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LeBron James is the first active NBA player to become a billionaire

After another record year of earnings, over $120 million last year, Forbes have estimated that LeBron James has officially become a billionaire, while still an active NBA player.

LeBron James destrona a Conor McGregor como el atleta mejor pagado del mundo
Harry HowAFP

LA Lakers star LeBron James is officially a billionaire. The Los Angeles Lakers star is worth an estimated $1 billion, according to influential and respected American business magazine Forbes, which makes the Ohio native the first active NBA player to join the billionaire club.

The only other billionaire basketball player is Michael Jordan, with the Chicago Bulls legend only entering the elite circle 11 years after he retired from the game when he saw his stake in the Charlotte Hornets franchise increase to 89.5 percent in 2014.

LeBron James in action for the Lakers
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LeBron James in action for the LakersRonald MartinezGetty Images

Shrewd investments

Despite on court disappointment for the Lakers star this season with his team failing to advance to the post-season, the past year has been a plus financially for the 37-year-old.

According to Forbes, James has earned more than $385 million in pretax salary during his 19-year NBA career, but the bulk of his wealth come from wise and shrewd investments that have paid dividends with the passing of time.

The SpringHill Company: $300 million: The SpringHill Company is an entertainment development and production company founded in 2020 by LeBron James and Maverick Carter and includes James’ Robot Company marketing agency, athlete brand Uninterrupted and SpringHill Entertainment. Recent output includes Space Jam 2 and forthcoming Netflix film ‘Hustle’ starring Adam Sandler.

Cast members LeBron James and Adam Sandler attend a premiere for the film "Hustle"
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Cast members LeBron James and Adam Sandler attend a premiere for the film "Hustle" MARIO ANZUONIREUTERS

Fenway Sports Group: $90 million: Self confessed Liverpool fan James owns 1 percent of FSG, which itself owns the MLB team, Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park and Liverpool Football Club. The consortium recently acquired NHL franchise Pittsburgh Penguins along as owning Roush Fenway Racing and the New England Sports Network.

Real Estate property: $80 million: The basketball star owns at least three luxury properties – in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and in his native Akron, Ohio.

Blaze Pizza: $30 million: James invested $1 million for a 10 percent stake in 2012 before the pizza company grew to more than 300 stores in the United States and Canada. He also personally owned 18 franchise stores in Florida and Illinois and has been known to man the counter and serve customers on occasion.

Various other investments: $500 million: Forbes estimates James has half a billion in other net assets that include other profitable investments like Beats by Dre audio, the sports nutrition company Ladder.