Most Valuable Player: LeBron James Is The First Active NBA Athlete To Become A Billionaire - LA Lives

The basketball figure gives new meaning to his title, “King James.”

LeBron James is in a league of his own as the first active NBA player to reach billionaire status.

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Forbes estimates that the 37-year-old accumulated a net worth of $1 billion after earning $121 million on and off the field over the past year. This means he beat his own $96.5-million record earnings the previous year.

James landed second in the Forbes Highest-Paid Athletes 2022 list, just behind Lionel Messi. Moreover, he became only the tenth athlete ever and the first basketball player to surpass $100 million in earnings in a single year.

The only other billionaire in basketball is Michael Jordan, who only achieved the milestone over a decade after his retirement.

Comprising the basketball player’s fortune is over $385 million in salary collectively earned from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers. Off-court, he received at least $900 million from endorsements and investments.

Altogether, his pretax earnings add up to over $1.2 billion.

Forbes further broke down its estimates through James’ assets, including cash and other investments (over $500 million), SpringHill Company ($300 million), Fenway Sports Group ($90 million), real estate ($80 million), and Blaze Pizza ($30 million).


The athlete told GQ in 2014 that he would like to be a billionaire.

“If it happens. It’s my biggest milestone. 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,” James said.

The world considers James one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He is an 18-time NBA all-star and four-time champion who collected two Olympic gold medals.

Banner Photo by LeBron James via Instagram

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