Sneaker contracts remain a significant source of top NBA players’ income, even with the current state of massive NBA contracts. Nine-figure shoe deals are becoming more of the norm for the very best players, as shoe companies shell out major cash for the rights to sell the best players’ sneakers.
So, it should come as no surprise that seven current NBA players topped the $10 million mark in 2016 in money made off of their shoe contracts, according to Forbes. That number will only rise as players move from rookie shoe deals to larger, more lucrative partnerships with Nike, adidas, Under Armour, Jordan, and the rest.
LeBron James, unsurprisingly, led all current players with $32 million made in 2016 off of his Nike deal. James’ signature sneakers from Nike are the best-selling shoe among current players, just ahead of Cavs teammate and fellow Nike athlete Kyrie Irving. James recently inked a lifetime deal with Nike that many have estimated will pay out close to $1 billion once it’s all said and done. At $32 million this year, that billion dollar mark seems well within reach.