Basketball Star Joins the Billionaire’s list

LeBron Raymone James is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. Nicknamed “King James”, he is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time.

The Lakers star becomes the first active basketball player to be a billionaire.

The business magazine estimated that the 37-year-old is the world’s second-highest-paid athlete behind footballer Lionel Messi.

James earned $121.2m (approximately £97m) over the last year, with $80m (£64m) of it coming off the basketball court.

The magazine quoted that the Los Angeles Lakers star has “maximized his business, to the tune of more than $1.2bn [£954m] in pretax earnings”.

“He has commanded more than $385m [£306m] in salary from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers as the NBA’s highest-paid active player. Off the court, he has raked in upwards of $900m [£716m] in income from endorsements and other business ventures,” the report pointed out.

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James is an 18-time NBA all-star, four-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, it said.

His deals with Nike and other brands like AT&T, Pepsico and Walmart last year had made him the second-highest earning athlete in the world.

A deal with television and movie studio SpringHill Entertainment has been valued by Forbes at around $300m (£239m).

Michael Jordan is also a billionaire on Forbes’ list but didn’t achieve this until 2014, over a decade after he retired.
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