HomeSportDurant tops list of top paid athletes at the Tokyo Olympics

Durant tops list of top paid athletes at the Tokyo Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics 2020 will see a host of big-name athletes make their way to the Asian continent in search of glory.

But NBA superstar and former Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant is arguably the biggest name to feature in Tokyo.

Despite an underwhelming end to the 2020 NBA season with the Brooklyn Nets, KD will hope to impress at the upcoming Summer Olympic Games. The USA Men’s basketball team has come under immense criticism in recent weeks after their recent exhibition losses to Nigeria and Australia.

But the 2007 NBA Draft first-round pick will not worry too much about the end result, especially considering his substantial pay package from annual wages and commercial deals.

As per a recent list published by Forbes, the former Oklahoma City Thunder is valued at a massive $75 million ahead of playing for the United States of America at this year’s quadrennial showpiece.

The two-time NBA MVP will lead a roster featuring the likes of Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors), Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat) and Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls).

Freshly-crowned NBA Champions, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday of Milwaukee Bucks will also travel to Tokyo for the Summer Olympic Games.

Apart from KD, Japanese tennis icon Naomi Osaka is second on the list of highest-paid athletes in Tokyo. She bagged a total of $60 million in the past year. Osaka earned $55 million in endorsements and $5 million in prize money in the last 12 months.

Next on this list is Portland’s Damian Lillard ($40.5m) and Serbian tennis ace Novak Djokovic ($34.5m).

Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked tennis player is the only member of men’s tennis’ Big Three set to appear at the Tokyo Olympics, following the recent withdrawals by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

The 34-year-old Serbian star made $30 million of his earnings total off the court, with endorsement deals with companies like Lacoste, Peugeot, NetJets and Austrian tennis equipment maker Head.

Rory McIlroy, regarded as one of golf’s biggest names alongside Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, is the only non-tennis or non-basketball athlete on the list. The Irish golfer comes in at number five with earnings of $32 million.

The 32-year-old collected
$29 million off the course over 12 months, partnering with brands such as Nike, Omega and UnitedHealth Group.

McIlroy’s largest on-the-course payday to date was his $15 million prize for winning the 2019 FedEx Cup. He also scored big that year after founding GolfPass with NBCSports, a digital, $10-per-month subscription streaming package with exclusive instruction from the golf star himself.

The Forbes list is dominated by American basketball players. Besides Durant and Lillard, Devin Booker is ranked sixth on the list with $30.5 million, Khris Middleton at number eight ($27 million), and Jrue Holiday at number nine ($23 million) also make up the list.

Japan’s top ranked male tennis player Nishikori is one of the three tennis players on Forbes’ list of the nine highest-earning athletes who will be competing in Tokyo as he is ranked seventh.

The 31-year-old, who claimed the bronze at the Rio Olympics in 2016 earns $30 million in endorsements from brands like Japan Airlines, Lixil and Nissin — all of which are listed as official Olympic partners.

Playing on his home turf in Japan, Nishikori should be one of the faces of the Tokyo Games.  Business Insider 

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