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LeBron James Becomes First Active NBA Player Billionaire

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LeBron James speaking at his iPromise School in Akron, Ohio. | Image by lebronjames.com

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Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has become the first active NBA player to become a billionaire, according to Forbes.

The 37-year-old four-time NBA champion and the league’s No.2 career scorer earned $121.2 million from May 2021 to May 2022 in on-court salary and off-court earnings, according to Forbes. The total trailed only soccer superstar Lionel Messi, who made $130 million, on Forbes’ highest-paid athletes’ list.


Becoming a billionaire has long been a goal for James.

“Obviously. I want to maximize my business. And if I happen to get it, if I happen to be a billion-dollar athlete, ho. Hip hip, hooray! Oh, my God, I’m gonna be excited,” he said in a 2014 interview with GQ.

James’ dream has now become a reality. The 18-time All-Star earned $385 million in salary from the NBA during his 19 years in the league. He has also played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat.

Aside from his NBA earnings, James has multiple business ventures that helped him reach billionaire status.

In 2020, James founded the SpringHill Company with his longtime friend and business manager, Maverick Carter. The production company produced the Space Jam sequel, which grossed $163 million worldwide; The Shop, which aired on HBO before moving to YouTube last year; and a docuseries with tennis star Naomi Osaka. SpringHill is also producing a remake of the 1990 comedy House Party. James sold a minority stake in the company, which currently has a $725 million valuation, according to Forbes.

James was also a minority owner of the English Premier League soccer club, Liverpool. He exchanged his stake in Liverpool for an approximate 1% stake in Fenway Sports Group.

The group owns Liverpool, Fenway Park, the Boston Red Sox, and half of Roush Fenway Racing. The group also recently agreed to spend $900 million to purchase the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. James’ stake in Fenway Sports Group is worth $90 million, according to Forbes.

James has $80 million in real estate holdings, including a $10 million mansion in Akron, Ohio. The athlete also owns two homes in the Los Angeles area, which he bought for a combined $59.75 million.

Additionally, James made $30 million from Blaze Pizza, a company he bought a 10% stake in for less than $1 million in 2012.

Forbes also attributes another $500 million worth of other investments to James. The basketball star owned shares in Beats by Dre before the company was sold to Apple in 2014 for $3 billion. James also has stakes in the fitness company Beachbody.

James has yet to comment on Forbes’ estimation of his net worth.

While he has enormous financial success off the basketball court, James hopes to lead the Lakers back to success after two underwhelming seasons. The Lakers underachieved last season, and James missed the playoffs for just the fourth time in his career. The team fired head coach Frank Vogel as a result and has hired Darvin Ham as his successor.

Despite poor team success, James was at an All-Star level individually. At 37, he became the oldest player to average at least 30 points per game in a season (30.3 PPG).     

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Kimari Kuria
Kimari Kuria
3 months ago

His Hard Work And Discipline .