Ranking the 50 highest-earning athletes in the U.S.
By Jonah Freedman, SI.com
Five years ago, Sports Illustrated first set out to find the 50 top-earning American athletes (taking into account on- and off-the-field income). We discovered a few basic facts, and as the Fortunate 50 turns five, some things have remained dead-on consistent:
No one can touch Tiger Woods, the runaway No. 1 for the fifth year in a row. Tiger's near $128 million haul is more than double his closest pursuer, Phil Mickelson at $62.4 million. As usual, hoops dominates the 50: More than half this year's list is made up of NBA players. There are 10 baseball players, seven football players, three NASCAR drivers, three golfers and one boxer -- and yet zero women.
Meanwhile, our International 20 list has seen a huge bump in average paycheck, thanks to the weak American dollar: 12 of the athletes earn their bread in foreign currencies from leagues outside the U.S. In the futures department, we tab the likes of Danica Patrick, Chris Paul and Joba Chamberlain to someday soon make the 50 in our Future Fortunates photo gallery.
As always, we limited our estimates to salary, winnings, bonuses, endorsements and appearances. Candidates for the 50 had to be American citizens. For an in-depth analysis of who's on the fifth annual Fortunate 50 and why, click here.
1. Tiger Woods
2. Phil Mickelson
3. LeBron James
4. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
5. Kobe Bryant
6. Shaquille O'neal
7. Alex Rodriguez
8. Kevin Garnett
9. Peyton Manning
10. Derek Jeter
FULL list inside including details: salary/winning + endorsements, etc.