Best-paid athletes in 31 sports

We doing it big T...

This list is part of ESPN The Magazine’s Money Issue salary survey project — Kobe comes in first for NBA players, making a cool $25 million — Keep in mind earnings represent salaries and/or prize money from 2011 or most recent season…It also excludes endorsements, appearance fees, sponsorships and other income sources unless otherwise noted. To see the entire list continue reading. -TO

Tom  and Gisele Highest-Paid Celebrity Couple

Kobe to become Highest Paid Player in the NBA

Sport or competition Athlete League, competition Earnings
Alpine Skiing (women) Lindsey Vonn FIS World Cup Skiing, 2011 prize money $612,417
Alpine Skiing (men) Marcel Hirscher FIS World Cup Skiing, 2011 prize money $510,192
Auto racing Fernando Alonso Formula 1, Ferrari, 2011 salary and prize money $40,000,000
Badminton (women) Wang Yihan BWF Superseries, Grand Prix Gold and Continental Championships, 2011 prize money $277,550
Badminton (men) Lee Chong Wei BWF Superseries, Grand Prix Gold and Continental Championships, 2011 prize money $267,350
Baseball Alex Rodriguez MLB, NY Yankees, 2012 total salary $30,000,000
Basketball Kobe Bryant NBA, LA Lakers, 2011-12 total salary $25,244,000
Beach volleyball (women) Larissa Franca/Juliana Felisberta da Silva FIVB Swatch World Tour, 2011 prize money $326,700
Beach volleyball (men) Emanuel Rego/Alison Cerutti FIVB Swatch World Tour, 2011 prize money $306,700
Billiards Shane Van Boening Billiards, 2011 prize money $160,450
Bowling Sean Rash PBA Tour, 2011-12 prize money $140,250
Boxing Manny Pacquiao guaranteed minimum for two 2011 WBO title bouts $50,000,000
Bull Riding Silvano Alves Professional Bull Riders, 2011 PBR prize money $1,461,964
Darts Phil Taylor Pro Darts Corp. 2011 tournament prize money $938,497
Distance running (men) Emmanuel Mutai Distance running (2011 prize money from various events) $815,000
Distance running (women) Liliya Shobukhova Distance running (2011 prize money from various events)* $720,000
Drag racing Del Worsham NHRA Top Fuel, 2011 prize money $1,193,000
Eating Joey Chestnut Major League Eating, 2011 prize money $205,000
Equestrian Rolf-Göran Bengtsson Show Jumping, 2011 prize money $1,161,280
Fishing Kevin VanDam Bassmaster Elite Series, 2011 prize money $706,500
Football Charles Johnson NFL, Carolina Panthers, 2011 total salary $34,000,000
Golf (men) Luke Donald European, PGA Tours, combined 2011 prize money $9,509,604
Golf (women) Yani Tseng LPGA Tour, 2011 prize money $2,921,713
Hockey Brad Richards NHL, NY Rangers, 2011-12 salary $12,000,000
Horse Racing (jockey) Ramon A. Dominguez Horse Racing, 2011** $20,567,032
Poker Pius Heinz Poker winnings, land-based tournaments, 4/9/11 thru 4/8/12 $8,876,067
Racquetball Kane Waselenchuk International Racquetball Tour, 2011 IRT-Tour earnings $270,000
Rodeo Trevor Brazile Professional Rodeo Cowboys Assn, PRCA 2011 overall earnings $365,293
Rugby Union Sebastien Chabal LNR, French National Rugby, Racing Metro 92, 2011 salary $1,318,195
Sled dog racing Dallas Seavey Iditarod, 2012 first place prize money*** $50,400
Soccer Wayne Rooney EPL, Manchester United, 2011-12 salary $20,821,300
Squash Nick Matthew PSA World Tour, 2011 prize money $129,592
Sumo wrestling Hakuho Japan Sumo Association, 2011 base salary, prize money $1,100,000
Surfing (men) Kelly Slater ASP World Tour, 2011 prize money $556,250
Surfing (women) Carissa Moore ASP World Tour, 2011 prize money $114,900
Tennis (men) Novak Djokovic ATP Tour, 2011 prize money $12,619,803
Tennis (women) Petra Kvitova WTA Tour, 2011 prize money $5,145,943
Triathlon (men) Alistair Brownlee International Triathlon Union, 2011 prize money from ITU events $162,892
Triathlon (women) Helen Jenkins International Triathlon Union, 2011 prize money from ITU events $151,050
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