LeBron James becomes first active NBA player to become a billionaire
Congratulations are in order for LeBron James. Today (June 2), it was announced that the NBA champ has officially joined the billionaires club.
The superstar athlete has reportedly racked in nearly $400 million during his 20-year NBA career as of November 2021. Next season, James is set to earn $44 million before his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers expires.
James’ fortune also comes from a number of investments. Sources say $300 million stems from The Spring Hill Company. This particular business venture has three companies in one. Many sports fans are probably also familiar with seeing the NBA champ in ads for Blaze Pizza. James works with Fenway Sports Group and has multiple real estate properties as well.
According to reports, James has always been business savvy. At just 18, the athlete passed on deals with Adidas and Reebok before signing a lifetime contract with Nike in 2015.
The previous year, James spoke with GQ about the possibility of becoming a billionaire.
“If it happens. It’s my biggest milestone,” he said at the time. “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.”
In addition to James’ many business ventures and profit from NBA contracts, the Lakers player also appeared in the 2021 film Space Jam: A New Legacy. The movie was a follow-up to the 1996 blockbuster Space Jam starring NBA legend Michael Jordan.
Although the star athlete can get busy bringing in the bucks, he still makes sure to give back. In 2018, James founded the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio to help at-risk youth. Students who finish from the school are eligible for free tuition at the University of Akron.