Have you ever wondered what the net worth of LeBron James is?
Well, the Los Angeles Lakers small forward and four-time NBA Champion is arguably the greatest professional basketball player ever.
However, he has also become a business mogul outside of basketball. Now, he’s well on his way to surpassing even Michael Jordan’s net worth.
As of May 2023, the net worth of LeBron James is $1.2 billion.
He also has a lifetime deal with Nike worth a whopping $1 billion.
Every year, LeBron James earns around $40 million in salary from the NBA and roughly $55 million from endorsements.
This alone totals his salary at around $100 million. In this post, we’ll show you how “King James” built his fortune.
Table of Contents
LeBron James was born on December 30th, 1984, in Akron, Ohio.
He was raised by a single mother, Gloria James. At just two years old, LeBron’s father left his family.
Gloria did the best she could to provide for her son. However, they were often poor and lived in housing projects.
Despite the difficult circumstances of his childhood, LeBron was a natural athlete. He played football and basketball in high school.
He quickly became one of the best players in his grade. By the time he was a junior, he was already being scouted by college programs.
In his senior year, he was named Ohio’s “Mr. Basketball.” He was also selected as the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, becoming one of the youngest players in history to be drafted by an NBA team.
LeBron James Net Worth: NBA Career
The Cleveland Cavaliers drafted LeBron James with the 1st overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.
A homegrown hero hailing from Akron, the fanbase expected tremendous things out of him. And he did not disappoint.
LeBron burst onto the scene in his rookie year, averaging over 20 points per game, 5 rebounds per game, and 5 assists per game at just eighteen years old.
From there, he exploded into one of the most dynamic players the NBA has ever seen.
In his first decade of NBA Basketball, LeBron James earned over $125 million in salary alone.
During that same period, he also earned $326 million from endorsements. Altogether, he earned over $450 million in his first decade as a professional.
LeBron James had an illustrious career in Cleveland. He was one of the most popular athletes in the world and led his team to the playoffs several times.
However, his team was never able to win a championship. This was largely due to the fact that they were not very good.
In fact, some people say that LeBron’s time in Cleveland was actually a waste of his talent.
The Decision & The Miami Heat
In 2010, LeBron James became a free agent. This meant that he could sign with any team in the NBA.
It was one of the most highly anticipated events in NBA history. And it did not disappoint.
On July 8th, 2010, LeBron James announced on live television that he would be “taking his talents to South Beach”.
This was a reference to the fact that he would be signing with the Miami Heat.
At the time, many people thought that this was a terrible decision. They said that he was betraying his hometown team.
They also said that he would never win a championship with the Heat.
However, LeBron James proved all of his doubters wrong.
He won two NBA championships with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013. He was also named the NBA Finals MVP both times.
The Cleveland Cavaliers & The Second Homecoming
In 2014, LeBron James became a free agent once again.
This time, he decided to return to his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He said that he wanted to finish his career where it all started.
Many people thought that this was a great decision. They said that he was finally going to win a championship for Cleveland.
And they were right.
In 2016, the Cavaliers won the NBA Finals. It was their first championship in franchise history.
LeBron James was named the NBA Finals MVP for the third time in his career.
He also led the Cavaliers to another NBA Finals appearance in 2017. However, they lost to the Golden State Warriors in five games.
Los Angeles Lakers
In a move that shocked the world, LeBron James announced that he would leave Cleveland once again to sign a contract with the fabled Los Angeles Lakers.
James is now currently a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. He earned a projected $95.4 million as recently as the 2021 season.
Around $31.4 million of that will come from his on-court earnings as a member of the Lakers.
The remaining $64 million will come from his many endorsements.
By the time LeBron’s contract with the Lakers is up in 2023, he will have earned $428 million in NBA salaries.
Recently, James agreed to a two-year, $97.1-million extension through the 2024-25 season, when he’ll turn 40. The deal also includes a player option for the final season.
With $532 million in guaranteed money, James now passes Kevin Durant for most in NBA history.
Although LeBron is undoubtedly one of the greatest basketball players of all time, it will take some work before he’s considered a Laker great like Kobe Bryant or Magic Johnson.
Endorsement Deals and Sponsors
LeBron James’s longtime friend and business partner is Maverick Carter. Together, the two have made a multitude of savvy business moves.
“LeBron and I have always been about finding companies that we truly believe in and putting real money into them,” Carter said to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
“We’re not talking putting in $15,000 or $20,000. It’s real money plus the expertise, understanding and knowledge that we bring as well as bringing LeBron’s name and likeness to the product.”
