James has bounced back from the stain of the Decision in 2010, leading Miami to the '12 NBA title and repairing his image. New deals followed, with the likes of Baskin-Robbins and Samsung. LeBron, 28, also has one of the biggest contracts with Nike and is a part owner of the Liverpool soccer club. On the court he's underpaid: The four-time MVP earns less than the Nets' Joe Johnson and the Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire, for example.
3 DREW BREES
Brees, 34, had a relatively small base salary last season ($3 million) but landed a gargantuan $37 million signing bonus with his new contract in July 2012. He has traded on his family-man image by plugging products like Dove, Vicks VapoRub, Chase, Verizon, Tide and now Wrangler.
4 KOBE BRYANT