KEY POINTS

  • Forbes ranks Kobe Bryant as the 6th highest-paid dead celebrity of 2020
  • The only other athlete on the list is golf legend Arnold Palmer
  • The late NBA icon has reportedly earned $20 million since his death earlier this year

Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is still earning and is included in this year’s Top 20 highest-paid dead celebrities, joining the late golf icon Arnold Palmer.

Throughout his stellar 20-year NBA career, Bryant has earned an estimated $323.3 million, making him the second-highest paid NBA player of all-time. Prior to his tragic death earlier this year,  “The Black Mamba” amassed a staggering net worth of $600 million.

Bryant’s passing didn’t mark the end to his legacy and even his fortune. In fact, the five-time NBA champ is currently the 6th highest-paid dead celebrity of 2020, according to Forbes’ “Top 20 Highest-Paid Celebrities Of 2020.”

The only other athlete on the said list was golf’s Palmer, who was ranked two spots above Bryant at No. 4.

Apparently, Bryant made around $20 million of profits since his untimely death on January 26, 2020. A vast percentage of the said earnings came from his merchandise sold by Nike and autobiography titled “The Mamba Mentality: How I Play.”

“After the Lakers legend died in a helicopter accident in January, Nike sold out its Kobe Bryant merchandise. Fans also made a fast break for his autobiography, which sold more than 300,000 copies this year,” the article wrote.

The death of Kobe Bryant shocked fans and players around the world The death of Kobe Bryant shocked fans and players around the world Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Harry How

Bryant’s autobiography reportedly skyrocketed its sales shortly after his death, having sold 10 times as many copies as the previous year.

His Nike sneakers, on the other hand, made a significant contribution as prices rose to more than $1,000 on resale platforms while memorabilia of the late Lakers captain rose to more than three times, according to a recent Forbes analysis.

To express its deepest gratitude to Bryant’s contribution to the company and the sporting world, Nike has finally confirmed its commitment to celebrating his legacy through product releases.

The company has decided to push through with the campaign to ultimately take part in funding youth sports initiatives.

“As a part of championing Kobe’s legacy, the Nike Foundation will make a $1 million donation to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation in memory of Kobe and Gianna,” Nike wrote.

“The foundation, whose mission is to make a positive impact through sports, will use these funds to further Kobe's goal of keeping kids active and putting them on a path to success in life,” the company added. “Nike will also continue to work with the NBA to release limited quantities of Bryant's iconic Los Angeles Lakers jersey.”