The most famous and most hated athlete in America has now added another designation to his name: the 1st billion-dollar athlete in NBA history.
Lebron James has reportedly entered the three-comma club on the week of July 18-24, 2021, the first for an actual current player in the annals of the league.
According to Yahoo! Finance, King James, 36, has earned over $330 million in playing salary and another $700 million from “off the court from endorsements, merchandise, licensing and his media business.”
LBJ tops a small list of outrageously rich NBA stars who have similarly transcended their sports and expanded beyond America’s shores. This includes rivals Kevin Durant, who boasts $580 million in career earnings, and Stephen Curry who has stacked over $430 million thus far. Other current athletes who are billionaires include golf legend Tiger Woods, undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather, European soccer icons Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and tennis titan Roger Federer.
Michael Jordan, universally considered the greatest player of all time, has long since crossed the billion-dollar threshold, first as an unrivaled player and endorsee and then as the owner of the Charlotte Hornets. In fact, since he left the University of North Carolina, MJ has earned over $2 billion. However, Jordan did not reach the billion-dollar mark until long after retirement, Yahoo reports.
As with most athletes, fans are probably not aware of the sheer volume of King James’ endorsement partners which include AT&T, Beats, Blaze Pizza, GMC, Nike, PepsiCo, Rimowa and Walmart. Another positive for James is his colossal Instagram following, which is at 167 million, fifth-most behind Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar and Virat Kohl.