NBA player LeBron James became the first billionaire
James became the first-ever active NBA player to become a billionaire after his net worth recently surpassed $1 billion at the Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles on June 1.
With four NBA championships, three Olympic medals, and 18 NBA All-Star appearances under his belt, LeBron James is the first active NBA player to become a billionaire.
James, 37, has officially become a billionaire after raking in nearly $121 million net worth during the past year, according to Forbes. The breakthrough makes the 37-year-old player’s nickname, King James, all the more fitting.
According to an earlier Forbes article, Michael Jordan is the richest athlete of all time. However, even he did not reach a billion until after he retired from the NBA. As a result of his endorsements with Nike, Gatorade, and Haines, and his investment in the Charlotte Hornets basketball team, Jordan’s net worth is now $1.7 billion – a decrease from $2.1 billion in 2020.
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Forbes reports that James has earned more than $385 million from his basketball career, but the bulk of his wealth comes from his business activities and endorsements, including with Nike, Walmart, Beats by Dre, and Blaze Pizza.
James signed a four-year, $18.8 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003, according to Spotrac, an online sports finance tracker. When he re-signed with the Cavaliers for another four years in 2007, that salary more than tripled.
In 2004, King James established the LeBron James Family Foundation to better the lives of children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
In 2018, the foundation partnered with Akron Public Schools to open the I PROMISE School, geared toward helping at-risk students and their families in Akron.