Whether or not you agree that LeBron James is the G.O.A.T., there’s no denying that he’s outrageously wealthy. But exactly how rich is the four-time NBA champ? Numbers vary, but we’re taking a look at his lavish lifestyle—as well as the extremely generous philanthropic—for clues.
Find out our estimate of Lebron James’ net worth, as well as details on how he spends his fortune.
LeBron James Has Some Lavish Spending Habits
In July 2018, LeBron made history as the highest-paid NBA player ever when he signed a four-year, $154 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. He added to his fortune in December 2020 when his agent, Rich Paul, announced that LeBron agreed to a two-year, $85 million contract extension with the team.
That doesn’t even factor in his commercial bankability. Over the years, LeBron has endorsed at least a dozen major brands, including Nike, Coca-Cola, Beats by Dre, and State Farm Insurance. According to Forbes, he earned $60 million in sponsorships in 2020.
So what does he do with all the dough? For starters, he invests in his greatest asset: his body. In a 2016 episode of the Bill Simmons Podcast, the host told guest Malcolm Gladwell that King James spends seven figures a year to stay in tip-top shape.
“I just, by chance, spent some time with Maverick Carter a couple weeks ago, who’s LeBron’s business partner,” said Simmons. “I asked him, ‘What’s the biggest misconception about LeBron? What’s the one thing people don’t realize about LeBron?’ And he said, ‘People don’t realize how hard he works on his body.’
Simmons pressed for details, asking, “What do you mean?”
“LeBron spends like a million and a half dollars a year on his body,” said Carter.
“I’m paraphrasing what he told me, so I might not be getting all these facts right,” Simmons continued. “[Lebron has] got chefs. He has all the science of how to sleep. All these different things. Masseuses. Everything he does in his life is constructed to have him play basketball and to stay on the court and to be as healthy as possible and to absorb punishment when he goes into the basket and he gets crushed by people.”
His commitment to self-care extends to his living arrangements. In the summer of 2020, LeBron purchased a $36.75 million Mediterranean mansion in Beverly Hills. The property, which is over 9,100 square feet, was previously inhabited by legendary film star Katharine Hepburn. It includes a screening room, swimming pool, and tennis court. There are also two separate guesthouses, although we’re not sure if that includes his daughter’s incredible backyard playhouse:
He reportedly purchased the home without seeing it in person. We guess if he wasn’t happy with it, he could have remained at one of two other places he owns in the area. His real estate portfolio includes a $23 million mansion in Brentwood that he picked up in 2017 and a $21 million property he bought in 2015.
Of course, LeBron also knows how to indulge and reward himself for his hard work. Yahoo! reports that his personal car collection is worth well over $1 million. The basketball star reps Kia Motors and is contractually obligated to call them the best cars on the planet, but that doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy other rides. Highlights from his garage include a classic ’57 Chevy Impala, a sick Lambo Aventador, and a posh Bentley Continental GT.
Despite Being An Athlete, LeBron’s A Businessman First
Don’t get it twisted. LeBron may be raking in the big bucks, but his approach to money isn’t careless. A 2018 column in Inc. Magazinepraised the athlete for his “winning personal finance habits.” They found that many of his purchases were wise investments (eg. the money he spends on his health). They also revealed that he finds ways to be frugal. For instance, he listens to Pandora with ads and doesn’t use data roaming on his mobile phone.
Famous names concur. In a 2018 interview with USA Today, billionaire Warren Buffett gave LeBron high praise. “People really do have minds that function better than other people’s in certain areas that you can’t give a test for,” said Buffett. “And LeBron, in addition to a lot of other talents, he has a money mind. And he gets stuff.”
“LeBron James is a genius at this,” Steve Harvey said during a 2018 appearance on ESPN. “His business acumen… he’s a smart guy.” Listen as he discusses his thoughts on LeBron’s move from Cleveland to LA:
LeBron Has A Commitment To The Community And Gives Back
We can’t mention LeBron’s wealth without talking about his generosity as a philanthropist. In 2015, he pledged up to $42 million to provide four-year scholarships at the University of Akron. The awards were granted to public high school students enrolled in a program established by the LeBron James Family Foundation.
In 2018, the foundation opened the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. The student body is made up to 240 third- and fourth-graders who are “identified by Akron Public Schools as behind in critical academic areas and other factors.” LeBron called opening day one of the greatest moments in his life.
“When people ask me, ‘Why a school?’ that’s part of the reason why,” he said. “Because I know exactly what these 240 kids are going through. I know the streets that they walk. I know the trials and tribulations that they go through. I know the ups, the downs.”
“I know everything that they dream about,” he continued. “I know all the nightmares that they have, because I’ve been there.”
In 2018, Cleveland TV station WKYC broke down the costs of setting up and running the school. The Akron Public School District handled operating costs using funding from the district’s budget. However, the foundation contributed $2.8 million for various projects including building renovations, a food pantry, and after-school programs.
What Is LeBron James’ Net Worth In 2021?
LeBron James’ 2021 net worth is estimated at $500 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Consider the fact that Forbes valued him at $450 million in 2018. He has since captured another NBA title and shows no signs of slowing down. Also factor in his lifetime Nike contract, his so-called “money mind,” and other business ventures (including minority stake ownership in Liverpool FC). All signs point to The King remaining on his throne for the time being.
The public is often divided over whether or not pro athlete salaries are justified. We say that as long as LeBron puts in the work and continues to help others, his wealth is well-deserved.