LeBron James is about to hit a very big mark when it comes to his money. According to Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes, the Los Angeles Lakers star is expected to surpass $1 billion in career earnings this year. Badenhausen said James will earn a projected $95.4 million this season, including an estimated $64 million from endorsements, memorabilia and media.
"The historic year will push his career earnings to $1 billion, including $700 million off the court.," Badenhausen wrote. "He joins Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in reaching the three-comma club while still an active athlete." Being a billionaire is a goal from James, who talked about it with Jeanne Marie Laksas of GQ in 2014.
"It's my biggest milestone," James said. "Obviously. I want to maximize my business. And if I happen to get it, if I happen to be a billion-dollar athlete, ho. Hip hip hooray! Oh, my God, I'm gonna be excited." For the 2020-21 NBA season, James was set to earn $39.2 million. However, all the NBA players had 20% of their pay place in an escrow account to help balance the 50-50 split in league revenue. This means James will lose $8 million.
James has put together a bonafide Hall-of-Fame career. He has made the All-Star team every year except for his rookie season (2003-04) and has played in the NBA Finals 10 times while appearing in nine of the last 10. James has won four NBA titles with the last one coming in October when the Lakers defeated the Miami Heat. And at 35 years old, James has a chance to win another NBA championship as well as his fifth NBA MVP award.
"I think personally thinking I have something to prove fuels me," James said after winning his fourth title. "It fueled me over this last year and a half since the injury. It fueled me because no matter what I've done in my career to this point, there's still little rumblings of doubt or comparing me to the history of the game and has he done this, has he done that." James is the only player in NB history to win NBA championships with three different teams (Lakers, Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers).