LeBron James still has some work to do.
According to a report from Wealth-X.com (via Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times), Kobe Bryant has the highest net worth in the NBA. The Black Mamba is estimated to be worth a whopping $220 million.
To put that into context, Kobe probably bathes in hundy-sticks while wishing there were larger bills with which he could scrub himself clean.
Endorsements with Nike, Coca-Cola, Turkish Airlines, Mercedes-Benz, Lenovo, Panini and Hublot have helped Kobe amass a fortune greater than any other superstar in the Association. A global reach, specifically in China, has also aided in the creation of the Los Angeles Lakers mogul.
Rounding out the league's top five richest players are Kevin Garnett
($190 million), LeBron James ($130 million) and Ray Allen and Tim Duncan ($100 million).
Will LeBron ever match Kobe's wealth?
If you remember, LeBron had hoped to become a billion-dollar athlete
upon entering the league. A $130 million net worth certainly isn't chump change, but he's got some ground to cover. Catching Kobe will have to be first on his list. Bryant is worth nearly $100 million more than LeBron. He's been in the league almost twice as long as The King, but that's still an impressive figure.
Next season, the Mamba will be the NBA's highest-paid player, raking in a cool $30.5 million, so it's fitting that he's worth more than anyone else who earns a living on the hardwood. One has to wonder how much wealth he'll wind up accumulating by the time he retires, whenever that is. Also, will LeBron inevitably top Kobe? And if so, when?
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
In truth, LeBron's earnings don't really matter much—Kobe is going to remain obscenely rich either way. No matter when he retires or what he does when he finally walks away, we'll always know that the stacks of cash under Kobe's mattress are far bigger than ours.
Guess we'll have to continue showering the old-fashioned way, using loofahs, washcloths and soap instead of towering piles of Benjamins.