LeBron James is now a billionaire and hinting at retirement for the first time — here's how he makes and spends his millions

·11-min read
LeBron James
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

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. He has also broken virtually every record the NBA has to offer — including passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the league's all-time scoring crown.

However, after the Lakers' loss in the 2023 Western Conference Finals, LeBron hinted at retirement for the first time. Despite the admission, there are still plenty of reasons to think he will keep playing, including his past insistence 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

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 has made 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

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

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

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

Read more: LeBron James gave the entire Ohio State football team new $350 Beats headphones, and it's not an NCAA violation thanks to a loophole

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

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

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

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 SnapchatFishermen Labs

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

Source: Forbes

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

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

Source: The Hustle

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

Screen Shot 2020 09 29 at 2.45.22 PM
Brandon McNulty/McDonald's/YouTube

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

Source: Forbes

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

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

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

Read more: LeBron James jumps ship from Coca-Cola to PepsiCo and will be the face of a new Mountain Dew drink

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)

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

Read more: LeBron James showed up to the NBA All-Star Game with a bottle of his tequila around his neck in custom leather satchel

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

lebron james cleveland banner
AP Photo/Mark Duncan

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

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

LeBron James at Liverpool FC
Liverpool FC

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

Read more: LeBron James' $6.5 million investment in Liverpool FC is already paying off big time

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

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

Read more: LeBron James is now a part-owner of the Boston Red Sox, adding to his already impressive investment portfolio

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

lebron james.JPG
Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

"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

Source: Bloomberg

James started a production company called SpringHill.

LeBron James wears sunglasses and looks to his right.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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

Source: Deadline

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

space jam a new legacy warner bros
Warner Bros.

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.

LeBron James

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 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

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

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

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

Source: NBC Sports

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

wade lebron cars

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

Source: Instagram

And he bought his mom a Porsche for her birthday.

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Instagram/LeBron James

Source: Instagram

And a Ferrari Testarossa for his wife.

LeBron James

Source: Instagram

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

LeBron James Kia

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

Even the wheels have his personal logo.

LeBron James car

But he does own a Ferrari.

LeBron Ferrari
The World Cars/YouTube

Source: CheatSheet

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

LeBron James test-drivers the new Hummer EV.
via GMC/YouTube

He appears to own a Porsche 918 Spyder.

LeBron James

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

And a Ferrari.

LeBron James
IG/LeBron James

Source: @KingJames on Instagram, via FadeAwayWorld.net

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

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

lebron house

He later sold it for a $4 million profit.

Read more: LeBron James just sold his Miami mansion for $4 million profit

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

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Instagram/LeBron James

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

Source: Instagram

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

LeBron James House

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

Read more: LeBron James' teammates call him 'the cheapest guy in the NBA' — but he just bought a $23 million mansion in Los Angeles

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

lebron wade

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

"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."

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.

LeBron James
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

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

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.

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

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.

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, as well as a recovery coach, personal chefs, and masseuses.

LeBron James

And he apparently works out with Mark Wahlberg.

Source: Instagram

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

LeBron James

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

"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

The brand charges a minimum of $500 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 an engagement ring reportedly worth $300,000.

2018 05 25_12 39 14
Instagram/LeBron James

Source: Hollywood Life; Instagram

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

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.

LeBron James

Source: Instagram

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

LeBron James
Instagram/LeBron James

Source: Instagram

They went to Italy for their honeymoon.

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Instagram/LeBron James

Source: Instagram

And later traveled to Greece.

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instagram/LeBron James

Source: Instagram

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

lebron juice spot

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

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

Read more: LeBron James' family wasn't aware of his desire to play in the NBA with his son until he said it publicly

LeBron has become a bit of a fashion icon.

LeBron James

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

Source: Instagram

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

Even superstars need to relax from time to time.

LeBron James

Source: Instagram

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

2018 05 25_14 20 10

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.

Lebron James dressed as Prince
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.

LeBron James


Source: Twitter

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

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

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

Read more: LeBron James opened a school for at-risk kids in Ohio — and people are applauding him

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

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

Source: Instagram

Now check out the house Michael Jordan is struggling to sell:

Michael Jordan house
Concierge Auctions; Stephan Savoia/AP

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

Read the original article on Insider