Entertainment

Lebron James becomes first active NBA player to reach net worth of $1 billion

LA Lakers forward LeBron James is the first active NBA player to become a billionaire, according to Forbes Magazine.

The publication says the four-time NBA MVP and 18-time All-Star has a net worth of $1 billion. Two other NBA legends, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, also hit ten figures, but after their playing careers were over.

James, 37, made $121.2 million last year in earnings, ranking him as the second-highest paid athlete in the world, behind Paris Saint-Germain soccer star Lionel Messi. James said that reaching $1 billion is something he has been thinking about for some time now.

“I want to maximize my business,” James told GQ in 2014. “And if I happen to get it, if I happen to be a billion-dollar athlete, ho. Hip hip hooray! Oh, my god. I’m gonna be excited.”

Off the court, James starred in “Space Jam: A New Legacy” and, according to Forbes, sold a minority stake in his production company, SpringHill, at a $725 million valuation. SpringHill produced the “Space Jam” sequel, which grossed $163 million worldwide; “The Shop,” which moved from HBO to YouTube last year; and a docuseries with tennis star Naomi Osaka. The company is also producing a remake of the 1990 comedy “House Party.”

James has made more than $385 million in salary from his nearly 2 decade with the Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat.

Forbes have estimated that James made the rest of his $1 billion from his $500 million from cash and investments. Additionally, with SpringHill, James made money from the sale of Beats by Dre to Apple in 2014 and has shares in fitness company Beachbody.

$90 million from Fenway Sports Group. James was at one time a minority owner of Liverpool FC. He exchanged that for an estimated 1% ownership stake in Fenway Sports Group. The group owns Liverpool, Fenway Park, the Boston Red Sox and half of Roush Fenway Racing and recently agreed to spend $900 million to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins.

About $80 million in real estate holdings, including a $10 million mansion in Akron, Ohio, and two homes in the Los Angeles area for which James paid a combined $59.75 million.

Interests in the food and beverage industry that include $30 million in pizza chain Blaze Pizza, which James bought a 10% stake in for less than $1 million in 2012.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: OUTSIDER.COM

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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