LeBron James may be “King” of the NBA, but he’s a mere prince — and perhaps even a pauper — when it comes to sports salaries. That’s because the Cleveland cager finished behind former UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor in the Forbes list of world’s highest-paid athletes for 2018.
“Notorious” landed at No. 4 with $99 million, thanks primarily to the $85 million he banked by boxing Floyd Mayweather Jr. last August. Not surprisingly, “Money” topped the list at No. 1 with $285 million while James was No. 6 at $85.5 million.
Forbes reveals the criteria for this year’s list:
Our earnings include prize money, salaries and bonuses earned between June 1, 2017, and June 1, 2018. Endorsement incomes are an estimate of sponsorships, appearance fees and licensing incomes for the same 12-month period based on conversations with dozens of industry insiders. We do not deduct for taxes or agents’ fees, and we don’t include investment income. It is harder than ever to qualify for the 100 highest-paid athletes, with the cutoff up $1.5 million to $22.9 million.
Suddenly this seems like chump change.
McGregor made his Forbes debut at No. 85 back in 2016, before shooting up the chart to No. 24 the following year. The chances of him finding his way into the money rankings for 2019 appear to be slim, as “Notorious” has not competed since falling to Mayweather and as of this writing, is not booked to compete.
No one else in the mixed martial arts (MMA) industry comes close to that exorbitant salary and those who do, typically compete against McGregor and enjoy some of those pay-per-view (PPV) points, which is why they often join the trash-talking Irishman on the inactive list.
Mo money, mo problems.