Floyd Mayweather, LeBron James Headline SI's Top 50 Earners in Sports List

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 15, 2013

Not only are Floyd Mayweather and LeBron James considered to be the best in their respective sports, but they are also the richest athletes in the United States, according to Sports Illustrated's "Fortunate 50" profile.

SI's Daniel Roberts reports that Mayweather stands to make $90 million this year based solely on two fights. He already beat Robert Guerrero soundly in his first fight in 2013 and he is scheduled to fight again in September against an opponent that has yet to be determined.

Miami Heat forward LeBron James won his fourth MVP award this season and seems poised to win a second consecutive NBA title as well. James "only" makes $17.5 million in base salary this season, but thanks to $39 million in endorsements, King James checks in at a distant No. 2 on the list with more than $56.5 million coming in this year.  

Also, James is the first team-sport player to land in the top two on the "Fortunate 50" list since former Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal in 2004, per SI's Twitter account.

Here is the full, 50-athlete list including 2013 earnings as well as their rankings from the previous year, courtesy of Sports Illustrated:

2013 Ranking Athlete Sport Team 2013 Earnings 2012 Ranking


Floyd Mayweather Boxing N/A $90 mil 1
2 LeBron James NBA Miami Heat $56.545 mil 5
3 Drew Brees NFL New Orleans Saints $47.8 mil NR
4 Kobe Bryant NBA Los Angeles Lakers $46.85 mil 4
5 Tiger Woods Golf N/A $40,839,027 3
6 Phil Mickelson Golf N/A $39.528 mil 2
7 Derrick Rose NBA Chicago Bulls $33.403 mil 19
8 Peyton Manning NFL Denver Broncos $31 mil 7
9 Alex Rodriguez MLB New York Yankees $29.9 mil 6
10 Zack Greinke MLB Los Angeles Dodgers $29.02 mil NR
11 Dwyane Wade NBA Miami Heat $28.682 mil 16
12 Kevin Durant NBA Oklahoma City Thunder $27.67 mil 11
13 Johan Santana MLB New York Mets $26.3 mil NR
14 Felix Hernandez MLB Seattle Mariners $25.6 mil NR
15 Vincent Jackson NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers $25.36 mil NR
16 Carmelo Anthony NBA New York Knicks $25.3 mil 15
17 Cliff Lee MLB Philadelphia Phillies $25.28 mil T-29
18 Mario Williams NFL Buffalo Bills $25.15 mil 13
19 Derek Jeter MLB New York Yankees $25.1 mil 9
20 Joe Mauer MLB Minnesota Twins $25 mil 12
21 Carl Nicks NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers $24.285 mil NR
22 CC Sabathia MLB New York Yankees $24 mil 20
23 Prince Fielder MLB Detroit Tigers $23.5 mil 22
24 Amar'e Stoudemire NBA New York Knicks $23.45 mil 24
25 Ryan Howard MLB Philadelphia Phillies $23.2 mil 32
26 Tim Lincecum MLB San Francisco Giants $23 mil NR
27 Matt Schaub NFL Houston Texans $22.78 mil NR
28 Mark Teixeira MLB New York Yankees $22.725 mil 21
29 Calvin Johnson NFL Detroit Lions $22.6 mil NR
30 Matt Kemp MLB Los Angeles Dodgers $22.4 mil NR
31 Dwight Howard NBA Los Angeles Lakers $21.936 mil NR
32 Vernon Wells MLB New York Yankees $21.6 mil 17
33 Chris Paul NBA Los Angeles Clippers $21.58 mil 40
34 Adrian Gonzalez MLB Los Angeles Dodgers $21.35 mil 25
35 Dirk Nowitzki NBA Dallas Mavericks $21.307 mil NR
36 Miguel Cabrera MLB Detroit Tigers $21.2 mil NR
37 Pau Gasol NBA Los Angeles Lakers $21.1 mil NR
38 Justin Verlander MLB Detroit Tigers $20.6 mil 28
39 Roy Halladay MLB Philadelphia Phillies $20.21 mil 35
40 Matt Cain MLB San Francisco Giants $20.1 mil NR
41 Barry Zito MLB San Francisco Giants $20.08 mil NR
42 Carl Crawford MLB Los Angeles Dodgers $20.075 mil T-36
43 Joe Johnson NBA Brooklyn Nets $19.953 mil NR
44 Cole Hamels MLB Philadelphia Phillies $19.9 mil NR
45 Joey Votto MLB Cincinnati Reds $19.25 mil NR
46 Albert Pujols MLB Los Angeles Angels $19 mil T-36
47 Chris Bosh NBA Miami Heat $18.545 mil 48
48 Eli Manning NFL New York Giants $18.5 mil 31
49 Dale Earnhardt Jr. NASCAR N/A $18,416,567 8
50 Alfonso Soriano MLB Chicago Cubs $18.2 mil NR


Rounding out the top five are New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant and legendary golfer Tiger Woods.

According to Roberts, Woods had been No. 1 in the "Fortunate 50" every year from 2004 until 2012 when Mayweather assumed the top spot. Woods is back in familiar territory thanks to an incredibly strong 2013 season thus far.

Being highly paid doesn't always guarantee success on the field of play, as some of the athletes on the list have proven, but there is no question that Mayweather and James are deserving of their No. 1 and No. 2 positions, respectively.

Whether or not athletes make more money than they deserve is an entirely different conversation. Nevertheless, in comparison to their counterparts in every other sport, Floyd and LeBron are simply a cut above the rest in terms of both skill and wealth.  


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter