Report Clarifies LeBron James Isn’t a Billionaire After All (UPDATE)

LeBron James is now the first active player with over $1 billion in career earnings, a number that includes his NBA salary as well as endorsement deals.

LeBron James attends the premiere of Warner Bros "Space Jam: A New Legacy"

Image via Getty/Kevin Winter

LeBron James attends the premiere of Warner Bros "Space Jam: A New Legacy"

UPDATED 8/23, 10:55 a.m. ET: According to a new report from Forbes, LeBron James isn’t a billionaire just yet. While he has earned more than $1 billion during his 18-year career, the outlet estimates James’ net worth to be around $850 million after “taxes, spending and investment returns.”

For a full look at James’ portfolio click here.

See original story below.

James has earned more than $1 billion during his 18-year career, with nearly $400 million in salary and more than $600 million in off-the-court earnings, but that doesn’t make him a billionaire. After accounting for taxes, spending and investment returns, Forbes estimates James’ net worth to be about $850 million.

LeBron James’ off-court dominance continues. 

Sportico reports that James is now the NBA’s first billion-dollar man, having just crossed that hallowed mark in total career earnings. Although a lot of Michael Jordan fanatics will point to MJ’s now gaudy net worth as proof that he did it first, it should be noted that Jordan was unable to cross the billion-dollar mark during his playing career. And even if his earnings were adjusted for inflation, he still wouldn’t have earned a billion dollars while he was still dominating the hardwood. 

Since being drafted in 2003, LeBron has earned $330 million from his playing career. This means that most of his earnings have come from merchandise, licensing, his media business, and endorsements. In fact, his partnerships with AT&T, Beats, Blaze Pizza, GMC, Nike, PepsiCo, Rimowa, and Walmart net him more than $100 million a year.

Not only is LeBron the first active NBA player to become a billionaire, but he’s also the first player in a United States team sport to reach that milestone. This puts him in conversation with Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Roger Federer as active athletes to have become billionaires. 

And it won’t be long before another NBA star crosses this threshold. Kevin Durant—who is currently at $580 million in career earnings—is expected to earn $1 billion during his playing career thanks to his 10 year deal with Nike and impressive investments through his Thirty-Five Ventures. Also, Steph Curry ($430 million in career earnings) will likely eclipse $1 billion as an NBA player as well.

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