LeBron James is now a billionaire and hinting at retirement for the first time — here's how he makes and spends his millions
LeBron James is a four-time champion, four-time MVP, 19-time All-Star, and now the highest-paid NBA player of all time.
James signed a two-year, $97 million contract with the Lakers that will pay him $50 million in 2024-25.
However, after exiting the 2023 playoffs, he hinted at retirement for the first time even though there are reasons to think he will keep playing.
King James has amassed amazing cars and houses while achieving his goal of becoming a billion-dollar athlete, and he still has time for his surprisingly ordinary family.
LeBron James is one of the most accomplished athletes in sports history.
King James is a four-time NBA champion, four-time league MVP, and 19-time All-Star. He has also broken virtually every record the NBA has to offer — including passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the league's all-time scoring crown.
However, after the Lakers' loss in the 2023 Western Conference Finals, LeBron hinted at retirement for the first time. Despite the admission, there are still plenty of reasons to think he will keep playing, including his past insistence on playing alongside his sons in the pros.
The man who refers to himself as "just a kid from Akron" has amassed amazing cars and houses while achieving his goal of becoming a billion-dollar athlete.
Below we take a look at the fabulous and, at times, somewhat ordinary family life of King James.
Tony Manfred and Emmett Knowlton contributed to this report.
James is one of the wealthiest athletes of all time.
LeBron has made $432 million during his 20-year NBA career. He also signed a two-year, $97 million extension with the Lakers, that will give him $141 million over the next three years.
The extension has made James the highest-earning player of all time, with $532 million.
But in addition to his NBA salary, LeBron also makes roughly $90 million a year in endorsements off the court.
The King led all athletes with $126.9 million in on- and off-court earnings in 2021. The following year, he ranked second on the same list — behind World Cup winner Lionel Messi — with $121.2 million total earnings.
His endorsements include AT&T, Walmart, Intel, Kia, and more.
LeBron's been featured in many commercials for those brands over his decades of superstardom.
He has a longtime sponsorship with Beats by Dre and even gifted headphones from the brand to players on his favorite college football team.
Read more: LeBron James gave the entire Ohio State football team new $350 Beats headphones, and it's not an NCAA violation thanks to a loophole
He also has a monster deal with Nike. The company signed him to a seven-year, $93 million deal right out of high school.
And in December 2015, Nike signed him to a lifetime deal that will go far beyond the standard shoe endorsement and is expected to be worth $1 billion.
Maverick Carter — LeBron's longtime business partner — seemingly confirmed to GQ Style that the figure was, in fact, north of $1 billion.
Nike has even built a building for LeBron.
His logo is pasted on virtually every surface of the facility.
Thanks in large part to his Nike deal, LeBron is now officially a billionaire, according to Forbes, with a net worth of exactly $1 billion.
Forbes estimates that he has earned "upwards of $900 million in income from endorsements and other business ventures."
LeBron is active on Instagram, which is another source of income for The King.
It's estimated that he makes about $428,000 per sponsored Instagram post.
Source: The Hustle
James used to have an endorsement deal with McDonald's.
When he chose not to renew the deal in 2017, LeBron gave up $15 million.
Instead, he became a spokesman for Blaze Pizza, a company where he was a founding investor.
Read more: LeBron James has turned his back on McDonald's to bet on a Chipotle-style pizza chain
He made a similar move in 2021 when he left longtime sponsor Coca-Cola — or Sprite — for a deal with rival PepsiCo and its Mountain Dew brand.
Read more: LeBron James jumps ship from Coca-Cola to PepsiCo and will be the face of a new Mountain Dew drink
James is an investor in Lobos 1707 tequila.
He likes to carry around a bottle in a custom leather satchel designed by Sheron Barber.
Read more: LeBron James showed up to the NBA All-Star Game with a bottle of his tequila around his neck in custom leather satchel
Economists have estimated he was worth as much as $500 million to the city of Cleveland.
When he left the Cavaliers to join the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2018, it was a huge blow to the city's economy.
He's also quite the businessman himself.
He owns a piece of Liverpool FC, the esteemed English Premier League club.
LeBron bought a 2% stake in the team for about $6.5 million. His share has grown to be worth about $32 million.
Read more: LeBron James' $6.5 million investment in Liverpool FC is already paying off big time
He doubled down in 2021, buying into Fenway Sports Group (Liverpool FC's parent) to become a part-owner of the Boston Red Sox.
He was previously an outspoken fan of the Red Sox's bitter rivals — the New York Yankees.
Read more: LeBron James is now a part-owner of the Boston Red Sox, adding to his already impressive investment portfolio
Warren Buffett said of LeBron, "He's savvy. He's smart about financial matters."
"It's amazing to me the maturity he exhibits," the famed investor said of LeBron.
Source: Sporting News
In 2015, LeBron's media venture, Uninterrupted, got $16 million from Warner Bros.
James started a production company called SpringHill.
He sold a "significant" stake in a deal where it was valued at $725 million.
SpringHill produced "Space Jam: A New Legacy," which he also starred in.
Read more: LeBron James reveals the latest details of the much-anticipated 'Space Jam 2'
LeBron got into a bizarre feud with Nick Saban over the rights to air a show that involves people talking about current events in a barbershop.
Read more: LeBron James and Nick Saban are engaged in a bizarre feud over barbershop conversations and neither is backing down
He and Arnold Schwarzenegger are part of a group that invested in Georgetown Company and Bill Ackman's office building in Hell's Kitchen, a neighborhood in NYC.
Read more: LeBron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger own part of Bill Ackman's office building
Despite persistent rumors that LeBron owns a stake in Klutch Sports Agency with his longtime friend, Rich Paul, the NBA says that is not the case.