Over the course of his decorated career, LeBron James has accumulated several endorsements and sponsors that have skyrocketed his net worth.
Below is a list of LeBron’s most notable partnerships that have allowed him to become one of the richest basketball players of all time.
One of, if not the most notable endorsement deal of LeBron James’ career. His partnership with Nike is easily one of his most lucrative.
At just eighteen years old in 2003, LeBron James had Nike, Adidas, and Reebok fighting over his presence.
Well, Nike came out on top, closing on an $87 million contract.
Since then, as previously mentioned, LeBron has signed a whopping $1 billion “lifetime deal” with the athletic brand.
The wildly popular headphone brand and electronic company was founded by Dr. Dre.
LeBron famously owned a 1% stock in the company, which turned into $30 million when Apple, Inc. purchased it in 2015.
You can likely catch LeBron during pregame warmups in his Beats headphones.
LeBron James signed with The Coca-Cola Company in 2003, around the same time he signed with Nike.
He often promotes Powerade and Sprite, which are two of Coca-Cola’s most famous beverages.
via Blaze Pizza
In 2012, LeBron invested in a tiny fast-food pizza chain called Blaze Pizza.
According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell in 2017, James will likely gain at least $25 million for his 10 percent stake in the nationwide chain.
He collaborated with others to invest less than $1 million in the company in 2012. Now, his investment is worth over $35 million.
Dunkin’ Donuts / Baskin-Robbins
LeBron signed with the popular coffee/ ice cream chain in 2012. He primarily promotes the brand in Asia.
State Farm Insurance
State Farm is popular for its partnerships with standout professional athletes.
LeBron signed a sponsorship deal with the company in 2008, joining superstars such as Chris Paul, Patrick Mahomes, and Aaron Rodgers.
LeBron James’ most recent contract came by way of the Los Angeles Lakers, his current team.
According to Spotrac, he signed a 4-year, $153,312,846 contract with the Lakers.
The deal included $153,312,846 guaranteed with an annual average salary of $38,328,212.
In 2020-21, James earned a base salary of $39,219,566, while carrying a cap hit of $39,219,566 and a dead cap value of $39,219,566.
LeBron James’ Acting/Producing Career
LeBron James is arguably the most iconic NBA basketball player of all time.
His fans famously anointed him as “The Chosen One” at just sixteen years old. He was even on the cover of Sports Illustrated at the time.
It’s no secret he would be the NBA superstar to follow in the footsteps of Michael Jordan as the face of the Space Jam sequel, “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”
Before we dive into LeBron’s role and his earnings from his new movie, let’s take a look at his acting career in general.
You might not know that LeBron has a surprising 54 producing credits, many of which came from projects through his own SpringHill Entertainment Company.
In fact, his first producing credit came from his animated web series, “The LeBrons,” made in 2011.
He followed this up by famously producing NBA 2K14, a game for which he was the cover athlete that year.
Below are some of LeBron’s most famous produced projects. Unless you’re a serious LeBron James fan, you likely won’t be familiar with many outsides of these five.
- Shut Up and Dribble
- More Than An Athlete
- HBO’s The Shop
- Space Jam: A New Legacy
Acting & Space Jam: A New Legacy
This brings us to a growing area of LeBron James’ professional life: his acting career.
As you could probably imagine, he has a terrific acting presence, and treats his roles with the same time and effort he would an NBA basketball game.
His film debut came as a supporting role in the movie Trainwreck, featuring Amy Schumer.
LeBron was reportedly hesitant about diving into a career outside of professional basketball at the time, believe it or not.
LeBron is perhaps most famous recently for his role as himself in Space Jam: A New Legacy.
Similar to the film’s predecessor, the plot involves James teaming up with Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes to save the rest of humanity.
Although the movie clearly struck an emotional nerve with those who grew up and watched the original Space Jam, critics deemed the movie a “successful disappointment.”
According to Forbes, Space Jam: A New Legacy topped the domestic box office in its first weekend with $31.65 million in 3,965 theaters.
This is so-so when benchmarked against the typical box-office hit.
However, plenty of uncontrollable factors (COVID-19, the rise of streaming services) can be attributed to its subpar performance thus far.
Outside of Space Jam: A New Legacy and Trainwreck, below are some of LeBron’s most notable acting credits:
- Teen Titans Go!
- SpongeBob Squarepants
- The Simpsons
- The LeBrons
- Survivor’s Remorse
LeBron James Net Worth 2023
As of May 2023, the net worth of LeBron James is $1.2 billion.
Lebron has publicly expressed his desire to eventually become a billionaire many times, and as of June 2022, it finally happened.
In 2014, Lebron was in an interview with GQ when he said, “It’s my biggest milestone,” he said.
“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.”
Well, that time is finally here.
In July 2021, LeBron James became the first active NBA player in history to become a billionaire before retiring from NBA basketball.
As mentioned, the majority of his earnings come from his dealings outside of his NBA salary.
He’s earned $700 million in ventures like licensing, endorsements, merchandising, and more.
Although, his NBA earnings are nothing to scoff at either. He’s made an estimated $385 million from his NBA career alone.
Fenwway Sports Group
LeBron has a long-standing partnership with Fenway Sports Group, the Boston-based sports conglomerate that owns Liverpool Football Club and the New England Sports Network (NESN).
FSG initially reached out to LeBron in 2011 to discuss a possible investment in Liverpool, but the talks ultimately fell through.
However, the two entities kept in touch, and LeBron later became an equity partner and advisor for FSG.
In a 2017 interview with ESPN, LeBron discussed his role with FSG:
“I try to give them as much knowledge on the business side of things, what I would do if I were in their position. I want them to be successful. I’m not just trying to help myself; I’m trying to help them. It’s a mutual thing.”
In 2021, LeBron became a partner of Fenway Sports Group, giving him an ownership stake in its subsidiaries which include the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool Football Club, Roush Fenway Racing and the regional sports network (NESN).
James and his business partner Maverick Carter became the company’s first Black partners after expanding James’ investment in the organization.
Prior to this, he already owned 2% of Liverpool – the current English Premier League champion.
Outside of his lucrative business ventures, you couldn’t expect LeBron to not live luxuriously with his massive net worth.
For example, in 2021, LeBron listed a mansion in Brentwood, Los Angeles for a whopping $20.5 million.
He then went on to buy an entire compound in Beverly Hills for nearly $38 million.
Aside from his two lavish LA homes, you know the NBA star had to own a home in his hometown of Akron, Ohio as well.
The mansion is 30,000 square feet on seven acres, featuring a barbershop, theater, bowling alley, and even an aquarium.
With his various investments in everything from Blaze Pizza to Space Jam 2, to his massive real estate collection, Lebron has finally hit the three-comma club.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about LeBron James.
Who Is The Richest Basketball Player?
LeBron James is now the richest basketball player in the world, with a net worth of $1.2 billion.
How Much Was Kobe Bryant Worth In Relation To LeBron James?
Kobe Bryant was the richest basketball player in the world at the time of his death, with a net worth of $600 million.
How Did LeBron Get So Rich?
The majority of LeBron’s earnings came from his business dealings outside of his NBA salary. He’s earned $700 million in ventures like licensing, endorsements, merchandising, and more. Although, his NBA earnings are nothing to scoff at either.
Is LeBron James Officially a Billionaire in 2022?
As of May 2023, LeBron James has officially become a billionaire. This comes from his many lucrative business ventures outside of his NBA salary.
Now that you know what the net worth of Lebron is and how he built it, let’s take a look at some of the most important lessons we can take from his journey.
“I’m Going to Use All My Tools, My God-Given Ability, and Make the Best Life I Can With It.”
LeBron understood that he had incredible gifts from a young age.
They were unlike any other we’ve seen in the sport, ever. Rather than taking these gifts for granted, he took them and rand with them.
The minor details and the nitty gritty work are what LeBron prides himself on. Without it, his talent would never have been realized to the extent it has.
“Don’t Be Afraid of Failure. This Is the Way to Succeed.”
LeBron has long referenced the importance of failure to his ultimate success.
It has been a staple of his career, believe it or not.
He failed for years before finally winning his first NBA Championship title with the Miami Heat in 2012.
Without failure, there is no course-correction. Perhaps no one has demonstrated this reality better than LeBron himself.
“I Think the Reason Why I Am Who I Am Today Is Because I Went Through Those Tough Times When I Was Younger.”
LeBron has been a superstar basically since coming out of the womb.
But his childhood wasn’t the easiest. Growing up without a father figure is one of the defining aspects of his adolescent life.
The fact that he’s accomplished all he has in spite of a one-parent household is a testament to his dedication to hard work.