LeBron James has chalked up another remarkable — not to mention unprecedented — accomplishment with the news that the Los Angeles Lakers superstar is the first active NBA player with $1 billion in career earnings.
Sportico shared the details of James’s amazing achievement in an article posted online Thursday. As noted in the piece, James’s $1 billion is split between $330 million in playing salary and approximately $700 million from his many off-the-court endeavors.
According to Sportico’s Kurt Badenhausen, James enjoys a wide lead over his NBA colleagues — headed up by Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry — when it comes to career earnings. Durant currently sits at $580 million, with Curry following up the Brooklyn Nets star at $430 million.
James’s longtime idol Michael Jordan came close to reaching the same $1 billion benchmark in earnings, inflation-adjusted, during his career. It goes without saying that the current principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets has continued to accumulate massive wealth in his retirement.
Jordan fell just short of $1B on an inflation-adjusted basis while active. But thanks to massive $$ in retirement w/Nike's Jordan Brand soaring, MJ career earnings now ~$2B (not adjusted for inflation).— Kurt Badenhausen (@kbadenhausen) July 22, 2021
Much of James’s off-the-court earnings stem from his massive deal with Nike. Longtime business partner Maverick Carter once boasted James enjoys a lifetime deal with Nike worth $1 billion.
Along with Nike and countless other endorsement partnerships and associated investments, James and Carter co-founded SpringHill Productions, formerly known as SpringHill Entertainment, which has allowed the NBA superstar to make considerable inroads in Hollywood. In fact, SpringHill Productions celebrated topping $100 million in outside investments just last year.
James’s success in the entertainment industry culminated this summer with the release of “Space Jam: A New Legacy” last week, a film that was co-produced by himself and Carter and in which James of course has a starring role.
Earlier this year, James grew his ever-expanding business empire by becoming a partner in Fenway Sports Group, a conglomerate that owns the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool Football Club, Roush Fenway Racing and New England regional sports network NESN, among other sports-related properties and subsidiaries.
What comes next in James’s expansive business endeavors remains to be seen, but the Lakers star has one specific goal that he believes will come to fruition once his playing days are over.