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NBA great LeBron James has parlayed his towering achievements on the basketball court into lucrative endorsement deals with Nike, Walmart and other top brands as well as a starring role in Space Jam: A New Legacy, opposite Bugs Bunny. But contrary to recent reports, there’s one jump shot the four-time league MVP has yet to hit: billionaire status.
James has earned more than $1 billion during his 18-year career, with nearly $400 million in salary and more than $600 million in off-the-court earnings, but that doesn’t make him a billionaire. After accounting for taxes, spending and investment returns, Forbes estimates James’ net worth to be about $850 million.
On the court, James’ Lakers contract makes him the NBA’s fifth-highest-paid player, but it’s his off-court savvy that puts him in a league of his own. Over the last year, James brought in an estimated $65 million through endorsements, memorabilia and appearances—a record for an active NBA player and $21 million more than Kevin Durant, the NBA’s off-the-court No. 2 for the same 12-month period. James’ biggest sponsor is Nike, which inked a lifetime endorsement agreement with him in 2016 that pays him tens of millions annually.
James has taken those millions in earnings and pumped them into a number of well-timed investments, high-end real estate and businesses of his own. His ability to turn star power into big money means one thing is a solid bet: The 36-year-old is on track to become a billionaire before his 40th birthday in December 2024, joining Michael Jordan (who hit the mark well after his retirement) as the second NBA player to do so. A spokesperson for James declined to comment on Forbes’ estimates.
Here’s a breakdown of LeBron James’ net worth and assets today.
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