Klutch has become one of the most powerful agencies in the sports world.
Source: NBC Sports
All that savvy has allowed him to buy some sweet toys.
At one point, he and Dwyane Wade have matching Porsches. It's unclear who had which color.
He also owns a Rolls-Royce Phantom with TVs in the seats.
And he bought his mom a Porsche for her birthday.
And a Ferrari Testarossa for his wife.
But he insists that he drives a Kia, even to work.
To be fair, his custom K900 luxury sedan is not your typical Kia.
Even the wheels have his personal logo.
But he does own a Ferrari.
James also promoted the Hummer EV, the first electric Hummer.
He appears to own a Porsche 918 Spyder.
Fans spotted him driving the speedy sportscar on a highway in Los Angeles.
And a Ferrari.
Source: @KingJames on Instagram, via FadeAwayWorld.net
LeBron also has a much bigger vehicle with customized headrests and a big-screen TV on which he likes to watch Tom & Jerry.
When he joined the Miami Heat, he bought a $9 million home in Coconut Grove.
He later sold it for a $4 million profit.
Read more: LeBron James just sold his Miami mansion for $4 million profit
He also owns a 30,000-square-foot compound in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
In the past, he's hosted Thanksgiving there for his entire team.
And in 2017 he purchased a $23 million mansion in Los Angeles.
The stunning home has 10 bedrooms and an onyx bar among many other luxury features.
Read more: LeBron James' teammates call him 'the cheapest guy in the NBA' — but he just bought a $23 million mansion in Los Angeles
Despite all the spending, Dwyane Wade once called James "the cheapest guy in the NBA."
LeBron said that was "so, so, so, so falsely true."
James won't even use his phone if it is not on wifi.
"No, I'm not doing that," LeBron once said. "I'm not turning on data roaming, I'm not buying no apps, I still got Pandora with commercials."
Read more: LeBron James says he doesn't turn on data roaming or pay for apps or music services because he's 'the cheapest guy in the NBA'
When Pandora heard that, they offered LeBron a free premium account.
But LeBron isn't cheap when it comes to keeping himself in proper basketball shape, as he reportedly spends more than $1.5 million per year just to take care of his body.
Read more: LeBron James takes immaculate care of his body, and the NBA world is in awe of it
One of the ways he splurges on his own body is by using a controversial cryotherapy chamber.
The chambers expose the body to temperatures of -150 to -290 degrees Fahrenheit to relieve pain and enhance muscle recovery. He was one of the first NBA players to use one.
Read more: A 24-year-old woman was recently found dead in one of the freezing chambers that celebrities like Demi Moore swear by
He also employs a former Navy SEAL who serves as his biomechanist, as well as a recovery coach, personal chefs, and masseuses.
And he apparently works out with Mark Wahlberg.
LeBron has a full gym, an ice tub, and a hot tub.
Former teammate Mike Miller: "Where a lot of people don't do it, he puts a lot of money behind taking care of his body."
"A lot of people think it's a big expense, but that big expense has allowed him to make a lot more money for a long period of time," Miller added.
Source: Bleacher Report
LeBron also uses one of the most exclusive tattoo artists in the country, Bang Bang Tattoos in New York City.
The brand charges a minimum of $500 per hour. Keith "Bang Bang" McCurdy's other customers include Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and Katy Perry.
His lavish purchases aren't just for himself. He bought his wife Savannah an engagement ring reportedly worth $300,000.
Source: Hollywood Life; Instagram
He also helped arrange to get former Knicks head coach David Fizdale into a Samsung commercial as a wedding gift.
Fizdale even got paid, calling it "a nice little check for an assistant coach."
Read more:New Knicks coach David Fizdale told a story that shows how much LeBron James cares about his teammates and coaches
LeBron and Savannah are high-school sweethearts, and they have three kids together.
Their wedding was a three-day party in San Diego.
They went to Italy for their honeymoon.
And later traveled to Greece.
Savannah opened a juice bar in Miami when James was still with the Heat.
LeBron Jr., better known as Bronny, is turning into quite the ballplayer himself.
Bronny is reportedly considering three different Division I programs — all sponsored by Nike, of course — for his collegiate basketball career.
LeBron has said that it's his goal to play in the NBA with his son.
Read more: LeBron James' family wasn't aware of his desire to play in the NBA with his son until he said it publicly
LeBron has become a bit of a fashion icon.
Well, most of the time. The other times he wears Christmas pajamas that are too small.
He was recently spotted before a playoff game carrying a personalized Louis Vuitton briefcase with "Just A Kid From Akron" embroidered on the side.
According to the Robb Report, the briefcase retails for $8,100.
The only time we really see him let loose is when he wins something, like when he wore this awesome fang shirt at a nightclub after the Heat won the title in 2012...
Even superstars need to relax from time to time.
And like many in the NBA, LeBron has become a big fan of the vino.
He's also been known to take costume parties seriously. He once made a cameo as Prince and did a decent "Purple Rain" lip sync.
Read more: Here's video of LeBron James dressed as Prince for a Halloween party
But in general, he keeps himself out of the gossip pages. He even rode his bike to a game when he played in Miami.
He likes bikes so much that he and Maverick Carter's LRMR Ventures purchased a 4% stake in Canyon Bicycles for $30 million.
Source: Front Office Sports
But LeBron has employed his wealth and business savvy for causes bigger than just himself and his loved ones.
In 2018, James opened the I Promise School, a fully-funded public elementary school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, that primarily serves at-risk children.
Read more: LeBron James opened a school for at-risk kids in Ohio — and people are applauding him
And he's poured his efforts into "More Than a Vote," a campaign that encourages voting.
The organization even has merchandise, which James rocked before a 2020 playoff game.
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