KEY POINTS

  • Kyrie Irving has an estimated net worth of $90 million
  • Klay Thompson is estimated to be worth $60 million
  • Thompson earned more than Irving despite sitting out the 2020-21 NBA season

The Klay Thompson and Kyrie Irving rivalry is one of the most-anticipated matchups in NBA history. The two star athletes are always trying to edge each other out during their games. But which of these two basketball players is earning more?

Thompson and Irving are neck and neck in terms of earnings in the last 12 months. But in Forbes' 2021 list of the highest-paid athletes in the world, the former ranked no. 20 with total earnings of $44.5 million, beating Irving, who landed at the 22nd spot with earnings of $44 million for the past year.

According to the list, Thompson had higher on-the-field earnings than Irving, while the latter had a slight edge in terms of off-the-field earnings.

Despite their earnings being nearly on the same level, Irving, 29, is believed to have a much higher net worth than Thompson, 31. Irving’s net worth is estimated to be $90 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, while the outlet estimated Thompson’s to be $60 million.

For the 2020-21 season, Thompson is expected to earn $35.4 million from his contract with the Golden State Warriors, according to Spotrac. Meanwhile, Irving’s deal with the Brooklyn Nets should pay him $33.5 million for the latest NBA season.

With his current contract, Irving will earn an average of $34.1 million per year until the 2022-23 season. On the other hand, Thompson’s current deal gives him an annual salary of $37.98 million until the 2023-24 season, as per Spotrac.

The Warriors shooting guard still had a higher salary than the Nets point guard despite the former being forced to sit out the season after suffering a torn Achilles.

In November 2020, CBS Sports podcaster David Samson, a former MLB exec, said during an episode of “Nothing Personal with David Samson” that the Warriors giving Thompson a five-year, $189 million max contract despite his injury was “not good business at all,” especially since he was forced to sit out the first two years of the deal.

Thompson hasn't played a game since suffering a torn ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. But CBS Sports noted that Thompson was a huge part of the Warriors' three NBA titles.

As for their earnings outside of the court, Thompson has a 10-year endorsement deal with shoe brand Anta that is estimated to be worth at least $80 million. Irving, on the other hand, partnered with Nike to bring signature shoes that fans and fellow players admire.

Irving was also in a Pepsi commercial that became popular due to his role as “Uncle Drew.” The commercial went on to inspire a movie released in 2018 that reportedly generated $47 million at the box office. The success of the film led to the star player collaborating with General Mills and Aleve.

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets Photo: Getty Images | Sarah Stier