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The 50 highest-earning American athletes

  • 31
    Kevin Durant

    Kevin Durant

    Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $6,053,663
    2. $14,000,000
    3. $20,053,663

    Is the Thunder star spying on the competition? Durant recently bought a $1.8 million condo in a Miami high-rise just blocks from American Airlines Arena. Dwyane Wade also owns a unit in the building.

  • 32
    Jimmie Johnson

    Jimmie Johnson

    Auto racing

    Last Year's Rank: 44
    1. $7,264,780
    2. $12,000,000
    3. $19,264,780

    The five-time Sprint Cup champion has carved out a nice niche as a perennial top earner in NASCAR thanks to his clean image and success. Forbes named him as America's "most influential" athlete.

  • 33
    Barry Zito

    Barry Zito

    San Francisco Giants (MLB)

    Last Year's Rank: 39
    1. $18,500,000
    2. $100,000
    3. $18,600,000

    While the high-priced lefty was left off the 2010 playoff roster, the Giants rode Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez to World Series title. That trio's combined 2011 salary is barely more than Zito's.

  • 34
    Michael Redd

    Michael Redd

    Milwaukee Bucks (NBA)

    Last Year's Rank: 45
    1. $18,300,000
    2. $250,000
    3. $18,550,000

    The Bucks reportedly were insured for 80 percent of Redd's salary while he missed all but last 10 games of 2010-11 season. They may welcome him back, but won't miss his expiring $91 million deal.

  • 35
    Torii Hunter

    Torii Hunter

    Los Angeles Angels (MLB)

    Last Year's Rank: 41
    1. $18,000,000
    2. $200,000
    3. $18,200,000

    It must be awkward sharing the outfield with Hunter and Vernon Wells -- their combined 2011 salaries are exactly 99 times that of Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos, who's earning $414,000.

  • 36
    Gilbert Arenas

    Gilbert Arenas

    Orlando Magic (NBA)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $17,730,694
    2. $250,000
    3. $17,980,694

    Is Arenas key to the Magic's hopes of retaining Dwight Howard? Cutting him through an amnesty clause would save them $19 million in 2011-12; starting point guard Jameer Nelson earns a third of that.

  • 37
    Zach Randolph

    Zach Randolph

    Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $17,666,666
    2. $100,000
    3. $17,766,666

    After Randolph signed a four-year, $66 million extension in April, the young Grizzlies have their core (with Rudy Gay and Mike Conley) signed through 2015. Locking up Marc Gasol is next.

  • 38
    Mark Sanchez

    Mark Sanchez

    New York Jets (NFL)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $15,250,000
    2. $2,500,000
    3. $17,750,000

    Sanchez is hitting his mark in NYC, on-field and off: His performance in 2010 triggered a $1.25 million bonus, and he's finally starting to accept endorsement offers like the one he signed with Pepsi.

  • 39
    Darnell Dockett

    Darnell Dockett

    Arizona Cardinals (NFL)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $17,600,000
    2. $75,000
    3. $17,675,000

    The terror of a defensive tackle signed a four-year, $48.5 million extension with the Cardinals last September that includes a $15 million option bonus on top of scheduled $2.35 million salary next season.

  • 40
    Kenyon Martin

    Kenyon Martin

    Denver Nuggets (NBA)

    Last Year's Rank: NR
    1. $16,545,454
    2. $250,000
    3. $16,795,454

    K-Mart just wrapped the final year of his six-year, $90 million deal with the Nuggets. Will retooling Denver stick with the 33-year-old who has missed 203 regular-season games over the last seven years?

Sources: Salaries, winnings and bonus figures from players' associations, tour records, agents and news reports. Endorsement estimates from Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing, other sports-marketing executives and analysts, and agents. Formula One estimates are from Formula Money. Salaries based on current or most recently completed seasons (exception: 2011 for NFL). For winnings-based sports (golf, auto racing, tennis), 2010 calendar year amounts used. Boxing purses are from June 2010 to May 2011.

 
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