the sport and corporate endorsements are key to wealth for today's athletes.
These are the findings by Wealth-X, the ultra high net worth (UHNW) business development solution for private banks, luxury brands, educational institutions and non-profits, which released its ranking of ultra wealthy players following this year's NBA Draft.
The NBA's wealthiest have been playing for an average of 15 years, or since 1998, which is considered a long career by athlete standards.
Leading the pack is Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers shooting guard, with a total net worth of US$220 million. Drafted in 1996, Bryant, who will earn US$27.85 million in the 2012-2013 season, continues to draw the highest salary in NBA. This is supplemented by multi-million dollar endorsements with Nike, Coca Cola, Turkish Airlines, Mercedes-Benz, Lenovo, Panini and Hublot.
Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnet ranks at number 2 with a net worth of US$190 million. The veteran player with a 17-year NBA career has endorsements with Anta, a Chinese sportswear company, and coconut water brand Zinco, worth US$4 million.
Below is the top 10 wealthiest NBA players by net worth:
"Against the backdrop of the NBA Draft last week, it is interesting to explore the correlation between talent, performance and net worth that is revealed in this ranking. It provides a window into the value that society implicitly places on the skills of these professional athletes and the role of entertainment within our culture," said Wealth-X President David Friedman.