LeBron James Becomes First NBA Player To Earn $1 Billion

Everyone knows the professional members of practically any sport are racking the dough. While many of them go one to follow lives of affluence during and after their sports career, very few reach the status of billionaire like their coach counterparts. Today, LeBron James made history as the first NBA player to make $1 billion.

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His passing the billion dollar milestone was due largely from a number of non basketball ventures. Since the Lakers vet was drafted back in 2003, he’s signed a number endorsement deals that are worth some pretty pennies. From PepsiCo to AT&T, the star has been the face of a laundry list of top tier brands. According to Parade, the now billionaire baller makes up to $55 million annually per deal.

Last year the NBA Champion and Arnold Schwarzenegger sold their supplement company, Ladder to the fitness app Open Fit as the company’s newest nutrition provider.

LeBron’s seven year contract with Nike is also a big chunk of change to factor into Lebron’s immense wealth. Since he signed on the dotted line back in 2003 – only eighteen at the time – the player received $90 million a year.  In total, Lebron racks in $770 million in ventures outside of basketball.

On the court, James has made about $330 million throughout his eighteen year long career. He got paid $18.8 million for his four years as a rookie, though his paycheck was ultimately increased when he signed a three year extension contract that gave him a whopping $60 million.

When he went on to play for Miami Heat, the team that saw him win his first NBA Championship, he was paid $110 million for six years.

Recently, Lebron starred in the highly anticipated movie Space Jam: A New Legacy. The remake, which was originally headlined by Michael Jordan in 1996, made huge splash in the box office when it premiered last Friday. The movie racked in $31.65 million during it’s opening weekend.

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It was produced by James and friend/business partner Maverick Carter’s film studio, SpringHill Company. Other shows in the works by SpringHill include a sequel to ’90 comedy film House Party (set to release next year) and an upcoming sports drama for Netflix called Hustle. 

It’s clear that the business of basketball is ripe for money making. Just around the corner from joining James in the NBA billionaire club is Kevin Durant. According to Complex, the Brooklyn Nets player is set to reach a $1 billion from his extensive deal with Nike. Earlier this month, Clippers owner and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer entered the $100 billion club.

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Sources: Lebron Wire

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