LeBron James has become the first active NBA player to officially reach billionaire status, according to a report from Forbes. His net worth has been attributed to smart investments on and off the basketball court, commanding hundreds of millions of dollars each from being an athlete, sports investments, and general entrepreneurship. Of course, there’s also his lifetime deal with Nike.
Forbes broke down some key figures that have helped James achieve this impressive financial feat. Over 19 years playing in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, ‘The Chosen One’ has amassed a combined salary of $385 million. Tally this with a $90 million deal he initially signed with Nike back in 2003, before being upgraded to a lifetime contract in 2015 that’s reportedly paying him $32 million a year.
Beyond basketball, James has proven himself as a savvy investor. His SpringHill Company production company lands about $300 million in projects. And he also has an approx 1 per cent stake in Fenway Sports Group, who own the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC, among other acquisitions, which has seen dividends paid out.
Back in 2012, James reportedly bought a 10 per cent stake in the Blaze Pizza chain for less than $1 million, which has grown into a $30 million return. Similarly, his property portfolio is worth about $80 million. All of which has helped him earn over $121 million last year, tipping him into the nine-zero net worth.