Lakers News: LeBron James Becomes First Active NBA Billionaire
LeBron James, Lakers
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

The King’s treasure just got richer as Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James’ net worth officially reached the B level on Thursday.

Through a variety of strategic ventures such as his production company Spring Hill and a 1% stake in Fenway Sports Group, LeBron’s worth has gradually increased through the years. His career on-court salary of more than $385 million makes him the NBA’s highest-paid active player. Off the court, he’s cashed in $900 million in income.

The Spring Hill company — which includes James’ Robot Company marketing agency, athlete platform Uninterrupted and Spring Hill Entertainment — is worth $300 million. He sold a stake in the company for $750 million last October. The Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park and Liverpool FC, accounts for $90 million.

According to Forbes, cash and other investments are worth half a billion dollars. LeBron also has $80 million in at least three real estate properties. He owns a $10 million mansion in Akron, Ohio plus two homes in Los Angeles worth a combined $59.75 million, with all of it resulting in him becoming the first active NBA player to become a billionaire:

After another monster year of earnings–totaling $121.2 million last year–Forbes estimates that James has officially become a billionaire, while still playing hoops.

The 37-year-old superstar has a net worth of $1 billion, by Forbes’ count. James, who’s missing the playoffs for just the fourth time in 19 seasons, is the first active NBA player to make the billionaires list. (Michael Jordan, the only other basketball billionaire, didn’t hit ten figures until 2014, more than a decade after he retired, thanks to a well-timed investment in the Charlotte Hornets basketball team.)

LeBron signed his first deal in 2003 — an endorsement deal with Nike. The shoe giant converted the deal to a lifetime agreement in 2015 that pays the King tens of millions annually. Because of that lifetime deal plus other partnerships with brands such as AT&T, Pepsi and Walmart, last year James was the second-highest earning athlete in the world.

A key to his increased net worth is he’s followed the “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” mantra.

In 2015, James declined a quick $15 million paycheck with McDonald’s over four years to invest in the growing Blaze Pizza chain. LeBron’s original investment was less than $1 million for a 10% cut. Through his stake and small cut of 18 Blaze stores in Florida and Illinois, Forbes estimates his investment has reached about $30 million today.

He’s also taken equity in gym-maker Tonal and rideshare leader Lyft.

SpringHill premieres Adam Sandler Netflix movie

Just under a year after the release of “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” LeBron is already premiering another film — “Hustle.”

The film starring Adam Sandler, Queen Latifah, Seth Curry and Anthony Edwards premiered Wednesday. It’s described as an “inspirational sports drama,” with Sandler playing the role of a Philadelphia 76ers scout who discovers Bo Cruz in Spain, played by NBA player Juancho Hernangomez.

LeBron is the executive producer of the film. “Hustle” is a product of the Spring Hill Company and hits Netflix exclusively on June 8.

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