LeBron James‘ career ambitions go beyond simply being the G.O.A.T. of NBA basketball. Much like the iconic player he’s most often compared to, Michael Jordan, King James is also aiming to cement his legacy in the realms of entertainment and entrepreneurship—and also like Jordan, he’s now a part of the Space Jam cinematic franchise with his starring role in Space Jam: A New Legacy, which opens on July 16.
Another way MJ and LBJ are alike? James seeks to lift up those who come after him by giving back to the community. In 2004, James founded the LeBron James Family Foundation, which focuses on providing education and opportunities to youth in his Akron, Ohio, hometown. Thirteen years later, the foundation opened its flagship I Promise School for at-risk elementary school students, and James teamed up with the University of Akron to grant four-year college scholarships to up to 2,300 students.
James says that he isn’t motivated by money, but he’s been careful with his cashflow since his childhood.
“If [a family member] gave me a dollar, they’d be like, ‘Nephew, just spend 35 cents of it and keep the other 65,’” he recalled in a 2018 interview. “So I’m [now] always in my head about saving.” He added that when he was young he admired nice cars and homes, but noted of his career goals, “I knew that money would allow me to access those things, but I never let money get in the way of the drive I had to get to the top.”
That said, he has a lot of money and access now. Find out LeBron James’ net worth and all the ways he rakes it the dough.
What is LeBron James’ net worth?
How much does LeBron James a year in the NBA?
Obviously, the primary source of James’ income throughout his career has been from his work on the court. His total earnings from basketball alone are estimated to be $387.384 million! Break that down over the 18 seasons he’s played pro ball, and his annual earnings come in at around $21.5 million a year!
How much did LeBron make his rookie year?
James’ first contract with his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, kicked off in 2003 when he was their first pick from the NBA draft straight out of high school. He was paid $18.8 million for four years. Ahead of the 2007-2008 season, James got a three-year extension to his contract worth $60 million.
How much did LeBron make playing for the Miami Heat?
Instead of chasing paper, James chased an NBA Championship in 2011 when he announced in TV special The Decision (which itself earned about $6 million for charity!) that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and “taking my talents to South Beach” to play for the Miami Heat.
James was paid $110 million for six years with the Heat, which was less than his market rate at the time, but he didn’t mind: His priority at the time was prestige, not a paycheck. He got his first NBA Championship with The Heat against the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012 and his second over the San Antonio Spurs in 2013.
How much did LeBron make when he returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers?
In June 2014, James became a free agent and told Sports Illustrated that he was returning to his hometown to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and with a caveat: He took single-year contracts, which enabled him to wield some major bargaining power and negotiate for higher annual payouts:
- 2014-2015: $20.644 million
- 2015-2016: $22.970 million
- 2016-2017: $30.963 million
- 2017-2018: $33.285 million
James’ 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 salaries made him the highest-paid NBA player in the league for the first two times in his career, but certainly not the last.
How much does LeBron James make with the Lakers?
James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers starting with the 2018-2019 season. Though his salary wasn’t revealed, reports suggest he made a cool $35.654 million for his first year with the team. For the 2019-2020 season, he pocketed an estimated $37.436 million, and for 2020-2021 James took home $39.219 million. The 2021-2022 season will James’ value skyrocket even higher, with a salary of $41.180 million.
What are LeBron James’ endorsements?
Off the court, James has proved to be quite a shrewd businessman, thanks to his investments with huge returns, as well as endorsements with the world’s biggest brands. In 2010, James signed on to endorse for McDonald’s, and he’s worked with Intel, Samsung, State Farm, Kia, Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Additionally, he is co-founder of OpenFit, a nutritional supplement company, with Arnold Schwarzenegger. As such, James earns an estimated $55 million annually from endorsements alone.
How much does LeBron James make with Nike?
