LeBron James has become the first active NBA player to become a billionaire.
According to Forbes, the Los Angeles Lakers player has “maximized his business,” with pretax earnings of more than $1.2 billion.
James’ NBA salary has totaled $383 million over the last 19 years with three different clubs, while he has “raked in upwards of $900 million in cash through sponsorships and other commercial ventures”.
Along with lucrative endorsement deals with Nike (NKE), AT&T (T), PepsiCo (PEP), and Walmart (WMT), Forbes reported that James arranged his deals to incorporate equity in those businesses, allowing him a “share of the upside rather than a quick payment.”
The four-time NBA champion has also invested in Tonal, a fitness business, Lyft, and Blaze Pizza, a fast-growing restaurant.
SpringHill Entertainment, a TV and film studio valued at $300 million by Forbes, is another lucrative venture for James.
“Space Jam: A New Legacy,” a film in which James appeared and which grossed $163 million worldwide, was produced with the assistance of his film studio.
The only other basketball billionaire on Forbes’ list is Michael Jordan.
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