For the world’s top pro athletes, excellence on the field of battle helps them become the highest-paid figures in their respective arenas. However, when it comes to those dominating on the hardwood of the National Basketball Association, the money doesn’t just come from an individual’s ability to put the ball in the basket; it comes from the star power that enables these players to sell a product off the court. According to those fine folks at Forbes, the 10 players in the NBA who make the most money from their off-the-court ventures will make an estimated $189 million combined.
Clearly Peter Laatz, an executive at research firm Repucom, was right when he said: “The NBA is very good at producing endorsable icons that transcend what happens on the court.” Of course, as you probably suspect, some players pull in more endorsement money than others. Which is why Forbes decided to create a list of “The NBA’s Endorsement All-Stars 2016.” With that in mind, here’s a look at the five NBA players who are making the most money from endorsements this season.
5. Derrick Rose
Off-court earnings: $14 million
There was a time when Derrick Rose was among the most exciting young players in the NBA. The Chicago Bulls point guard electrified fans with his incredible burst, nabbed an MVP award, and looked like the future face of the league. Injuries have derailed that dream since then. However, thanks to sponsorship deals with big brands like Adidas, Powerade, and Giordano’s, Rose is pulling in $14 million in endorsement money this season, making him No. 5 on Forbes’ NBA endorsement All-Star list. Not bad for a guy who only averaged 16.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game in 2015-16.