Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is now a billionaire, becoming the first active NBA player to reach the milestone, according to Forbes.
The only other NBA player to become a billionaire is Michael Jordan, who only became one after his playing days.
By Forbes, James joins the list of billionaires after earning $121.2 million last year. He earned more than $385 million in NBA salary over his 19-year career and will earn $44.5 million next season in the final year of his contract with the Lakers.
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But it’s the money off the pitch that puts James in the exclusive club.
James had made nearly $900 million in endorsements and other business investments since joining the league in 2003.
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In 2010, James became an investor in Blaze Pizza for less than $1 million. His investment is now worth around $30 million. In 2011, James’ sports marketing group became involved with Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC and Fenway Park. Forbes estimates his investment is now worth $90 million.
“It’s great to be with such a great group, with FSG. They’ve done so many great things over the year, and just this collective group of people, they’re just amazing to be partners with,” said James, according to the LA Times. “As far as the Red Sox, obviously a historic franchise and we know the history of the World Series championships that they brought back to Boston and the players that have been there and the legacy they hold in that area. .”
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“So I think for me and for my partner, Maverick, to be the first two black men to be part of this ownership group in the history of this franchise, I think that’s pretty damn cool,” James continued. .
James hasn’t been shy about declaring his desire to one day own an NBA franchise, telling reporters last year that owning the NBA was his goal.
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“I have so much to give to the game. I know what it takes to win at this level. I know talent,” James said, according to the LA Times. “is my goal. My goal is to own an NBA franchise, and that will be sooner rather than later.”
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James also made around $300 million with The Spring Hill Co., a company he and business partner Maverick Carter started in 2007. Spring Hill helped produce “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”
While James is now a billionaire, NBA fans won’t see him on the court until the 2022-23 season after his Lakers team failed to make the playoffs for the second time since joining Los Angeles. Angeles.