Born on December 30, 1984, in Akron, Ohio, LeBron James started playing basketball in his infancy. Basketball soon became a way of life for him and when he joined his elementary school basketball team, he succeeded.
At St Vincent-St Mary high school, LeBron became the youngest person ever to join the USA Today All USA first team and was later named the Gatorade National Player of the Year.
While in high school, he was tipped as the next big thing in NBA as he began to appear on the cover of “SLAM” magazine and Sports Illustrated. It is no wonder that today, he is one of the biggest stars in the NBA.
In 2003, he entered the NBA draft and became the first pick of his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. He would earn $1.4 billion over four years. Following the expiration of his contract, he signed a three-year $60 million extension with the Cavs before the 2007-2008 season. The contract extension upped his annual salary from $5.8 million to $15.8 million for the 2009-2010 season.
In 2011, he announced his decision to join the Miami Heat in a dramatic broadcast which reportedly generated some $6 million for charity. At Miami, he took $110 million over six years. He returned to Cleveland ahead of the 2014-2015 season after four years with The Heat. Upon his return, he signed a one-year contract and extended it to three years after winning the NBA championship in 2015. The three years contract extension reportedly fetched him $100 million, making him the highest-paid player in the NBA for the first time in his career.
Prior to the 2018/19 season, he made another move to Los Angeles Lakers from Cavaliers. The deal was worth $153 million with an annual salary of $38 million over four years. In 2020, LeBron and the Lakers announced a two-year $85 million contract extension which will see him earn $42.5 million per year.
In his first 10 seasons in the NBA, LeBron earned over $126 million in salary and garnered $326 million from endorsements, thus taking his total earnings within the period to $452 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
The NBA star has endorsement deals from companies such as McDonald’s, Microsoft, State Farm, Beats by Dre, Coca-Cola, Dunkin-Donuts, Baskin Robbins, Samsung, and Nike. He also has a 1% stake in Beats by Dre. He made at least $1 million in royalties and when the company was sold to Apple, he got a cut of $30 million.
LeBron’s Nike endorsement deal came when he was only 18 years. Today, he makes $20 million per year from Nike in the form of salary and royalty payments for his signature shoe line.
The King of NBA, as of 2020, has a net worth of $500 million, according to Celebrity Net Wort. In 2016, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $275 million and growing. A chunk of his money stems from his NBA contracts and endorsement deals.