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LeBron James Is Now a Billionaire — Here's How He Makes and Spends His Money Dwyane Wade once called James "the cheapest guy in the NBA."

Key Takeaways

  • LeBron James is a four-time champion, four-time MVP, 19-time All-Star, and soon to be the highest-paid NBA player of all time.
  • James signed a two-year, $97 million contract with the Lakers that will pay him $50 million in 2024-25.
  • King James has amassed amazing cars and houses while achieving his goal of becoming a billion-dollar athlete, and he still has time for his surprisingly ordinary family.
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Evan Agostini/Invision/AP via Business Insider

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

LeBron James is one of the most accomplished athletes in sports history.

King James is a four-time NBA champion, four-time league MVP, and 19-time All-Star. And now that he's broken virtually every record the NBA has to offer — including passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the league's all-time scoring crown — James has set his sights on playing alongside his sons in the pros.

The man who refers to himself as "just a kid from Akron" has amassed amazing cars and houses while achieving his goal of becoming a billion-dollar athlete.

Below we take a look at the fabulous and, at times, somewhat ordinary family life of King James.

Tony Manfred and Emmett Knowlton contributed to this report.

James is one of the wealthiest athletes of all time.

LeBron James looks from underneath the basket during a Lakers game.

LeBron James. Michael Owen Baker/AP Images via BI

LeBron has made $432 million during his 20-year NBA career. He also signed a two-year, $97 million extension with the Lakers, that will give him $141 million over the next three years. Source: Spotrac

The extension will make James the highest-earning player of all time, with $532 million.

LeBron James looks up during a game in 2021.

Mark J. Terrill/AP Images via BI Source: ESPN

But in addition to his NBA salary, LeBron also makes roughly $90 million a year in endorsements off the court.

lebron kia

YouTube/Kia Motors America via BI

The King led all athletes with $126.9 million in on- and off-court earnings in 2021. The following year, he ranked second on the same list — behind World Cup winner Lionel Messi — with $121.2 million total earnings. Source: Sportico, Forbes

His endorsements include AT&T, Walmart, Intel, Kia, and more.

LeBron James and Lily AT&T iPhone 14 commercial

AT&T via BI

LeBron's been featured in many commercials for those brands over his decades of superstardom.

He has a longtime sponsorship with Beats by Dre and even gifted headphones from the brand to players on his favorite college football team.

lebron beats

AP Photo/Charles Krupa via BI

He also has a monster deal with Nike. The company signed him to a seven-year, $93 million deal right out of high school.

lebron james.JPG

REUTERS/Ron Kuntz RK via BI

And in December 2015, Nike signed him to a lifetime deal that will go far beyond the standard shoe endorsement and is expected to be worth $1 billion.

lebron james

Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images via BI

Maverick Carter — LeBron's longtime business partner — seemingly confirmed to GQ Style that the figure was, in fact, north of $1 billion.

Nike has even built a building for LeBron.

LeBron James Nike Building

Nike via BI

His logo is pasted on virtually every surface of the facility.

Thanks in large part to his Nike deal, LeBron is now officially a billionaire, according to Forbes, with a net worth of exactly $1 billion.

Fishermen Labs' Nike x LeBron James Snapchat AR lens

Fishermen Labs' Nike x LeBron James AR lens for Snapchat Fishermen Labs via BI

Forbes estimates that he has earned "upwards of $900 million in income from endorsements and other business ventures."

LeBron is active on Instagram, which is another source of income for The King.

LeBron James smiles while sitting in a chair and looking at his phone.

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images via BI

It's estimated that he makes about $428,000 per sponsored Instagram post.

James used to have an endorsement deal with McDonald's.

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Brandon McNulty/McDonald's/YouTube via BI

When he chose not to renew the deal in 2017, LeBron gave up $15 million.

Instead, he became a spokesman for Blaze Pizza, a company where he was a founding investor.

Lebron James Blaze Pizza

Screenshot via Blaze Pizza/YouTube via BI

He made a similar move in 2021 when he left longtime sponsor Coca-Cola — or Sprite — for a deal with rival PepsiCo and its Mountain Dew brand.


Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for Sprite via BI

James is an investor in Lobos 1707 tequila.

LeBron James (center) with Sheron Barber (right)

LeBron James (center) with Sheron Barber (right) TBG Press Team (The Brand Guild) via BI

He likes to carry around a bottle in a custom leather satchel designed by Sheron Barber.

