Photo: CNBC

The NBA playoff finals featuring Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics rank as the biggest news from the competition this week. However, as the two teams battled for the coveted prize, another piece of big news broke out this week, ranking LeBron James high in the money league.

A report by Forbes earlier in the month places the Los Angeles Lakers forward among the money spinners in the NBA, listing him as the latest billionaire associated with the basketball league. The Lakers star is estimated to be worth US$ 1.2 billion, which makes him the richest among the active players in the NBA, and the second after retired star, Michael Jordan, to get that recognition.

Well, the NBA predictions on SportyTrader aren’t going to feature LeBron James or his team, the LA Lakers for the remainder of the post-season, but he will remain a popular figure as another busy season winds down. So, here we look at the richest NBA stars.

Michael Jordan: He is ranked the world’s richest basketballer. He has already retired from the game though, after playing 15 seasons in the NBA. MJ, as he is popularly referred to, won six titles with Chicago Bulls and his net worth, reported to be US$1.7 billion makes the 59-year-old the wealthiest in the world of basketball.

LeBron James:

The second in this list, LeBron’s estimated worth of US$ 1.2 billion pushes him very close to Michael Jordan. With James still actively playing, he has been tipped to soon go top of the list. A former Cleveland Cavaliers forward, James is a top businessman as well and more than half of his riches are said to have emanated from his business ventures, as well as endorsements. His gains throughout his career are estimated at USS$ 500 million. In the last one year, he is reported to have earned US$121 million, placing him second among the highest paid sportsmen, after Lionel Messi.

Junior Bridgeman:

A former Milwaukee Bucks player, Bridgeman is ranked the third richest in the history of NBA players. He is currently a successful businessman, having retired from basketball after 12 years in the NBA. He is worth US$600 million.

Magic Johnson:

Another former player on the rich list is Magic Johnson. An icon of the game, Magic announced his retirement in 1991, then contracted to LA Lakers, after also announcing he had contracted HIV. He took up leadership positions in the basketball circles after his retirement but also went into business, and is currently ranked among the richest former players. He is worth US$ 600 million.

Shaquille O’Neal:

One of the best centres in the history of the NBA, Shaq has also done well for himself. Currently a sports analyst after retiring from the game, following a 19-year stint, Shaq has also starred in movies, TV shows and done rap music. He is estimated to be worth US$ 400 million. In his playing career, Shaq served at Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics.


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