NBA players are among the most powerful athletes in the world. Their impact is felt both on and off the field. Aside from the large salaries they receive on the court, they also generate money through endorsement deals. In recent years, an increasing number of NBA players have added entrepreneurship to their retirement plans.
Seven influential NBA players who went on to become entrepreneurs are listed below.
1. LeBron James
According to Forbes, LeBron James now has a net worth of $1 billion, making him the first active NBA player to become a billionaire. James, the Los Angeles Lakers’ star, has “maximized his business,” making more than $1.2 billion in pretax earnings. “As the NBA’s highest-paid active player, he has earned more than $385 million in salary from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers.” According to Forbes, “off the court, he has raked in upwards of $900 million in income from endorsements and other business ventures.”
James began playing basketball as a child, having been born on December 30, 1984, in Akron, Ohio. Basketball quickly became a way of life for him, and he thrived when he joined his primary school basketball team. He received his Nike endorsement agreement when he was only 18 years old. The basketball star’s contract with Nike, as well as deals with AT&T, PepsiCo, and Walmart, has elevated him to the world’s second-highest-earning athlete.
The four-time NBA champion is also the founder of SpringHill Entertainment, which helped develop “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” a film in which he appeared that grossed $163 million worldwide.