Economists have estimated he was worth as much as $500 million to the city of Cleveland.

lebron james cleveland banner

AP Photo/Mark Duncan via BI

When he left the Cavaliers to join the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2018, it was a huge blow to the city's economy.

He's also quite the businessman himself.

LeBron James

Getty/Doug Pensinger via BI

He owns a piece of Liverpool FC, the esteemed English Premier League club.

LeBron James at Liverpool FC

Liverpool FC via BI

LeBron bought a 2% stake in the team for about $6.5 million. His share has grown to be worth about $32 million.

He doubled down in 2021, buying into Fenway Sports Group (Liverpool FC's parent) to become a part-owner of the Boston Red Sox.

lebron red sox.JPG

REUTERS/Adam Hunger via BI

He was previously an outspoken fan of the Red Sox's bitter rivals — the New York Yankees.

Warren Buffett said of LeBron, "He's savvy. He's smart about financial matters."

lebron james.JPG

Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters via BI

"It's amazing to me the maturity he exhibits," the famed investor said of LeBron. Source: Sporting News

In 2015, LeBron's media venture, Uninterrupted, got $16 million from Warner Bros.

LeBron James Amy Schumer

Duane Prokop/Getty via BI

Source: Bloomberg

James started a production company called SpringHill.

LeBron James wears sunglasses and looks to his right.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images via BI

He sold a "significant" stake in a deal where it was valued at $725 million.

SpringHill produced "Space Jam: A New Legacy," which he also starred in.

space jam a new legacy warner bros

Warner Bros. via BI

LeBron got into a bizarre feud with Nick Saban over the rights to air a show that involves people talking about current events in a barbershop.

LeBron James

Uninterrupted via BI

He and Arnold Schwarzenegger are part of a group that invested in Georgetown Company and Bill Ackman's office building in Hell's Kitchen, a neighborhood in NYC.

787 Eleventh Avenue

Google Maps via BI

Despite persistent rumors that LeBron owns a stake in Klutch Sports Agency with his longtime friend, Rich Paul, the NBA says that is not the case.

Rich Paul and LeBron James

Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Remy Martin via BI

Klutch has become one of the most powerful agencies in the sports world.

All that savvy has allowed him to buy some sweet toys.

wade lebron cars

@dwyanewade via BI

At one point, he and Dwyane Wade have matching Porsches. It's unclear who had which color.

He also owns a Rolls-Royce Phantom with TVs in the seats.

2018 05 25_12 23 10

Instagram/LeBron James via BI

And he bought his mom a Porsche for her birthday.

2018 05 25_12 27 43

Instagram/LeBron James via BI

And a Ferrari Testarossa for his wife.

LeBron James

Instagram via BI

But he insists that he drives a Kia, even to work.

LeBron James Kia

YouTube/Cleveland.com via BI

To be fair, his custom K900 luxury sedan is not your typical Kia.

Even the wheels have his personal logo.

LeBron James car

YouTube/Cleveland.com via BI

But he does own a Ferrari.

LeBron Ferrari

The World Cars/YouTube via BI

James also promoted the Hummer EV, the first electric Hummer.

LeBron James test-drivers the new Hummer EV.

via GMC/YouTube via BI

He appears to own a Porsche 918 Spyder.

LeBron James

YouTube/TheSuperCarSquad via BI

Fans spotted him driving the speedy sportscar on a highway in Los Angeles.

And a Ferrari.

LeBron James

IG/LeBron James via BI

LeBron also has a much bigger vehicle with customized headrests and a big-screen TV on which he likes to watch Tom & Jerry.

LeBron James car

Instagram via BI

When he joined the Miami Heat, he bought a $9 million home in Coconut Grove.

lebron house

Obeo via BI

He later sold it for a $4 million profit.

He also owns a 30,000-square-foot compound in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

2018 05 25_12 37 37

Instagram/LeBron James via BI

In the past, he's hosted Thanksgiving there for his entire team.

And in 2017 he purchased a $23 million mansion in Los Angeles.

LeBron James House

Trulia via BI

The stunning home has 10 bedrooms and an onyx bar among many other luxury features.

Despite all the spending, Dwyane Wade once called James "the cheapest guy in the NBA."

lebron wade

ESPN/YouTube via BI

LeBron said that was "so, so, so, so falsely true."

James won't even use his phone if it is not on wifi.

LeBron James and Savannah Brinson

Christian Petersen/Getty Images via BI

"No, I'm not doing that," LeBron once said. "I'm not turning on data roaming, I'm not buying no apps, I still got Pandora with commercials."

When Pandora heard that, they offered LeBron a free premium account.

