LEBRON JAMES: How the king of the NBA spends his millions

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
  • LeBron James is one of the greatest basketball players of all time and has built up quite the résumé off the court also.
  • James has a lavish lifestyle but is also quite frugal in his attempt to become a billionaire athlete.
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On the court, LeBron James has won four MVPs, three NBA championships, and is the sixth-highest-paid player in league history.

Off the court, James is equally relentless. In late 2015, James signed a lifetime endorsement deal with Nike worth more than $US1 billion – a move that was so big it is more like the merger of two corporations. He also opened a public school in Akron to help at-risk kids and will pay for many of those children to go to college.

As a result of his success on and off the court, James has amassed amazing cars and houses and still has time for his surprisingly ordinary family. King James is also well on his way toward his goal of becoming a billion-dollar athlete.

Tony Manfred and Emmett Knowlton contributed to this report.

LeBron has made $US233.9 million in career NBA salary, good enough for sixth most all-time.

With LeBron’s new Lakers contract, he will join Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett in two years as the NBA’s only $US300 million players. By the end of the deal, his career on-court earnings would reach $US387 million, the most in NBA history.

Harry How/Getty Images

Read more: The 25 highest-paid NBA players of all time

LeBron also makes about $US55 million per year off the court in endorsements. His estimated $US86 million in total annual earnings is second among all athletes, trailing only Cristiano Ronaldo.

Source: Forbes

Not coincidentally, Ronaldo and LeBron are also 1-2 in terms of the world’s most popular athletes.

Denis Doyle/Getty

Read more: The 18 most famous athletes in the world in 2018

In 2016, it was estimated that he had a net worth of $US275 million and growing.

Source: Forbes

His endorsements include Beats, Intel, Sprite (Coca-Cola), and Kia


He also has a monster deal with Nike. The company signed him to a seven-year, $US93 million deal right out of high school, and in December 2015 it signed him to a lifetime deal that will go far beyond the standard shoe endorsement and is expected to be worth $US1 billion.

Read more: “LeBron James just signed the biggest endorsement deal in Nike history

James also decided not to renew his endorsement deal with McDonald’s and instead became a spokesman for Blaze Pizza, a company where he was a founding investor.

Read more: “LeBron James has turned his back on McDonald’s to bet on a Chipotle-style pizza chain

He is also a co-owner of Unknwn, a sneaker and designer clothing retailer that will soon be opening their second brick and mortar store in the Miami area.


Source: Miami New Times

Economists estimated he was worth as much as $US500 million to the city of Cleveland.

Source: Time

He’s also quite the businessman himself. He owns a piece of Liverpool FC.

Source: Sporting News

LeBron bought a 2% stake in the team for about $US6.5 million. His share is now worth about $US32 million.

Liverpool FC

Read more: LeBron James’ $US6.5 million investment in Liverpool FC is already paying off big time

Warren Buffett said of LeBron, “He’s savvy. He’s smart about financial matters. It’s amazing to me the maturity he exhibits.”

Source: Sporting News

In 2015, his new media venture got $US16 million from Warner Bros.

Duane Prokop/Getty

Source: Bloomberg

The most anticipated project that is expected to come from this partnership is “Space Jam 2,” a sequel to the popular basketball movie that starred Michael Jordan and Loony Tunes characters.

Space Jam

Read more: LeBron James reveals the latest details of the much-anticipated ‘Space Jam 2’

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.


Read more: LeBron James and Nick Saban are engaged in a bizarre feud over barbershop conversations and neither is backing down

He and Arnold Schwarzenegger are part of an investment group that invested in Georgetown Company Bill Ackman’s Hell’s Kitchen office building.

Google Maps

Read more: LeBron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger own part of Bill Ackman’s office building

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

Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Remy Martin

Source: NBC Sports

He also helped design a $US51,000 watch.

Youtube Screen Grab

Source: Forbes

All that savvy has allowed him to buy some sweet toys. Dwyane Wade and he have matching Porsches. It’s unclear who has which colour.

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

Instagram/LeBron James

Source: Instagram

And he bought his mum a Porsche for her birthday.

Instagram/LeBron James

Source: Instagram

And a Ferrari Testarossa for his wife.


Source: Instagram

But he insists that he drives a Kia, even to work. But to be fair, his custom K900 luxury sedan is not your typical Kia.


Even the wheels have his personal logo.


But he does own a Ferrari.

The World Cars/YouTube

Source: CheatSheet

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


When he joined the Miami Heat, he bought a $US9 million home in Coconut Grove. He sold it for a $US4 million profit.

Read more: “LeBron James just sold his Miami mansion for $US4 million profit

He also owns a 30,000-square-foot compound in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. In the past, he’s hosted Thanksgiving there for his entire team.

