If there’s something people know about basketball players is that they get paid quite handsomely. Of course, there are a few exceptions, but when you think about people like LeBron James, you know he doesn’t earn just a few bucks from playing.
This basketball player is one of the best-paid athletes globally, and with this in mind, you know he is already earning millions with his games. But does he make money by just playing?
You would believe that he does, but in fact, LeBron James is more than a basketball star; he can also surprise you when it comes to businesses and off-field earnings.
Therefore, we will go over his life and get to know how he started to play and how much he is earning based on his games and businesses so far.
Who Is LeBron James?
Let’s make something clear. If you are from the USA, you should know who he is, even if it is just by name. After all, many consider LeBron James to be a clear representation of the country due to how much he has standout so far.
But if you don’t know his early years and never went over his life, that’s completely understandable, and here, we will make sure to help you a bit.
LeBron James was in Akron, Ohio, on December 30, 1984, and if there’s something to point out about his childhood, it wasn’t easy.
His father, Anthony McClelland, was an ex-con with an extensive criminal record, which led him not to be involved in James’ life. However, his mother, Gloria Marie James, was 16 years old when she gave birth.
She struggled to maintain the family from not falling apart.
Noticing that she was unable to find a steady job, she allowed LeBron to start living under the wings of his basketball coach, Frankie Walker, which helped James to focus on school and his games.
His coach introduced him to basketball when he was nine years old, and since then, he encouraged LeBron always to train and follow what he turned to be his passion.
LeBron attended St. Vincent – St. Mary. High School in Akron.
As a team leader, his basketball crew won three state championships, and he was named “Mr. Basketball” in Ohio three years in a row.
After finishing high school, he decided not to attend college and instead went straight to the NBA, where he was the first pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.
His professional career in the NBA started by being drafted in the seventh season by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was a Cleveland native and was considered to be a star in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
The team failed to win a championship despite LeBron’s superior court play.
In 2010, James was granted the right to be a free agent, and he could play for any team that he chose.
It was big news when he chose to play for the Miami Heat next, where he was the leader for four years, leading them to the NBA championship finals each year, and won the championship twice.
In 2014, LeBron returned to Cleveland and wanted to bring the championship back to his hometown. This year, the Cavaliers reached the championship but were defeated by Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, their two-star players.
However, in 2016, he brought the NBA title to Cleveland.
In 2018, he decided to leave the Cavaliers and became a free agent again.
On July 1, it was announced that he would play with the Los Angeles Lakers during 2018 as well. Since then, he has remained on the team to this date.
LeBron’s Biggest Achievements
- Four times NBA Champion: 2012, 2013, 2016, 2020.
- Four NBA Finals Most Valuable Player: 2012, 2013, 2016, 2020.
- NBA Rookie of the Year: 2004.
- NBA All-Rookie First Team: 2004.
- NBA Scoring Leader: 2008.
- Seventeen NBA All-Star: From 2005 to 2021.
- NBA Assists Leader: 2020.
- Six times NBA All-Defensive selection: First team from 2009 to 2013, and second team in 2014.
- 3 Olympic medals with the USA National Team: 2 gold (2008 and 2012) and one bronze in 2004.
- FIFA World Cup medalist: Bronze 2006.
Here, we didn’t include his high school achievements, but you can bet those add a lot more to the list.
We wanted to focus on the essentials and his professional career.
How Much Is LeBron James Worth?
Having reached this point, we can finally focus on what we’re here for in the first place: money, but not in the wrong way.
As we mentioned initially, good basketball players get paid millions, and you can expect them to be making money properly despite their teams.
Of course, everyone gets paid differently and based on their talent and records, which is why it is impossible to know how much each one of them is earning based on a scale.
However, when it comes to LeBron James, we can have more than a ruff idea.
In the first place, LeBron has a $96.5 million net worth according to Forbes, from which $31.5 million are from on-the-field earnings and $65 million from off-the-field income.
His salary varies according to the year and season. However, since he joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018, it has had a four-year contract worth $153 million.
The NBA player has a top endorsement portfolio and is known for knowing how to invest his money.
In fact, LeBron has a lifetime endorsement deal with the brand, which he signed in 2015. However, his story with the company started back when he was 18 years old.
This lifetime deal is presumedly worth about $1 billion or more and is the first contract of this type that Nike offered as well as the largest one.
On the other hand, those earnings are not included in his net worth, but LeBron has over $80 million invested in real estate.
Other companies or brands that pay the basketball star for endorsements and sponsorships are McDonald’s, Microsoft, State Farm, Beats by Dre, Coca-Cola, and Dunkin-Donuts.
When it comes to Beats by Dre, LeBron also owns 1% of the company, and when it was sold to Apple for $3 billion, he earned $30 million thanks to this.
Besides this, he also owns a production company called SpringHill Entertainment and a media company, Uninterrupted.
However, there aren’t details of how much he earns from those or the yearly revenue and income of the companies.
Although James decided not to go to college, he was able to make millions with his talent.
When he started to play in the NBA, his first contract was for $18.8 million over four years.
Then, when he signed a contract with Cleveland before the 2007-2008 season, it was for $60 million over three years.
His annual salary went up during all these years, and for people who have followed his career, everyone believes he will be a billionaire in 2035 (if not before that).
All this is thanks to his career but primarily for his businesses and investments that are not reported or included in this list as well since we don’t have enough information about them.
What We Know About His Future
So far, LeBron James is the most valuable player in the basketball industry that many teams would love to have.
It isn’t the best in history, but quite close to the rank and top.
But we are more interested in the man behind basketball and want to know what he will do in the next few years with his money and all businesses. Will he earn more and become a billionaire? Or maybe remain as one of the wealthiest athletes in the world at the moment?
Our guess is: both will happen.
LeBron has enough potential to become a billionaire in the next decade. If he continues to place his money in investments that are bringing him more revenue than his salary, well, things will clearly go uphill and continue that way.
Still, it is too early to say that LeBron will be the first billionaire basketball player.
There are still many things we don’t know about, like his net worth with SpringHill Entertainment and Uninterrupted.
However, for sure, as long as LeBron continues playing and winning, his net worth will continue to grow.
Being the best-paid player in the NBA might not be enough for him (especially if he doesn’t win a title), but it is clear that this man deserves all of what he has earned so far with hard work and passion.
5 Encouraging Quotes by LeBron James
- “You can’t be afraid to fail. It’s the only way you succeed – you’re not gonna succeed all the time, and I know that.”
- “Certain money is not always good money. It could be just being at the wrong place at the wrong time. I mean, if you have your priorities in check, then, for the most part, it’s easy.”
- “I think the reason why I am who I am today is that I went through those tough times when I was younger.”
- “Why should I care? I have all the money in the world.”
- “I like criticism. It makes you strong.”
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