10 NBA Players Making a Fortune Off Shoe Endorsements

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Photo Courtesy of Ricardo Velasquez, licensed through Flickr via Creative Commons

Photo Courtesy of Ricardo Velasquez, licensed through Flickr via Creative Commons

More than any other sport, basketball lives and dies by its footwear. They’re the tools of the trade, as well as collector’s items, and generally occupy a space for sneakerheads to unleash their inner completist and fill every inch of closet space imaginable. Other professional sports have specialized equipment — but how many hours can really be spent taping up a hockey stick just like Sidney Crosby’s? Football players have strict guidelines around  their apparel, and the league takes those guidelines very seriously. Basketball players? They can wear whatever footwear they want. They can also buy as many pairs as they want – just ask Jarret Jack.

Since the NBA is such a star-driven league — it’s the only major U.S. sport with players that don’t have their faces obscured by helmets or other protective gear — it only follows that the big shoe companies would give big money to the big stars. The NBA: where big shoe deals are made. Actually, though, the basketball shoe (and the basketball shoe endorsement) predates the modern NBA’s founding in 1949 — the Converse All-Star, first created as a soccer shoe, took on new life as the Chuck Taylor signature basketball sneaker in 1932.

According to legend, Taylor never took a portion of the cut from any of the Converse that were sold. We’re pretty certain that’s not the case with this batch of NBA superstars. All endorsement information courtesy of Forbes.

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