LeBron James is finally a billionaire! After nearly two decades of a successful NBA career, the Los Angeles Lakers forward has reached another milestone. James became the first active NBA player to accomplish this incredible feat.
According to Forbes, the 18-time NBA All-Star made $121.2 million last year alone. Of course, his NBA contract makes up less than half of this amount. It was James' investments that made him one of the richest athletes in history.
LeBron is only the second player in NBA history to make the billionaire list. Michael Jordan, who is considered the greatest NBA player of all time, is the only other player to make the list.
Let's take a look at some of LeBron James' biggest investments which contributed to his billionaire status.
Many NBA fans are familiar with "Uninterrupted" and its content. LeBron James and his friend Maverick Carter founded this media company a few years ago, and it is extremely popular.
The two friends created an athlete-empowering brand, allowing sports figures to freely share their views and opinions. Several high-profile athletes have used the brand to share their opinions, including Draymond Green, Rob Gronkowski, Ronda Rousey, and Tom Brady.
"The Shop" is one of the most popular products this company has produced. It's a talk show that features LeBron and other athletes and their conversations in a barber shop. In February 2022, the show was renewed for a fifth season and will be moving from HBO to YouTube.
When James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, many fans and analysts predicted he would get into the movie industry. This is exactly what the two-time Olympic gold medalist did as he founded his own production company.
The company produced "Space Jam 2: A New Legacy," starring James himself. It has also been included in many other projects, including Adam Sandler's movie "Hustle," which comes out in June 2022.
LeBron James has been in Los Angeles for only four years, yet he's already achieved a lot, on and off the court. If he stays there for a few more years, we can expect him to make, at least, one more movie.
Even though he is turning 38 this year, it won't be surprising if he keeps playing in the NBA until he is 40 or older. After all, he hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. As a matter of fact, he was the league's leading scorer last season. Unfortunately, he did not qualify for the title as he did not play enough games.
James' business portfolio is already impressive, but could further improve with new partnerships in the movie industry.
LeBron James invested in Blaze Pizza
Back in 2011, James invested in Blaze, a growing, yet largely unpopular pizza chain. The NBA superstar helped Blaze open a pair of restaurants in Miami and Chicago, and it is estimated that James owns around 20 Blaze Pizza franchises.
Between 2012 and 2017, the pizza chain earned James $35 million. Furthermore, it has become one of the fastest-growing food chains in the United States.
What makes Blaze Pizza unique is the way the customers are served. Each customer can completely customize their pizza and add as many toppings as they want! James himself is a big fan of this pizza, and he even got 16 different toppings on it!
Fenway Sports Group
In 2021, LeBron James invested in Fenway Sports Group. By doing this, the four-time NBA champion became a part owner of the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool Football Club, and a few other teams.
Once again, James included Maverick Carter. The two of them have had many successful investments and are a big reason why the Lakers forward is now a billionaire. LeBron talked about the two of them joining the ownership group.
"I think for me and for my partner, Maverick, to be the first two Black men to be a part of that ownership group in the history of that franchise, I think it's pretty damn cool. It gives me and people that look like me hope and inspiration that they can be in a position like that as well, that it can be done."
James, who has established himself as one of the greatest players in NBA history, believes he could also own an NBA team one day. However, league rules don't allow him to do so while he's an active player.
LeBron James is also linked to Klutch Sports Group, the sports agency founded by his best friend, Rich Paul. Many fans believe that James has a lot of influence on this sports agency and that Paul works for him. While there isn't any proof of that, it won't be surprising if the popular NBA player joins Klutch Sports once he retires.
LeBron James is extremely talented and physically gifted, but he puts in a lot of hours and effort into his body. It is estimated that the NBA superstar spends around $1.5 million a year maintaining his body. This includes his home gym, massages, trainers, as well as supplements.
In 2018, James teamed up with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lindsey Vonn, and Cindy Crawford to found Ladder, a health and wellness company. The company offers products that help with fitness and workouts. Customers may also opt-in for monthly subscriptions and personalized product plans.