After becoming the first active NBA player billionaire, LeBron James recently achieved another personal milestone as the highest-paid NBA player in history via a new contract extension with the Lakers.
The four-time champion and perennial NBA All-Star agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers, putting him ahead of Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry as the highest-earning player in NBA history, as stated by CNBC Make It.
According to salary-tracking site Spotrac, James, who is seeking his second championship with the Lakers, after winning with the team in 2020, will make at least $528.9 million in guaranteed money during his career.
According to Forbes, the bulk of James’ earnings comes from his endorsement deals and other business ventures. James has “maximized his business,” to more than $1.2 billion in pretax earnings. “He has commanded more than $385 million 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 $900 million in income from endorsements and other business ventures,” Forbes wrote.
Born on December 30, 1984, in Akron, Ohio, James started playing basketball in his infancy. Basketball soon became a way of life for him and when he joined his elementary school basketball team, he excelled.
At St Vincent-St Mary high school, James became the youngest person ever to join the USA Today All-USA First Team and was later named the Gatorade National Player of the Year.
While in high school, he was tipped as the next big thing in the NBA as he began to appear on the cover of “SLAM” magazine and Sports Illustrated. It is no wonder that today, he is one of the biggest stars in the NBA, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
The four-time NBA champion is also behind TV and movie studio SpringHill Entertainment, which helped produce “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” a movie he starred in, which earned $163 million in box office receipts worldwide.
He also has endorsement deals from companies such as McDonald’s, Microsoft, State Farm, Beats by Dre, Coca-Cola, Dunkin-Donuts, Baskin Robbins, Samsung, and Nike. He also has a 1% stake in Beats by Dre. He made at least $1 million in royalties and when the company was sold to Apple, he got a cut of $30 million.
While in high school, he was tipped as the next big thing in NBA as he began to appear on the cover of “SLAM” magazine and Sports Illustrated. It is no wonder that today, he is one of the biggest stars in the NBA, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
In 2003, he entered the NBA draft and became the first pick of his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. He would earn $1.4 billion over four years. Following the expiration of his contract, he signed a three-year $60 million extension with the Cavs before the 2007-2008 season. The contract extension upped his annual salary from $5.8 million to $15.8 million for the 2009-2010 season.
In 2011, he announced his decision to join the Miami Heat in a dramatic broadcast which reportedly generated some $6 million for charity. At Miami, he took $110 million over six years. He returned to Cleveland ahead of the 2014-2015 season after four years with The Heat. Upon his return, he signed a one-year contract and extended it to three years after winning the NBA championship in 2015. The three years contract extension reportedly fetched him $100 million, making him the highest-paid player in the NBA for the first time in his career.
Prior to the 2018/19 season, he made another switch to the Lakers from Cavs. The deal was worth $153 million with an annual salary of $38 million over four years. In 2020, LeBron and the Lakers announced a two-year $85 million contract extension which will see him earn $42.5 million per year.
In his first 10 seasons in the NBA, James earned over $126 million in salary and $326 million from endorsements, thus taking his total earnings within the period to $452 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.