Instagram/LeBron James

Source: Instagram

And in 2017 he purchased a $US23 million mansion in Los Angeles that has 10 bedrooms and an onyx bar.


Read more: LeBron James’ teammates call him ‘the cheapest guy in the NBA’ – but he just bought a $US23 million mansion in Los Angeles

Despite spending $US23 million on the new house, James is still making some changes. According to TMZ, James is “adding a basketball court, indoor wine tap (dude LOVES his wine), and is working on the paperwork to get a pizza oven … while also making changes to the theatre and pool.”

Trulia; Getty Images

Source: TMZ

Not all of LeBron’s spending is on himself. He has also pledged, through The LeBron James Family Foundation, to pay for as many as 2,300 kids to go to college. So far, over 1,000 kids are already in the program.

Read more: LeBron James created a foundation that has pledged to give more than 1,100 students full rides to college, which could cost ~ $US41 million

The I Promise program also opened a new public school in Akron for at-risk children that will ultimately house nearly 1,000 kids in grades 1-8.

Read more: LeBron James’ new public school for at-risk kids – what he’s called the ‘most important’ project of his career – could set a new standard for athletes

Among his other donations, he also gave $US2.5 million to a new Muhammad Ali exhibit at the Smithsonian.

Read more: LeBron James will donate $US2.5 million to a new Muhammad Ali exhibit at the Smithsonian

Despite all the spending, Dwyane Wade once called James “the cheapest guy in the NBA.” LeBron said that was “so, so, so, so falsely true.”

James won’t even use his phone if it is not on wifi: “No, I’m not doing that. I’m not turning on data roaming, I’m not buying no apps, I still got Pandora with commercials.”

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Read more: LeBron James says he doesn’t turn on data roaming or pay for apps or music services because he’s ‘the cheapest guy in the NBA’

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

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

LeBron reportedly spends more than $US1.5 million per year just to take care of his body.


Read more: LeBron James takes immaculate care of his body, and the NBA world is in awe of it

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

Read more: “A 24-year-old woman was recently found dead in one of the freezing chambers that celebrities like Demi Moore swear by

He also employs a former Navy SEAL who serves as his biomechanist, a recovery coach, personal chefs, and masseuses. And he apparently works out with Mark Wahlberg.


Source: Instagram

He also has a full gym, an ice tub, and a hot tub.


Read more: LeBron James takes immaculate care of his body, and the NBA world is in awe of it

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. 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.”

Source: Bleacher Report

LeBron also uses one of the most exclusive tattoo artists in the country, Bang Bang Tattoos in New York City, which charges a minimum of $US500 per hour. Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy’s other customers include Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and Katy Perry.

Source: Bang Bang, NPR

His lavish purchases aren’t just for himself. He bought his wife Savannah Brinson a reported $US300,000 engagement ring.

Instagram/LeBron James

Source: Hollywood Life; Instagram

He also helped arrange to get Knicks head coach David Fizdale into a Samsung commercial as a wedding gift after the then-Heat assistant told LeBron not to get him anything. Fizdale even got paid, calling it “a nice little check for an assistant coach.”


Read more: New Knicks coach David Fizdale told a story that shows how much LeBron James cares about his teammates and coaches

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


Source: Instagram

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

Instagram/LeBron James

Source: Instagram

They went to Italy for their honeymoon.

Instagram/LeBron James

Source: Instagram

And later travelled to Greece.

instagram/LeBron James

Source: Instagram

LeBron Jr., who is also known as Bronny, is turning into quite the ballplayer himself. Depending on what LeBron decides to do after his current Lakers contract, there is a chance the two could someday play in the same NBA game.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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

LeBron has become a bit of a fashion icon.

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


Source: Instagram

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, …

… or when he ate pizza onstage with Drake after winning it all one year later.

Even superstars need to relax from time to time.


Source: Instagram

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


Source: Instagram

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.

screengrab via Instagram

Read more: “Here’s video of LeBron James dressed as Prince for a Halloween party

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


Source: Twitter

When James returned to the Cavs he held off on a signing a long-term extension, because of the pending salary-cap explosion. The move made him millions in the long run.

Tony Manfred/Business Insider

Read more: “LeBron James re-signs with the Cavs on a one-year deal that sets him up to make millions more long-term

But James went all-in with the Lakers, signing a four-year deal that will keep him in Los Angeles until he is at least 37. Maybe he will finally buy an app on his phone.

Now check out the house Michael Jordan is struggling to sell

Here is Michael Jordan’s 56,000-square foot house in Chicago and why it is still on the market after 6 years

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