Los Angeles Lakers' superstar, LeBron James has become the first NBA player to become a billionaire while still actively playing. - BenBlazeNG BenBlazeNG: Los Angeles Lakers' superstar, LeBron James has become the first NBA player to become a billionaire while still actively playing.

June 02, 2022

Los Angeles Lakers' superstar, LeBron James has become the first NBA player to become a billionaire while still actively playing.

Forbes' Chase Peterson-Withorn reported on Thursday, June 2, that James' net worth surpassed the $1 billion mark after he earned $121.2 million in 2021.

According to Forbes, James is the highest-paid active player in the NBA, having earned more than $385 million in total salary from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers. The bulk of his worth comes via endorsements and business ventures totaling more than $900 million, including a lifetime deal with Nike that pays him tens of millions per year.

The four-time NBA champion was the second-highest paid athlete in 2021 behind soccer star Lionel Messi, earning $41.2 million from the Lakers and $80 million in off-the-court ventures.  

LeBron in 2021 sold a minority stake in The SpringHill Company, his entertainment, and production company that was behind his movie "Space Jam: A New Legacy" which generated $162.9 million in worldwide sales, and his talk show "The Shop" which moved from HBO to YouTube - to a group of investors for what Forbes estimated to be $725 million.

An estimated breakdown of James' fortune by Forbes shows he has a $300 million stake in SpringHill, where he remains the largest shareholder; $90 million in the Fenway Sports Group, which includes a minority stake in the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool F.C. and the Pittsburgh Penguins; $80 million in real estate. This includes homes in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and his hometown of Akron, Ohio; $30 million in Blaze Pizza, after a reported initial investment of less than $1 million; and more than $500 million in cash and other investments. 

James, set to make $44.5 million next season in the second year of his two-year deal, has been selective in his investments, famously turning down massive offers from Reebok and Adidas as an 18-year-old to hold out for what proved to be a more lucrative deal with Nike.


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