When you think of Lebron James the first thing that comes to mind is a world-class athlete who has been at the top of the NBA since a young age. What some of you may not know is that LeBron James’ career earnings are some of the most amongst all athletes.
Not only does James and his agent use their expertise to maximize his NBA salary, but James also maximizes the value of his name and likeness and almost triples his yearly income. James has been in the NBA for 18 seasons winning four championships.
Most Powerful Athlete in all of Sports?
Undoubtedly Lebron James is one of the most powerful athletes of all time. Whether he is providing input on a coaching hire, giving his two cents on who his team should acquire, or vocally leading his team in the locker room Lebron does not remain silent. At the age of 36, James finds himself playing for his third franchise.
When James speaks he is heard and things get done. People joked about Lebron being a General Manager, Coach, and player while he was in Cleveland. Lebron wanted Cleveland to trade Andrew Wiggins for a proven All-Star and ended up with Kevin Love. Lebron wanted the Lakers to trade young talent including Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball for a proven All-Star and the Lakers acquired Anthony Davis. Most athletes do not have this voice in their franchise.
Unlike most superstars, Lebron James and his agent Rich Paul from Klutch Sports Group have a rather unusual approach when it comes to negotiating his contract. Ever since James left the Miami Heat he has decided to use his leverage and no longer signs long-term contracts. James began signing short term contracts that included player options so that each year he had the opportunity to earn the maximum salary after the NBA salary cap was adjusted and increased.
James and his agent picked up on these types of trends and made sure to capitalize from them. Any time Lebron James hits the open market there is no question about what he is worth. Last December James signed a two-year extension with the Los Angeles Lakers valued at $85 million.
King James Rules Hollywood
Many considered Lebron James move from Cleveland to Los Angeles a no brainer as he now moved to a much larger market and had opportunities unlike any other. James finds himself fully immersed in Hollywood and even though we are in a pandemic James continues to cash in on opportunities to grow his net worth. Believe it or not, James is not even the highest-paid player in the NBA ranking behind Warriors point guard Stephen Curry.
Lifetime Nike Sponsorship Deal
Coming out of high school Lebron James was regarded as “The Chosen One” and an absolute can’t miss prospect. The 19-year-old signed a seven-year $90 million dollar sponsorship deal with Nike his rookie season in 2003.
In 2015 James made sure that he would never be leaving Nike after inking a lifetime contract that is expected to exceed $1 billion over time. Looking back on things, James signed a deal with Nike lasting from 2003 to life.
Investments and Endorsements
Off the court, Lebron continuously capitalizes on different opportunities to grow his wallet and build his brand. As one of the highest-paid athletes in all of sports James makes more money off the court through investments and endorsements.
James owns a stake in chain restaurant Blaze Pizza, invested in Lobos 1707 Tequila, is starring in the upcoming film Space Jam 2, you can find him in commercials for Sprite and his shoe line is one of the most popular. In total Forbes predicts James will make $95.4 million combined from endorsements and his NBA salary in 2021.
After it is all said and done, history will not only have been made on the court but also with Lebron James’ career earnings, setting him up as a historic athlete financially.