LeBron edges Federer as richest Olympian
Absent boxers Mayweather, Pacquiao head list
US NBA superstar LeBron James edges Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer for the title of biggest moneymaker at the London Olympics with an annual income of $53 million, according to Forbes magazine.
The 2012 Forbes list of the world’s 100 richest athletes was revealed last month with US dollar figures for salary and prize-money as well as endorsement sponsorship deals.
In all, there were 12 London Olympians on the list, including half of the 12-man US Olympic “Dream Team” of NBA stars, four tennis players, Spanish NBA star Pau Gasol and Usain Bolt, the Jamaican Olympic gold-medal sprinter.
James adopts a humble attitude when asked about being one of the stars of the Olympics.
“We’re all stars in our own right,” James said.
“Every athlete has to be a star in their country just to be here. These are the stars of the stars.
“We understand the atmosphere. We don’t take it for granted. It keeps you very humble. There will be a time when it’s not like this so you try to take it all in.”
American boxer Floyd Mayweather, jailed in Las Vegas for a domestic assault, led the list at $85 million with Filipino fighter Manny Pacquiao second on $62 million and 14-time major golf champion Tiger Woods third on $59.4 million.
None of them are competing in the London Olympics, although Woods – who had topped the list since 2001 until the aftermath of his infamous sex scandal – might be able to compete in the 2016 Rio Games when golf returns.
James, who led the Miami Heat to the NBA crown last month for his first career title, was fourth on the list, just ahead of Federer in fifth at $52.7 million and US team-mate Kobe Bryant, sixth at $52.3 million.
Federer was the winner in the all-important endorsement category, his $45 million for pitchman sales skills eclipsing second-best James by $5 million, but his $7.7 million in prize money failed to match James’s $13 million salary.
Had David Beckham been selected for the British football squad, he would have been the only footballer from the list at the Games.
The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder would have been fourth in London at $46 million.
List of richest Olympians
List of the richest London Olympic competitors based on the Forbes list of the world’s 100 wealthiest athletes revealed last month, with overall list rank, name, nationality, total US dollars in millions and sport:
|4. L. James (US)||$53 million||Basketball|
|5. R. Federer (SUI)||$52.7 million||Tennis|
|6. K. Bryant (US)||$52.3 million||Basketball|
|26. M. Sharapova (RUS)||$27.9 million||Tennis|
|34. K. Durant (US)||$25.5 million||Basketball|
|44. C. Anthony (US)||$22.9 million||Basketball|
|61. N. Djokovic (SRB)||$20.6 million||Tennis|
|63. U. Bolt (JAM)||$20.3 million||Track|
|72. C. Paul (US)||$19.2 million||Basketball|
|81. Li Na (CHN)||$18.4 million||Tennis|
|84. D. Williams (US)||$18.2 million||Basketball|
|95. P. Gasol (ESP)||$17.2 million||Basketball|