LeBron James Is First Active NBA Player To Become a Billionaire
By Chris Bengel, CBS Sports
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LeBron James may not be playing in the NBA Finals, but he's still having a good June. According to Forbes, the Lakers star now has an estimated net worth of $1 billion, making him the first active NBA player to become a billionaire.
Michael Jordan is the NBA's only other billionaire, but he didn't reach that mark until 2014, years after the stopped playing in the NBA.
During his NBA career, James has earned over $385 million in salary from his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Lakers. He earned $170 million in 11 season with the Cavaliers, $153 million in his four seasons with the Lakers and $64 million in his four seasons with the Heat.
James raked in a whopping $121.2 just last year. He is currently the league's highest-paid active player and also makes an estimated $900 million in income via endorsement deals and businesses.
"It's my biggest milestone," James told GQ in a 2014 interview about potentially being a billionaire one day. "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."
A big reason the Lakers star has gotten to this point is that he's been smart about spending his money.
James has a minority stake in Liverpool of the Premier League and has made $90 million during his time as an investor, which dates back to 2011. In addition, James also owns an estimated one percent of Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park and Liverpool.
The Fenway Sports Group also owns half of Roush Fenway Racing and 80 percent of the New England Sports Network. In 2021, the Fenway Sports Group paid $900 million to own the Pittsburgh Penguins.
It's not all sports for James, though. He has also made an estimated $80 million in real estate, as he owns three properties that are worth that amount. In addition, James has also made $30 million in Blaze Pizza, a pizza chain that was founded in 2012 and has more than 300 locations throughout the United States and Canada.
This story was originally published by CBS Sports on June 2, 2022.