When James graduated high school and was drafted onto the Cleveland Cavaliers, Nike, Adidas and Reebok almost immediately engaged in a bidding war for an endorsement deal. James signed with Nike for a reported $90 million—an unprecedented agreement. To put it into perspective, Jordan’s first deal with Nike was worth $2.5 million, Shaquille O’Neal‘s first deal was $3 million and Tiger Woods‘ first deal was $40 million.
Reebok reportedly offered James more money up front than Nike, but LBJ felt Nike was a better long-term fit. He was right: He later signed a lifetime deal with Nike that is rumored to be worth up to $1 billion (with a b). James has said that the smartest career move he ever made was signing with Nike.
How much does LeBron James make from Blaze Pizza?
James, business partner Maverick Carter and businessman Paul Wachter invested less than $1 million into Los Angeles-based chain Blaze Pizza in 2012. By 2017, that investment was worth a whopping $25 million. James also became a spokesperson for the brand, turning down a $15 million offer from McDonald’s to renew their contract.
How much does LeBron make from Beats by Dre?
James endorsed Beats by Dre and received a small stake in the Dr. Dre headphone brand when it first launched. According to ESPN, when Apple purchased the brand for $3 billion, James pocketed a cool $30 million in cash and stocks from the sale.
How much does LeBron James earn from Fenway Sports Group?
In 2011, James purchased a minority stake in Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Liverpool soccer club as well as the Boston Red Sox. By extension, he also received endorsement deals from their partner brands, including Dunkin’ and Audemars Piguet.
What are LeBron James’ production credits in film and TV?
When he’s not dribbling or appearing in commercials, James is acting or producing. James has a whopping 54 producing credits, including some high-profile projects with his SpringHill Entertainment Company.
James’ first executive producer credit was for the animated web series The LeBrons in 2011, followed by video game NBA 2K14. His other producing projects include:
- 2015 NBA All-Star All Style (TV special)
- Cleveland Hustles
- Survivor‘s Remorse
- The Machine
- Do Or Dare
- Becoming Bobby Feeno
- Best Shot
- Warriors of Liberty City
- Shut Up and Dribble
- More Than an Athlete
- Million Dollar Mile
- 40 Days: GGG vs. Steve Rolls
- 40 Days: Canelo vs. Kovalev
- Self-Made: Inspired By the Life of Madam C.J. Walker
- I Promise
- Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020
- Bear Witness, Take Action
- The Playbook
- The Wall
- Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers
- The Shop
- Recipe for Change
- Golden: The Journey of USA’s Elite Gymnasts
- White Dave
- More Than a Game
- 89 Blocks
- Rise Up: The Movement That Changed America
- Student Athlete
- What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali
- Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street
- Space Jam: A New Legacy
- Naomi Osaka (Netflix docuseries)
- On Her Ground
- Shooting Stars
- Public Enemy
- New Kid
- Lean On Me
- House Part
What movies has LeBron James been in?
James is also a charismatic onscreen presence. In addition to hosting The Shop, he’s also an actor, often (but not always!) playing himself in blockbusters and TV shows alike. These include:
“I was just trying to stay ready. I was very nervous—all the way to the point where they said, ‘Action!’ I’m excited to be a part of Trainwreck because it gives me a different format,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “Some people are used to seeing me on the basketball court, so to see what I’m capable of doing on the big screen and being a part of something with Bill Hader and Amy Schumer and Judd [Apatow] producing the whole thing and directing it all, it’s pretty cool.”
Related: Cleveland: The Rock and Roll City
What are LeBron James’ real estate holdings?
James makes a ton of money, so he’s not afraid to spend lavishly on his homes.
James listed a mansion in the exclusive Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles for $20.5 million in 2021.
In 2020, he bought a compound in Beverly Hills for $36.75 million, boasting 2.5 acres, two guesthouses, a pool house, screening room, swimming pool, tennis court, two bedroom suites and seven fireplaces.
James also owns a home in Ohio near Akron, where he grew up. His Ohio property is a 30,000-square foot home on seven acres. The mansion has 19 rooms in total, including six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, as well as a home theater, barbershop, bowling alley, recording studio, aquarium and two-story walk-in closet.