They’re members of what’s been dubbed the Fortunate 50 by Sports Illustrated, but after last season, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol might have to disagree – at least a little.
That said, though, team failures hardly erase the fact that the three Lakers are among the 50 highest-earning athletes in sports over the course of their most recent season. They’re raking in the money, no matter if it’s not coming with the rings they likely expected.
Bryant ranks highest on the list, at no. 4, although LeBron James (no. 2) passed him to assume the place of the highest-earning NBA player. Bryant’s total earnings for the year topped out at $46.85 million, according to the list, with $27.85 million coming from his salary and $19 million from his endorsements.
Howard comes next, at no. 31, making $21.94 million, $19.54 via salary and $2.4 via endorsements. Gasol falls just behind Howard, at no. 37, with his $21.1 million in earnings. Gasol nets slightly less endorsement cash – $2.1 million to Howard’s $2.4 – along with a $19 million salary.
Six additional Los Angeles athletes appear on the list: Zack Greinke (no. 10), Matt Kemp (30), Chris Paul (33), Adrian Gonzalez (34), Carl Crawford (42) and Albert Pujols (46). With nine of the 50 athletes, Los Angeles might be called the most fortunate city, although it’s the team without a single athlete on the list, the Kings, who are most likely to bring it a championship in 2013.