US' LeBron is highest paid athlete at Games

US' LeBron is highest paid athlete at Games

US NBA superstar LeBron James edges Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer for the title of biggest moneymaker at the London Olympics with an annual income of USD 53 million, according to Forbes magazine.  

The 2012 Forbes list of the world’s 100 richest athletes was revealed last month with US dollar figures for salary and prize money as well as endorsement sponsorship deals.

In all, there were 12 London Olympians from the list, including half of the 12-man US Olympic “Dream Team” of NBA stars, four tennis players, Spanish NBA star Pau Gasol and Usain Bolt, the Jamaican Olympic gold-medal sprinter.

James adopts a humble attitude when asked about being one of the stars of the Olympics. “We’re all stars in our own right,” James said. “Every athlete has to be a star in their country just to be here. These are the stars of the stars,’’ he added.

“We understand the atmosphere. We don’t take it for granted. It keeps you very humble. There will be a time when it’s not like this so you try to take it all in,’’ James said.

American boxer Floyd Mayweather, jailed in Las Vegas for a domestic assault, led the list at USD 85 million with Filipino fighter Manny Pacquiao second on USD 62 million and 14-time major golf champion Tiger Woods third on USD 59.4 million.

None of them are competing in the London Olympics, although Woods — who had topped the lit since 2001 until the aftermath of his infamous sex scandal — might be able to compete in the 2016 Rio Games when golf returns.

NBA Most Valuable Player James, who led the Miami Heat to the NBA crown last month for his first career title, was fourth on the list, just ahead of Federer in fifth at USD 52.7 million and US team-mate Kobe Bryant, sixth at USD 52.3 million.

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