LeBron James

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images via BI

But LeBron isn't cheap when it comes to keeping himself in proper basketball shape, as he reportedly spends more than $1.5 million per year just to take care of his body.

LeBron James

Instagram via BI

One of the ways he splurges on his own body is by using a controversial cryotherapy chamber.

cryotherapy vegas

An image from an Entertainment Tonight report on cryotherapy. Youtube/Entertainment Tonight via BI

The chambers expose the body to temperatures of -150 to -290 degrees Fahrenheit to relieve pain and enhance muscle recovery. He was one of the first NBA players to use one.

He also employs a former Navy SEAL who serves as his biomechanist, as well as a recovery coach, personal chefs, and masseuses.

LeBron James

Instagram via BI

And he apparently works out with Mark Wahlberg.

LeBron has a full gym, an ice tub, and a hot tub.

LeBron James

Instagram via BI

Former teammate Mike Miller: "Where a lot of people don't do it, he puts a lot of money behind taking care of his body."

LeBron James and Mike Miller

Tony Dejak/AP via BI

"A lot of people think it's a big expense, but that big expense has allowed him to make a lot more money for a long period of time," Miller added. Source: Bleacher Report

LeBron also uses one of the most exclusive tattoo artists in the country, Bang Bang Tattoos in New York City.

Lebron Tattoo

Bang Bang via BI

The brand charges a minimum of $500 per hour. Keith "Bang Bang" McCurdy's other customers include Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and Katy Perry.

His lavish purchases aren't just for himself. He bought his wife Savannah an engagement ring reportedly worth $300,000.

2018 05 25_12 39 14

Instagram/LeBron James via BI

He also helped arrange to get former Knicks head coach David Fizdale into a Samsung commercial as a wedding gift.

LeBron James and David Fizdale

SamsungUSA via BI

Fizdale even got paid, calling it "a nice little check for an assistant coach."

LeBron and Savannah are high-school sweethearts, and they have three kids together.

LeBron James

Instagram via BI

Their wedding was a three-day party in San Diego.

LeBron James

Instagram/LeBron James via BI

They went to Italy for their honeymoon.

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Instagram/LeBron James via BI

And later traveled to Greece.

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Instagram/LeBron James via BI

Savannah opened a juice bar in Miami when James was still with the Heat.

lebron juice spot

@kingjames via BI

LeBron Jr., better known as Bronny, is turning into quite the ballplayer himself.

LeBron James puts his arm around his son Bronny while Bronny holds a trophy in 2019.

LeBron James and his son, Bronny. Jay LaPrete/AP Images via BI

Bronny is reportedly considering three different Division I programs — all sponsored by Nike, of course — for his collegiate basketball career.

LeBron has said that it's his goal to play in the NBA with his son.

Bronny James

Bronny James. Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images via BI

LeBron has become a bit of a fashion icon.

LeBron James

Instagram via BI

Well, most of the time. The other times he wears Christmas pajamas that are too small.

He was recently spotted before a playoff game carrying a personalized Louis Vuitton briefcase with "Just A Kid From Akron" embroidered on the side.

According to the Robb Report, the briefcase retails for $8,100.

The only time we really see him let loose is when he wins something, like when he wore this awesome fang shirt at a nightclub after the Heat won the title in 2012...

lebron fang shirt

YouTube via BI

Even superstars need to relax from time to time.

LeBron James

Instagram via BI

And like many in the NBA, LeBron has become a big fan of the vino.

2018 05 25_14 20 10

Instagram via BI

He's also been known to take costume parties seriously. He once made a cameo as Prince and did a decent "Purple Rain" lip sync.

Lebron James dressed as Prince

screengrab via Instagram via BI

But in general, he keeps himself out of the gossip pages. He even rode his bike to a game when he played in Miami.

LeBron James

Twitter/jackNruth via BI

He likes bikes so much that he and Maverick Carter's LRMR Ventures purchased a 4% stake in Canyon Bicycles for $30 million.

Canyon Bicycles

YouTube/Canyon Bicycles via BI Source: Front Office Sports

But LeBron has employed his wealth and business savvy for causes bigger than just himself and his loved ones.

LeBron James

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports via BI

In 2018, James opened the I Promise School, a fully-funded public elementary school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, that primarily serves at-risk children.

i promise

AP Photo/Phil Long via BI

And he's poured his efforts into "More Than a Vote," a campaign that encourages voting.

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KingJames/Instagram via BI

The organization even has merchandise, which James rocked before a 2020 playoff game.

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