Forbes said the Los Angeles Lakers star “maximized his business,” posting more than $1.2 billion in pre-tax earnings. His NBA salary from three different teams over the past 19 years has totaled $383 million, and James has “greater than $900 million in revenue from endorsements and other business ventures,” according to the magazine.
In addition to lucrative sponsorship deals with Nike, AT&T, PepsiCo, and Walmart, Forbes said James structured his deals to include stocks in those brands, giving him “a cut in upside potential rather than a quick paycheck.” The four-time NBA champion has also made investments in fitness startup Tonal, ride-sharing company Lyft and rising star Blaze Pizza.
Another lucrative investment for James is the television and film studio SpringHill Entertainment, which Forbes values at around $300 million. The studio helped produce Space Jam: A New Legacy, a film in which he starred that grossed $163 million worldwide in box office.
James has long dreamed of becoming a billionaire.
“This is my biggest milestone,” he said in a 2014 interview with GQ. “Of course I want to maximize my business. And when I get it, if I happen to be a billion dollar athlete, ho. Hip Hip Hooray! Oh my god, I’m going to be excited.”
Remarkably, Michael Jordan is the only other basketball billionaire on the Forbes list. He only managed to do that in 2014, more than a decade after his retirement.
The CNN Wire
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https://abc7.com/lebron-james-billionaire-nba-player-athlete/11919309/ LeBron James becomes NBA’s first active player worth $1 billion, Forbes reports