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If LeBron James continues down the current financial path that he’s following, he’s going to become a billionaire one day. Between all the money he’s made playing basketball, all the money he’s made wearing Nike sneakers, and all the money he’s made investing all the money he’s made to make even more money (which is where the real money is at), he’s already rich beyond his wildest dreams—and he’s only going to get richer from here on out.
But despite his wealth, LeBron is apparently still very... er, how can we put this nicely? Frugal. Ah, f*ck it. Dude is cheap AF, according to his good friend Dwyane Wade. So cheap that he refuses to accept data roaming charges on his cell phone when he’s on vacation, even though he’s already dropping tens of thousands of dollars on the vacation to begin with. Wade spoke about it with his wife Gabrielle Union and Kelly Ripa last summer when he helped host an episode of Live With Kelly.
"If there’s no Wi-Fi," Union said, "he does not mess with the data roaming."
"This is no joke," Wade said. "He’s like, 'I will send this text before I leave the boat because there ain’t gonna be no Wi-Fi probably.'"
It doesn’t sound like LeBron is all that shy about admitting to being cheap, either. He sat down with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols for an interview and a game of true or false alongside Wade over the weekend. Nichols asked him if it's true that he’s as cheap as Wade says he is, with respect to his aforementioned cell habits. And LeBron revealed that, yes, he really does refuse to pay for data roaming. He also refuses to pay for apps or the premium version of Pandora that comes without commercials for less than $5 per month.
"That is false...ly true," LeBron said. "No, I’m not doing that. I’m not turning on data roaming. I’m not buying no apps. I still got Pandora with commercials."
If nothing else, you would think that one of the biggest perks of being a world-famous NBA superstar with more money than you could ever possibly spend would be that you wouldn’t have to sit through Pandora commercials. But no, that apparently doesn’t come along with all of the fame and fortune. And it drives at least one of his teammates (other than Wade) nuts.
We get why LeBron might want to be cautious about spending too much money on things like houses, cars, and other big-ticket items. Enough NBA players have gone broke at this point to prove that guys need to be careful with their finances. But is ad-free Pandora really going to threaten LeBron’s bottom line? Do it for Shump, man.