LeBron in rare air as NBA billionaire, per Forbes

by Gordon Dixon - LeBron James has reached a goal he set for himself years ago, becoming the first active NBA player to have a net worth of $1 billion, according to Forbes.

LeBron in rare air as NBA billionaire, per Forbes

LeBron James becomes NBA's first active player worth $1 billion, per Forbes 12:04 PM ET Jeremy WillisESPN.com LeBron James has become the first active NBA player to have a net worth of $1 billion, according to Forbes . The Los Angeles Lakers megastar, a four-time NBA champion and the league's No. 2 all-time scorer, made $121.2 million from May 2021 to May 2022 in on-court salary and off-court earnings. The total trailed only Lionel Messi, who made $130 million, on Forbes' highest-paid athletes list Reaching $1 billion is something James has been thinking about for some time. "I want to maximize my business," James told GQ in 2014. "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." Although the Lakers struggled in 2021-22 and James missed the playoffs for just the fourth time in his career, he did average 30.3 points per game, becoming, at 37, the oldest player to average 30 points per game in a season. Off the court, James starred in "Space Jam: A New Legacy" and, according to Forbes , sold a minority stake in his production company, SpringHill, at a $725 million valuation. SpringHill produced the "Space Jam" sequel, which grossed $163 million worldwide, "The Shop," which moved from HBO to YouTube last year; and a docuseries with tennis star Naomi Osaka . The company is also producing a remake of the 1990 comedy "House Party." James has made more than $385 million in salary from his 19-year career with the Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat . Forbes' estimates for where James made the rest of his $1 billion: • More than $500 million from cash and investments. Along with SpringHill, James made money from the sale of Beats by Dre to Apple in 2014 and has shares in fitness company Beachbody. • $90 million from Fenway Sports Group. James was at one time a minority owner of Liverpool FC. He exchanged that stake for an estimated 1% ownership stake in Fenway Sports Group, which owns Liverpool, Fenway Park, the Boston Red Sox and half of Roush Fenway Racing and recently agreed to spend $900 million to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins . • About $80 million in real estate holdings, including a $10 million mansion in Akron, Ohio, and two homes in the Los Angeles area for which James paid a combined $59.75 million. • Interests in the food and beverage industry that include $30 million in pizza chain Blaze Pizza, which James bought a 10% stake in 2012 for less than $1 million.