LeBron James Makes History By Reaching Billionaire Status

LeBron James, a four-time NBA champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist and savvy investor, has added a new title to his name: billionaire.

His net worth is now estimated at $1 billion ($1.4 billion), according to Forbes.

The title means James is the first active NBA player to achieve billionaire status.

The 37-year-old, a four-time NBA MVP, ranks second on the league’s all-time list and has played in the league since 2003. But his fortune doesn’t just come from playing basketball.

LeBron James shakes hands with Adam Sandler.  Basketballs line the wall behind him.
LeBron James and Adam Sandler are both producers of the Netflix film Hustle.AP: Chris Pizzello

Michael Jordan, whose net worth Forbes estimated at $1.7 billion ($2.34 billion), did not reach billionaire status until 11 years after his retirement.

Forbes estimated that James made $121.2 million ($167 million) last year.

James made nearly $400 million ($550 million) in salary with the LA Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat, but it’s his off-the-job earnings that stand out.

Forbes estimates that James has raised more than $900 million from corporate investments and approvals.

Raised by a single mother in Akron, Ohio, James has put a lot of money back into his hometown by opening a school and community center to help families and children.


Becoming a billionaire is something 37-year-old James talked about in a 2014 interview with GQ.

“When it happens, that’s my biggest milestone,” James said at the time.

“Of course. I want to maximize my business. And when I get it, when I’m a billion dollar athlete, whoops. Hip hip hooray! Oh my god, I’ll be excited.”

His investments and businesses include the Spring Hill Company, a business group that includes his Uninterrupted and SpringHill Entertainment; Fenway Sports Group and Blaze Pizza⁠—a casual restaurant chain.

His investments also include an $80 million ($110 million) real estate portfolio, including the Beverley Hills complex which he bought in 2020 for $36.8 million ($50.6 million).


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