PHOTO: LeBron James book. AMAZON

LeBron James, four-time NBA champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist and savvy investor, has added another title to his name — billionaire.

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His net worth is now estimated at $US1 billion ($1.4 bn), according to Forbes.

The title means James is the first active NBA player to reach billionaire status.

The 37-year-old, a four-time NBA MVP, ranks second on the league’s all-time scoring list and has played in the league since 2003. But his fortune does not all come from playing basketball.

LeBron James shakes hands with Adam Sandler. Basket balls line the wall behind him.
LeBron James and Adam Sandler are both producers on the Netflix film Hustle.(AP: Chris Pizzello)

Michael Jordan, whose net worth Forbes estimated at $US1.7 billion ($2.34 billion), did not reach billionaire status until 11 years after his retirement.

Forbes estimated James earned $US121.2 million ($167 million) last year.

James earned close to $US400 million ($550 million) in salary playing with the LA Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat, but it is his off-court earnings that stand out.

Forbes estimated James has raked in more than $US900 million from business investments and endorsements.

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Raised by a single mother in Akron, Ohio, James has put a lot of money back into his hometown, opening a school and a community centre to assist families and children.



Becoming a billionaire is something 37-year-old James spoke of in a 2014 interview with GQ.

“If it happens, it’s my biggest milestone,” James said at the time.

“Obviously. I want to maximise my business. And if I happen to get it, if I happen to be a billion-dollar athlete, ho. Hip hip hooray! Oh my God, I’m gonna be excited.”

His investments and businesses include the Spring Hill Company, a business group that includes his Uninterrupted and SpringHill Entertainment; Fenway Sports Group, and Blaze Pizza ⁠— a casual dining restaurant chain.

His investments also include a $US80 million ($110 million) real estate portfolio, including the Beverley Hills compound he purchased for $US36.8 million ($50.6 million) in 2020.



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