LeBron James Cements His Billionaire Status With Record Contract

LeBron James Cements His Billionaire Status With Record Contract
LeBron James Cements His Billionaire Status With Record Contract

(Bloomberg) — LeBron James has long made clear his aspirations to cement his billionaire status by owning an NBA franchise.

But, for now, the 39-year-old still ranks among the league’s superstars, and is raking in a record-breaking amount on the court instead.

James agreed to a two-year, $104 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to a person familiar with the matter. That’s the most ever for someone his age and would put his net worth at almost $1.5 billion including this upcoming season’s salary, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The contract confirms that James will realize a long-held goal of playing with his son Bronny James Jr., 19, who was drafted by the Lakers last week and reportedly agreed to a four-year, $7.9 million contract.

The senior James, who’s entering his 22nd season in the NBA, holds the league’s all-time scoring record and averaged 25.7 points per game last year, putting him in the top 15 players in the league.

Dubbed “King James” since his prodigious high-school career led the Cleveland Cavaliers to select him with first pick of the 2003 NBA draft, he’s the wealthiest current player. Another one of the NBA’s greats, Michael Jordan, is worth more than $4 billion after selling his stake in the Charlotte Hornets last year.

James’ wealth is made up of a mixture of his NBA salary as well as sponsorships, investments and his own consumer and entertainment business, the SpringHill Co.

SpringHill was valued at about $725 million in 2021 after James and business partner Maverick Carter sold a minority stake to a group of investors, including Nike Inc. He has a sponsorship deal with the shoemaker that’s expected to bring in $1 billion over his lifetime, and he collected over $100 million from the sale of Beats Electronics to Apple Inc. in 2014.

He also holds a widely diversified portfolio of investments, including a 1% stake in Fenway Sports Group, owner of MLB’s Boston Red Sox, the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins and the Liverpool Football Club.

–With assistance from Giles Turner.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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