LeBron James is a basketball legend who just broke the NBA all-time scoring record in February 2023 but the Los Angeles Lakers star also passed another major milestone in 2022 when he became a billionaire, according to Forbes.
James’ net worth is estimated to be at $1 billion, as a result of his basketball salary and especially his business ventures, Forbes shared. He’s also the first active NBA player to make the publication’s billionaire list.
Here’s what you need to know about LeBron James’ net worth:
1. LeBron James Made More Than $385 Million in Salary From the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat & Los Angeles Lakers
A considerable portion of James’ net worth comes from his salary earnings throughout his NBA career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers. According to Spotrac, James has earned more than $430 million over his past 20 seasons in the NBA and is the league’s highest-paid active player.
In September 2022, James’ agent, Klutch Sports’ Rich Paul, announced that the NBA legend had signed a two-year contract extension with the Lakers through the 2024-25 season, worth $97.1 million. Paul stated that it made James the highest-paid athlete in NBA history.
James, 38, has also shared that he wants to keep playing in the NBA for some time and wants to play with his eldest son, LeBron “Bronny” James Jr., before he retires. “My last year will be played with my son,” he told The Athletic in early 2022. “Wherever Bronny is at, that’s where I’ll be.” Since Bronny James is only eligible to declare for the 2024 NBA Draft at the earliest, that would see James continue to earn an NBA salary for some time longer.
2. LeBron James Is a Savvy Businessman With Several Lucrative Deals & Investments
The bulk of James’ net worth comes not from his NBA salaries but from his off-court deals and investments, which Forbes estimated to be worth more than $900 million.
In 2003, James signed a lucrative endorsement deal with Nike and committed to the company long-term in 2015. Although the terms of the lifetime deal haven’t been made public, Forbes estimated that James receives approximately $32 million from Nike each year. In addition, James has endorsement deals with several other brands like AT&T, Walmart and PepsiCo.
He also made a great return on his investment in Blaze Pizza. According to ESPN, James owns about 10% of the company following his initial investment of just under $1 million in 2012. Sources told the publication in 2017 that his stake in Blaze Pizza was worth $35 to $40 million at that time.
In addition to his involvement with those companies, James and his business partner Maverick Carter founded SpringHill, a TV and movie production business. In 2021, the company sold an important minority stake to investors including the Fenway Sports Group (FSG), Nike, RedBird Capital and Epic Games in a deal valued at $725 million, the Los Angeles Times reported. James and Carter still have a controlling interest in the media company that’s behind shows like HBO’s “The Shop” and “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”
James also owns around 1% of the Fenway Sports Group. FSG owns the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park as well as English Premier League club Liverpool and its home stadium, Anfield Park. The group also owns 80% of the New England Sports Network (NESN) and 50% of NASCAR’s Roush Fenway Racing. FSG also acquired a controlling interest in the NHL team Pittsburgh Penguins in November 2021.
James’ earnings also include what he made from the sale of Beats by Dre to Apple, as the NBA star owned part of the company, Forbes reported. He also sold Ladder, the sports nutrition company that he co-founded with Arnold Schwarzenegger, to Beachbody.
3. LeBron James Became the 1st Active NBA Star to Become a Billionaire & Was the 2nd-Highest Earning Athlete in the World in 2022
Forbes announced in June 2022 that James has officially hit the billionaire milestone, becoming the first active NBA player to do so. Michael Jordan is the only other basketball player to have reached that milestone but he did so in 2014, over 10 years after his retirement.
The NBA legend spoke about his goal of becoming a billionaire back in 2014. “If it happens, it’s my biggest milestone,” he shared with GQ 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 2022, James earned an impressive $121.2 million before taxes and agent fees which propelled him to billionaire status. That year, the NBA star placed 2nd overall in the publication’s list of the top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world, behind only Lionel Messi. For 2023, Forbes has estimated that his pretax earnings will be near $1.3 billion thanks in large part to his lucrative deals and business ventures.
4. LeBron James Owns at Least 3 Homes in Ohio & California That Are Worth An Estimated $80 Million Combined
James is the owner of at least three homes, including two in California and one in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. According to Architectural Digest, the NBA legend also owns a home in Miami, where he played for the Heat a decade ago.
James’ first big foray into property ownership came in 2003 after first signing with the Cavaliers. The NBA star bought a 7-acre property northwest of Akron in Bath Township for $2.1 million. Since then, he built a 30,000-square-foot lavish home that sports six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, six half bathrooms and a two-story walk-in closet. It also boasts a bowling alley, a home theater, an aquarium and a recording studio. According to Architectural Digest, the home is now worth an estimated $9.2 million.
In 2017, James purchased a home in Brentwood, Los Angeles for $23 million, according to Trulia. The mansion has eight bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. The master suite has dual bathrooms, walk-in closets and a private patio and his home also has elevator access to a rooftop terrace boasting views from downtown to the ocean. Other rooms include a theater room, a wine cellar, an auto gallery and a gym with a sauna, steam room and massage room, to name a few luxuries.
In 2020, James added to his real estate portfolio with the purchase of a 13,000-square-foot home in Beverly Hills, Architectural Digest reported. The mansion, which had a price tag of $36.8 million, was previously owned by Hugh Hefner and Katherine Hepburn. When James bought the home, it was owned by the estate of Lee Phillip Bell, the co-creator of the hit soap opera “The Young and the Restless.”
According to Forbes, the home has four bedrooms, seven bathrooms, two guesthouses, a tennis court and a movie theater. The home, built in the 1930s, sits on 2.5 acres of land. However, the publication reported that the athlete will likely tear down the home and build his own mansion.
In addition to those three homes, The Real Deal shared in October 2022 that the ex-Miami Heat star had purchased a luxury condo at the Estates at Acqualina in Sunny Isles Beach, north of Miami Beach. James is reported to have bought a 43rd-floor oceanview condo for $9 million.
5. LeBron James Has Bought Many Expensive Presents for His Friends, Teammates & Family
In addition to his several homes, James has also purchased many expensive presents for his friends and family, including cars for his wife and mother. In honor of his wife Savannah James‘ 30th birthday, the NBA star gifted her a $200,000 Ferrari Testarossa, although she told Essence that she wasn’t able to drive the car yet. “It will be even more awesome when I can drive it,” she laughed. “I cannot drive a manual. I’ll learn to drive it. By this spring it’ll be on and poppin’ in my new Ferrari.”
The vehicle gifts continued as James gifted his mother, Gloria James, a white Mercedes Benz G-Class SUV, also known as a G-Wagon, for her 54th birthday in 2022. It’s not the first time he’s bought his mother a car as he bought her a Porsche in 2014.
James also got his daughter Zhuri Nova a rather unique present in 2020 as he gave her a miniature version of their own house built in their backyard. The playhouse, which is large enough to walk around in, has its own couch, kitchen and dining area.