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If you’re trying to decide what sport to steer your kid into, take a look at the list of the highest-paid athletes of all-time.
Time to put down that lacrosse stick and pick up a basketball or golf clubs. At least, that’s probably what you want to do if you want to score some sweet, sweet generational wealth.
Sportico released its list of the richest athletes of all-time, and I bet you can’t guess who came in at number one.
Seriously, take a guess…
Wait, unless you guessed Michael Jordan, in which case, yes, he’s the richest athlete of all-time.
His earnings, when adjusted for inflation (which means he’s getting a big assist from Joe Biden), are $3.3 billion. That’s slightly more than the annual GDP of quite a few countries around the globe.
Behind Jordan are three golfers: Tiger Woods, beverage magnate Arnold Palmer, and Jack Niklaus. It isn’t until you get to number 5 on the list that you encounter an athlete who is still active That honor goes to soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, whose currently cashing checks in Saudi Arabia.
Floyd Mayweather and Roger Federer are the only athletes outside of basketball, golf, or soccer to crack the top 10.
Just outside the top 10 is F1 legend Michael Schumacher in 11th place.
Basketball Players Dominated The List
Somewhat surprisingly, the first football player on the list doesn’t show up until the 22nd spot on the list. Unsurprisingly, that football player is recently-retired quarterback and kitten dad, Tom Brady.
Peyton Manning and Drew Brees were the only NFL players to make the list.
There were more basketball players on the list than any other type of athlete with 13 being among the richest athletes. This goes to show two things: 1). their financial advisors’ impressive business acumen and 2). that if you can put aside your convictions and do business with an oppressive regime *cough* China *cough* there’s plenty of money to be had.
Hockey was the only one of the four major North American sports not represented on the list, which is okay, because it just goes to show they’re out there for the love of the game.
Additionally, the only female athlete on the list was Serena Williams, who tied with Evander Holyfield for 38th.
Sportico calculated this date using info on athletes’ earnings which included salaries, sponsorships, licensing, book deals, appearances, and more. It also took into account sponsorship deals in which an athlete has an equity stake.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle