Veteran Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James made history Thursday by becoming the first active NBA player with a $1 billion fortune, Forbes magazine reported.
James, 37, is only the second athlete with that amount of money in his bank account, behind former league star Michael Jordan.
However, Jordan reached the figure after his retirement from the courts (in 2003). He achieved billionaire status in 2014.
James hit $1 billion thanks to generating $121.1 million on and off the court last year. He shelled out $41 million on his contract with the Lakers for the 2021-21 season, the second-highest-paid shooter in the league behind Golden State Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry ($45 million).
In his 19-year career, James has earned $385 million in contracts with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and the Lakers. Outside of sports, his profit reaches $900 million in sponsorships and business.
Last year, James starred in the sequel to “Space Jam” (Space James: A New Legacy) under his SpringHill production house, which sold its shares for $725 million. The film grossed $163 million in theaters worldwide.
SpringHill also produces the HBO series “The Shop,” plus other audiovisual projects.
In investments, James made money from the sale of Beats by Dre wireless headphones to Apple in 2014. He also has shares in Beachbody, a fitness company. There are only $500 wins here.
In addition, the four-time MVP and four-time NBA champion has a one percent ownership in Fenway Sports Group, which owns Liverpool in soccer and the Boston Red Sox in Major League Baseball. The company recently purchased the Pittsburgh Pennians in the NHL. Of this investment adds about $90 million.
James has nearly $80 million in real estate, including a $10 million mansion in Akron, Ohio, and two houses in the Los Angeles area, costing a combined $59.75 million.
In the food industry, James made about $30 million as a partner in the Blaze Pizza pizza chain. He bought a 10 percent stake in the company in 2012 for less than $1 million.
James is considered one of the best NBA players of his generation. He is the second-leading scorer of all time, behind former Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Of the 19 years in the NBA, he has only missed the postseason four times.