LeBron James is still in the business of breaking records more than 19 years since he was drafted into the NBA.
The Lakers player hit a major milestone recently when he officially became a billionaire, joining the ranks of the elite when it comes to finances.
LeBron James Is Officially A Billionaire!
James was confirmed as a billionaire by Forbes after a successful 2021 where he earned a whopping $121.2 million, adding to his net worth.
This new financial milestone makes history for the lakers’ shooting guard as James is the first NBA player to become a billionaire while still actively participating in the sport.
However, his impressive wealth didn’t come from the sport. In fact, just a fraction of his net worth is from his earnings as a basketball. Per Forbes, James has an array of businesses and investments to his name.
His thriving basketball career has raked in more than $385 million in salary, playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and currently the Los Angeles Lakers. As for his several business ventures, investments, and endorsement deals, James has earned upwards of $900 million in income.
The Ohio native’s rise to billionaire status started from his humble beginning as the child of a teenage single mother who gave birth to him when she was just 16. However, his love and passion for basketball catapulted him to great heights.
Following a successful high school basketball career, James was drafted into the NBA in 2003 and the rest is indeed history.
However, much more than dedicating himself to the sport, earning 18 NBA all-star recognitions, James’ secret to amassing such wealth is an eye for long-term deals that give him equity and not just cash.
The athlete, who bagged his first deal at 18 years, chose to partner with Nike — refusing Reebok and Adidas — because he believed they would grant him a better long-term deal.
That single choice indeed paid off decades later as James signed a lifetime contract with Nike in 2015 that pays him tens of millions yearly.
The Lakers Player Hoped To Become A ‘Billion-Dollar Athlete’
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James’ $1 billion net worth is made up of $300 million from his co-owned entertainment venture The Spring Hill Company; $80 million in real estate; $30 million from his 10% stake in Blaze Pizza; $90 million from his minority stake in Fenway Sports Group; and $500 million in cash and other investments.
The iconic basketballer is yet to publicly comment on the new milestone, but it is something he has dreamed of for years. Back in 2014 during an interview with GQ, James predicted becoming a billionaire while still actively playing. In his words:
“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.”
Also, in an Instagram Story update shared on Monday, James was seen sitting close to a screen with the words, “I am more than an athlete.”
James-Produced Movie ‘Hustle’ To Premiere On June 8
The billionaire milestone comes days before James’ newly produced movie, “Hustle” starring Adam Sandler is set to premiere.
The upcoming sports drama tells the story of a former basketball scout who tries to revive his dead career by recruiting a player with a dubious past from abroad to play in the NBA.
“Hustle” was inspired by a screenplay by Will Fetters and Taylor Materne and stars Queen Latifah, Robert Duvall, Ben Foster, and Jaleel White, amongst many others.
James produced the movie through his company Springhill Entertainment with his co-founder Maverick Carter. The Netflix movie is among the many films that James’ company has been involved with including, “The Wall,” “The Promise,” and 2021’s “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”