With the 2022 NBA Finals beginning tonight, many sports fans are strictly talking all things basketball and those associated with it — hey, Nia Long! Due to the occasion at hand, you can also bet on overhearing or even participating in a handful of “greatest of all time” convos all week long.
One man that constantly gets thrown on the GOAT list is four-time NBA champion LeBron James. As of today, he may be officially in the ranks to claim the top spot after being deemed the first active player in the NBA to reach billionaire status.
Forbes announced Bron’s big feat not too long ago, tallying up a combination of the star player’s competitive NBA salaries, his multi-platform agency, The SpringHill Company, investments in major sports networks, three properties collectively valued at eight figures alone and stake in Blaze Pizza to being the combined contributions that gave Bronny the billions.
More on King James’ history-making new billionaire status below, via Forbes:
“The 37-year-old superstar has a net worth of $1 billion, by Forbes’ count. James, who’s missing the playoffs for just the fourth time in 19 seasons, is the first active NBA player to make the billionaires list. (Michael Jordan, the only other basketball billionaire, didn’t hit ten figures until 2014, more than a decade after he retired, thanks to a well-timed investment in the Charlotte Hornets basketball team.)
‘It’s my biggest milestone,’ James told GQ in a prophetic 2014 interview. ‘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.’
James has done just that–maximized his business, to the tune of more than $1.2 billion in pretax earnings. He has commanded more than $385 million in salary from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers as the NBA’s highest-paid active player. Off the court, he has raked in upwards of $900 million in income from endorsements and other business ventures.”
For reference, that “upwards of $900 million” comes from $300 million at The SpringHill Company, $90 million by way of Fenway Sports Group, $80 million in real estate, $30 million via Blaze Pizza and over $500 million in cash plus personal investments.
When considering LeBron’s poverty-stricken upbringing in Akron, Ohio to now being ranked next to fellow legends like Michael Jordan and the late Kobe Bryant, we can’t help but tip our hats to his greatness. Whether he’s your favorite player or not, one thing you can definitely say is that he’s paid!
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