Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Best........of the .......Best.....of the .....Best

From're only showing the top 20.....

are the most talented athletes in the world.......and they're getting paid....because of being the very their sports.

For the full list of "The Fortunate 50" Click .....

Tiger Woods
Pro Golf
Last Year's Rank: 1

Tiger sacrificed millions in appearance fees during his year off to recover from knee surgery, but replaced his lucrative Buick deal -- voided by mutual consent -- with a new one from AT&T.

Phil Mickelson
Pro Golf
Last Year's Rank: 2

Like Tiger, Phil no longer counts on a car-maker in his endorsement portfolio. (Ford chose not to re-sign him.) He still has lucrative deals with Rolex, Callaway, Exxon, Barclay's and KPMG.

LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
Last Year's Rank: 3

LeBron has one more season left under his deal before he can opt out. If Cleveland doesn't show it's Finals-worthy by next spring, expect the Knicks to come in with a huge offer.

Alex Rodriguez
New York Yankees (MLB)
Last Year's Rank: 6 (tie)

We're in the middle of A-Rod's peak earning power in his middle-loaded, 10-year megadeal: He'll make another $33 million in 2010 and then gradually decrease to a "normal" $20 million by '17.

Shaquille O'Neal
Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
Last Year's Rank: 6 (tie)

The Big Bargaining Chip? Regardless of his trade to Cleveland, Shaq is in the final year of the five-year, $100 million deal he signed while with Miami. It's the largest expiring deal in the NBA.

Kevin Garnett
Boston Celtics (NBA)
Last Year's Rank: 8

After earning a team-high in salary this past season, KG shoots down to $16.4 million in '09-10 as his three-year extension kicks in, making him the lowest earner of Boston's Big Three.

Kobe Bryant
Los Angeles Lakers (NBA)
Last Year's Rank: 5

While Kobe's league-high $23 million salary next season is certainly befitting of an NBA Finals MVP, it'll also eat up more than a third of the Lakers' cap room to rebuild under the luxury tax.

Allen Iverson
Detroit Pistons (NBA)
Last Year's Rank: 12

AI just finished the final year of the six-year, $76 million extension he signed in '03 with the Sixers. Larry Brown would be open to signing him in Charlotte -- no doubt at a big discount.

Derek Jeter
New York Yankees (MLB)
Last Year's Rank: 10

Yankee captain now has a place to get the kids involved in his Turn 2 Foundation in shape: He opened his second co-branded 24-Hour Fitness gym in Manhattan, and a third is scheduled.

Peyton Manning
Indianapolis Colts (NFL)
Last Year's Rank: 9

NFL's top endorser has distributed $500,000 in grants in '09 through his PayBack Foundation to charities in Indianapolis, near his alma mater (Tennessee) and his hometown, New Orleans.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Auto Racing
Last Year's Rank: 11

Junior was voted NASCAR's most popular driver for the sixth straight year. But what NASCAR needs to win back fans and sponsors is for him to win more often than once every 76 races.

Dwyane Wade
Miami Heat (NBA)
Last Year's Rank: 16

Even if he doesn't get a contract extension this summer, D-Wade will get his nine figures one way or another. He's suing an ex-business partner for slander and libel for $100 million.

Dwight Howard
Orlando Magic (NBA)
Last Year's Rank: 22

Last year Howard bought the 11,000-square foot "Chateau d'Usse" near Orlando for $8 million. The mansion includes four kitchens, 15 TVs, two game rooms and three "mini-beaches."

Mark Teixeira
New York Yankees (MLB)
Last Year's Rank: NR

Big Tex's $181 million deal includes a clause where he has the option to buy the eight best available season tickets. Finally, someone who can afford the $2,600 Legends Suite seats.

Tracy McGrady
Houston Rockets (NBA)
Last Year's Rank: 17

Injured T-Mac spent less time on the court last season, but spent more time involved in aide to Darfur -- he visited refugee camps in Chad in '07 and continues to donate to schools.

Tim Duncan
San Antonio Spurs (NBA)
Last Year's Rank: 19

Though Duncan's $22.2 million salary next season is the team's highest, the fiscally responsible Spurs still have nine players from last year's roster signed at around the salary-cap limit.

Stephon Marbury
Boston Celtics (NBA)
Last Year's Rank: 25

Starbury netted some $18.6 million while riding the pine for the Knicks last season, then latched on with the Celtics in January for the veteran's minimum, earning him a prorated $1.3 million.

CC Sabathia
New York Yankees (MLB)
Last Year's Rank: NR

Sabathia's seven-year, $161 million deal is by far the richest ever for a pitcher in baseball history. He'll earn roughly $675,000 for every game he starts over the course of this season.

Jason Kidd
Dallas Mavericks (NBA)
Last Year's Rank: 24

Future Hall-of-Famer would like to stay in Dallas, but he must lower his asking price. With skills in decline, he'll be lucky to get a third of the $20 million range to which he's grown accustomed.

Jermaine O'Neal
Miami Heat (NBA)
Last Year's Rank: 27

Miami could be without its two biggest-name players next summer when O'Neal's contract expires and Dwyane Wade can opt out. That would let the Heat rebuild around Michael Beasley.

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