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Basketball players among best-paid athletes

Journalists at ESPN The Magazine gathered information about the best-paid athletes from 182 countries. The research revealed that there are 18 basketball players that are the top earners among athletes in their native countries.

It is worth mentioning that all athletes were sorted by the country of origin and not by country that they represent internationally. For example Luol Deng is presented as Sudanese while he plays for Great Britain national team.

Out of 18 basketball players on the list 17 are playing in NBA and one in Europe thanks to big-spenders Olympiacos.

Eight players are earning more than $10M annually. The top earners are German star Dirk Nowitzki ($17,278,618), Yao Ming of China ($17,700,000), Russian Andrei Kirilenko (17,822,187) and former USA international Tim Duncan born in U.S. Virgin Islands ($18,700,000)

Greek legend Theodoros Papaloukas is the only player outside NBA to make the list with $4,400,000 earned annually.

“Annual Salary” represents only base salary from the most recently completed season or calendar year from each sport, and excludes any other source of compensation, unless otherwise noted. In countries where official salary figures were unavailable, we estimated the number based on information from multiple sources, including leagues, agents, consulates, embassies, sports federations, cultural centers and the U.N. All figures converted to U.S. dollars. Per Capita GDP (Gross Domestic Product), a leading indicator of national wealth, is the market value of a country’s goods and services divided by its population; we used most recently available GDP data for each country.

Country Best-Paid Athlete Team (Competition) Annual Salary Per Capita GDP
Australia Andrew Bogut Milwaukee Bucks $11,050,000 $47,615
China Yao Ming Houston Rockets $17,700,000 $3,769
Georgia Zaza Pachulia Atlanta Hawks $4,251,250 $2,522
Germany Dirk Nowitzki Dallas Mavericks $17,278,618 $40,528
Greece Theo Papaloukas Olympiacos $4,400,000 $29,006
Guadeloupe Mickael Pietrus Phoenix Suns $5,300,000 $7,900
Haiti Samuel Dalembert Sacramento Kings $12,200,000 $626
Iran Hamed Haddadi Memphis Grizzlies $1,600,000 $4,863
Latvia Andris Biedrins Golden State Warrios $9,000,000 $11,505
Lithuania Linas Kleiza Toronto Raptors $4,995,000 $11,211
Martinique Rony Turiaf New York Knicks $4,000,000 $14,400
Russia Andrei Kirilenko Utah Jazz $17,822,187 $8,736
Senegal DeSagana Diop Charlotte Bobcats $6,478,600 $1,018
Serbia Peja Stojakovic Dallas Mavericks $15,602,138 $5,612
Sudan Luol Deng Chicago Bulls $11,355,850 $1,305
Tanzania Hasheem Thabeet Memphis Grizzlies $4,793,280 $526
Turkey Hedo Turkoglu Orlando Magic $9,800,000 $8,215
U.S. Virgin Islands Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs $18,700,000 $13,660

Data gathered by Sulaiman Folarin, Jeff Gold, Lizzie Haldane, Adesina O. Koiki, Brandon Lilly, John Mastroberardino, Jason Matloff, Doug McIntyre and Gueorgui Milkov. Special thanks to Ori Cooper, director of IMScouting.

For a complete list of best-paid athletes click here.

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