The global footprint that the best basketball players in the world have these days is pretty incredible. Soccer legends still dominant our planet's collective attention when it comes to sports, but NBA greats are closing in.

The league's salary cap is set to boom with the new television deal, but some superstars will still rack in even more cash from their endorsements, with their personal brands eclipsing the sport itself.

Now, we have even more evidence of this trend. Forbes recently released a list of the 10 highest paid athletes in the world, and it supports the rise of basketball as a global game.

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Combining their salaries as well as earnings from endorsements, LeBron James ($77.2 million), Kevin Durant ($56.2 million), and Kobe Bryant ($50 million) finished third, fifth, and tenth respectively.

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/GettyImages
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

Here's the complete list, courtesy of ESPN's Darren Rovell:

James and Durant still have plenty of time left in their careers, and while Bryant just retired, his company Kobe Inc. promises to pile up healthy revenues for the Black Mamba and his employees for years to come.

After Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at number one and two, there are no other soccer players in the top 10, meaning basketball has the most athletes at the top of the food chain in terms of money earned of any sport.

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