Expert says MJ’s endorsement income still more than LeBron’s

Michael Jordan is still the king of endorsement dollars.

Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

CHICAGO — An expert in sports economics says Michael Jordan’s endorsement income has grown and still eclipses that of current NBA players, including LeBron James.

Smith College economist Andrew Zimbalist testified Monday in federal court in Chicago. He’s an expert witness for Jordan in the former Chicago Bulls player’s lawsuit seeking damages from a grocery store chain that used his image without permission.

Zimbalist says the fair market value of Jordan’s image in advertising is at least $10 million.

He says Jordan’s climbing income in recent years is unusual for a former athlete. He says Jordan’s endorsement income was $75.5 million in 2012.

The former NBA star could testify as soon as Monday to explain why he so meticulously guards his image.