LeBron James, Floyd Mayweather Highlight Athletes on Forbes Top 100 Celebs List

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJuly 1, 2014

FILE - In this June 14, 2014 file photo, Miami Heat forward LeBron James responds to a question during a media availability for the NBA basketball finals in San Antonio. A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that James has decided to opt out of the final two years of his contract with the Heat and become a free agent on July 1. Opting out does not mean James has decided to leave the Heat, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the four-time NBA MVP nor the team had made any public announcement. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

No one was able to surpass Queen B, but several athletes were able to crack Forbes' newest list of the world's 100 most powerful celebrities

LeBron James checks in at No. 2 just behind behind Beyonce on the list, which combines estimated earnings with Factiva (number of mentions in print, on TV and on the radio) and social media information, per Forbes' Dorothy Pomerantz

Floyd Mayweather, Kobe Bryant and Roger Federer were all able to join James in the top 20. 

Here's a look at where all of them rank: 

Forbes' Most Powerful Celebrities: Athletes in Top 20
2LeBron James
7Floyd Mayweather
15Kobe Bryant
16Roger Federer

Amazingly, James is second despite never being the highest-paid player on his team during his 11-year career, per ESPN's Brian Windhorst.

Still, he's the best player in the NBA, and with a max contract coming this summer, he'll be able to remain in contention with Beyonce for the top spot. 

Mayweather's inclusion in the top 10 isn't surprising. The undefeated pound-for-pound champion is a master marketer and continues to draw viewers unlike anyone in the sport. 

Bryant and Federer, meanwhile, remain near the top despite less-than-spectacular years. Kobe missed much of the 2013-14 NBA campaign with injuries, while Federer continues to battle Father Time. Still, you could make an easy argument for either as the most popular players in their respective sports. 

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Forbes' Most Powerful Celebrities: Athletes 21-50
21Tiger Woods
24Rafael Nadal
30Cristiano Ronaldo
33Kevin Durant
39Peyton Manning
43Novak Djokovic
44Phil Mickelson
45Lionel Messi

We see our first and only NFL player crack the list: Peyton Manning, fresh off a record-breaking season and an appearance in the Super Bowl, coming in at No. 39. 

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are unsurprisingly the highest-ranked soccer players. While the latter is often regarded as the better player—four Ballon d'Or awards to two—Ronaldo's marketability (read: he looks good) has him slotted 15 spots higher. 

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 23:  Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates scoring his team's third goal as Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid looks dejected during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona at the Bernabeu on March 23, 2014 in Madrid,
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Kevin Durant checks in right at the Justin Bieber Line, tied with everyone's favorite 20-year-old musician at No. 33. Fresh off his first MVP award, though, you have to believe the Thunder's 25-year-old superstar is going to be moving only up this list.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have had far more recent success than Federer on the tennis court, but they remain No. 2 and 3, respectively, in the sport. 

Predictably, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are the top golfers on the list. Lefty has struggled recently, and Woods just returned from a lengthy injury. But even with talent popping up all over the Tour, those two are still the reason many fans tune into the biggest tournaments. They have been the face of the sport for much of the past two decades. 

Forbes' Most Powerful Celebrities: Athletes 51-100
55Dwyane Wade
63Maria Sharapova
69Serena Williams
85Li Na

Dwyane Wade makes it two-thirds of the Miami Heat's Big Three on the list, solidifying Chris Bosh as clearly the biggest snub.  

Maria Sharapova is the top woman on the list, finishing six spots ahead of Serena Williams. That's a bit surprising, as the latter is more successful and has a devoted following. Perhaps the Russian Sharapova's international popularity was enough to vault her higher, though. 

KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 27:  Serena Williams of the United States shakes hands at the net after her straight sets victory against Maria Sharapova of Russia during their semi final round match during day 11 at the Sony Open at Crandon Park Tennis Cente on
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The same goes for Li Na, the two-time major champion, who was able to jump to No. 85. 

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