The Worlds Highest Paid Athletes in 2000

Like many famous figures in show business, athletes have also attained astronomical levels of success, fame, and fortune. Amazingly almost all of these guys have been able to keep their wealth in tact nearly 20 years later.  Many have retired already.  Whats really amazing is how much more todays athletes are making.  The other amazing thing is these guys make even more off endorsements of products.  Its good to be a top athlete!

Here’s the list of the top ten highest-paid figures of the sports world in the year 2000 (in proper order):

Michael Schumacher

The now-retired German race car driver posted $59 million in wins during 2000, retaining his top position as the highest-earning athlete in the world.

Tiger Woods

2000 was one of Tiger Woods’ banner years. Aside from winning several tournaments including the US Open, The Open Championship, and PGA Championship, he also became the second-highest paid athlete. His earnings amounted to $53 million.  My how the mighty have fallen since 2000.  Which his well documented troubles and challenges and losing many of his endorsements.  Just recently coming off his first tour in in several years, will he jump back to the top of the list?

Mike Tyson

The controversial American boxer posted his total earnings at $48 million in 2000, putting him three notches higher than his ranking the previous year.  He is now living in Vegas after going broke and is making money in new ways – we are pretty sure he is spending time at the high stake tables or online at

Michael Jordan

The five-time NBA MVP and basketball legend posted his total earnings of $37 million in 2000, retaining the ranking he achieved the previous.  There is no doubt he is still going strong with his NBA franchise and shoe kingdom.

Grant Hill

The 1995 NBA Rookie of the Year saw his rankings improve, from number 10 in 1999 to number 5 in 2000, having earned a total of $26 million.

Dale Earnhardt

The late NASCAR star watched his earnings climb from position #9 in 1999 to #6 in 2000, posting his total earnings of $24.5 million. Sadly, he was instantly killed from a collision with his rival’s car during the final lap of the Daytona 500 in 2001.

Shaq O'Neal

The three-time NBA MVP retained his position as the seventh highest-paid athlete in the world in 2000, posting his earnings of $24 million.  Now he can be seen on various TV commercials still making money and on TNT commentating on games.

Lennox Lewis

The boxing star also retained his position as the eighth highest-paid athlete in the world in 2000 with total earnings of $23 million.

Oscar De La Hoya

“The Golden Boy” saw his ranking drop from #3 in 1999 to #9 in 2000, but still earned good money with $23 million.

Kevin Garnett

The NBA star was playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves by the time he made it to this list for the first time. His total 2000 earnings amounted to $21 million.  He is now retired and living the good life off of all those years of playing.

Well there you go – the top paid athletes of 2000.  Whats surprising is how they cross a wide variety of sports including basketball, boxing, car racing and golf.  That may well have changed in today’s world with the rising salaries of Quarterbacks in football and start pitchers and hitters in baseball and other sports like UFC taking off.