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The Highest-Paid Athletes on the Planet in 2017

Athletes get paid the big bucks. This is something we all — at least we should all — know. Yet, while many see the astronomical salaries of today’s Major Leaguers and think to themselves, “Wow, that’s freaking outrageous,” we have news for you: You ain’t seen nothing yet.

According to Forbes, the 100 highest-paid athletes in the world combined to make $3.11 billion over the past year. Forbes determined this figure based on the following:

Our earnings figures include salaries, prize money and bonuses earned between June 1, 2016, and June 1, 2017. Endorsement incomes are an estimate of sponsorships, appearance fees and licensing incomes for the same 12-month period based on conversations with dozens of industry insiders. We do not deduct for taxes or agents’ fees, and we don’t include investment income (click here for a more detailed methodology and the numbers behind the top 100).

As always, some athletes earned much more than others. Here’s a look at the 15 highest-paid athletes in the world in 2017.

15. Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard plays during a game against the Suns.

Damian Lillard plays during a game against the Suns. Damian Lillard earns the big bucks. | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Total earnings: $38.4 million

Damian Lillard might fail to get the same respect as many of his fellow NBA point guards, yet given his massive contract, it’s clear the Portland Trail Blazers hold him in high regard.

In the past year, the two-time All-Star took home $24.4 million in salary and bonuses. He collected another $14 million in endorsement money thanks to a diverse portfolio that includes sponsorship deals with companies like Adidas, Spalding, State Farm, Coach, and McDonald’s. With his $38.4 million in total earnings over the past 12 months, it definitely doesn’t suck being Big Game Dame.

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