LeBron James’ Net Worth, Career, and How He Makes His Money

LeBron James | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Most sports fans consider LeBron James to be one of the best basketball players of all time. Even if you aren’t a fan of the game, chances are you’ve heard of James. Basketball players are known to make a lot of money, so one thing that you might be curious about is his earnings.
Here’s what we know about LeBron James’ net worth, career, and how he makes his money.

The early years

James gained recognition when he became known as the top high school basketball player in the country. In 1999, he was recruited by St. Vincent-St. Mary High School to join their basketball team. In 2003, at the age of 19, James signed his first NBA contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The three-year contract was worth $12.9 million. James has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat. He will soon be joining the Los Angeles Lakers.


James’ talent has not gone unnoticed. He has an impressive list of awards. They include two Olympic gold medals, three All-Star Game MVP awards, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, and four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards. He led the Miami Heat to NBA Finals championship titles in 2012 and 2013. Then in 2016, he helped the Cleveland Cavaliers earn its first championship in 52 years. This win was significant considering the defeated team, the Golden State Warriors, had the best regular-season record in league history, according to ESPN.

Lakers deal

One of James’ biggest money moves was his deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. In 2018, it was announced that James accepted a four-year $153.3 million deal with the basketball team. This is the longest deal James has signed since his 2010 six-year contract with the Miami Heat, reports ESPN. His previous deals were three years or shorter. The publication reports this is the first time in NBA history that a player leads a postseason in scoring and then moves to another team the following offseason.

How LeBron makes his money

James is one of the highest-paid basketball players in the NBA. However, his income is from more than just playing basketball. Like many other professional players, he also earns money from product endorsement deals. James has had a Nike deal since 2003.
When it comes to shoe sales, James is undefeated. He sells more of his signature shoes than any other active player, according to Forbes. His annual earnings from the Nike endorsement deal are more than $30 million. Business manager Maverick Carter told the magazine that James’ lifetime deal with Nike could net him more than $1 billion. In 2018, James made Forbes‘ list of highest-paid basketball players.
James has product endorsement deals with many other companies including Beats by Dre, Coca-Cola, Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, Microsoft, and State Farm. James also had an equity stake in Beats Electronics. When the company was sold to Apple, he earned more than $30 million in cash and stocks, reports ESPN.       

LeBron James’ net worth and salary

LeBron James earns an annual salary of $100 million. As of 2018, he has a net worth of $440 million. Each year, James earns roughly $40 million as a player with the NBA and approximately $55 million from product endorsements, reports Celebrity Net Worth. The basketball player earned more than $126 million in salary and about $326 million from endorsements during his first ten seasons with the NBA.
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