OKLAHOMA CITY – This year's Sports Illustrated Fortunate 50 list features two professional athletes familiar to Oklahoman's: Sam Bradford and Kevin Durant.
The Fortunate 50 list, which names the highest earning American athletes in professional sports boasts Bradford at No. 12 while KD follows at No. 31.
Bradford collected a smooth $27,250,000 million last year with all but $450,000 coming from his big paycheck from the Rams after being selected as the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2010 NFL draft.
St. Louis signed Bradford to the largest rookie deal in NFL history, with the bulk of money being paid out over 2011: an $18 million option bonus and an $8.4 million roster bonus.
For KD, the Thunder star brought in a total of $20,053,663 million last season with just over six million dollars coming from salary/winnings and the remaining $14 million coming from endorsements.
All in all, the 2011 list features 19 NBA players, 17 baseball players, eight NFL players, three NASCAR drivers and three golfers.
As far as NFL players on the list, Bradford falls behind Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan and Tom Brady while the top ranked NBA player was LeBron James who ranked third on the list after bringing in a staggering $44.5 million last year.
Despite the downturn in his professional and personal careers, Tiger Woods remains as the highest earning American Athlete for the eighth straight year.
Woods' $2.2 million salary/winnings are nothing compared to the $60 millions he gets from endorsements, especially when that is considered being a "down" year.
SI's findings consisted solely of salary, winnings, bonuses, endorsements and appearance fees and it consulted players' associations, tour records, agents and news reports for the fissures. The magazine's endorsement estimates for 2011 came from Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing, other sports-marketing executives and analysts, and agents.