Did LeBron James Achieve Billionaire Status Before Michael Jordan? Here’s How!

Published 07/22/2021, 11:40 PM EDT
Cast member Lebron James attends the premiere for the film Space Jam: A New Legacy in Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 12, 2021. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni


LeBron James is continuing to dominate the NBA off the court and it seems like he won’t be stopping anytime soon. In fact, this has led him to achieve something that no other basketball player has. That’s right, not even Michael Jordan. He has become the first active NBA player to officially reach billionaire status.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

But this hasn’t come as shock, given all the different factors that have contributed to this financial success, like lucrative endorsements, smart investments, and whatnot. Let’s not forget that the current Lakers‘ superstar is taking over Hollywood right now as well. Not only did ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ earn an estimated $31.7 billion in its first week, it also did better than Marvel Universe’s Black Widow.

A report revealed that since being drafted in 2003, “James has earned $330 million in playing salary—net of recent escrow deductions—and another $700 million off the court from endorsements, merchandise, licensing and his media business.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“Current endorsement partners AT&T, Beats, Blaze Pizza, GMC, Nike, PepsiCo, Rimowa, and Walmart help James earn more than $100 million annually. The latest addition is Epic Games, where Fortnite players will have access to a pair of James-themed outfits or “skins.”

May 25, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts against the Phoenix Suns during the second half in game two of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy: Reuters

WATCH THIS STORY: Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Chase-Down Blocks, Jrue Holiday’s Game-Changing Steal, & Other Top Moments from Milwaukee Bucks’ 2020-21 Title Run

LeBron James: A Billionaire before Michael Jordan?

When Kurt Badenhausen posted that Bron had become the first billionaire, fans’ first thought was, what about Jordan? Yes, MJ’s current net worth exceeds that of LeBron but that does not mean he did it first. Actually, Jordan only achieved this feat after he retired from the game. Kurt also posted that even if Jordan’s earnings were inflated, it still wouldn’t have made a difference.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Now that James has joined this elite club, it puts him next to other active billionaire athletes. From Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and others. However, he will not be the only NBA player to do so.

Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are also likely to join their colleague in this club. KD’s current career earnings stand at $580 million. But he is estimated to reach the billion mark, thanks to his 10 year deal with Nike. Along with his plethora of investments in different ventures.

Steph, who is earning $430 million as well on the court, is projected to eclipse the mark as well. So, LBJ might be the first, but he won’t be the last.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Can Replace LeBron James in Space Jam 3

2 months ago

 

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Yashima Bhatia

1483 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT