Basketball superstar LeBron James has officially become a billionaire, the American business magazine Forbes announced Thursday.
The 37-year-old NBA player, who had total earnings of $121.2 million last year, just saw his net worth hit $1 billion.
James has more than $1.2 billion in pre-tax earnings, according to Forbes’ estimates.
The four-time NBA champion racked up over $385 million in salary during his tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers by being the league’s highest-paid active player.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist is estimated to have accumulated more than $900 million in income from business ventures and endorsements such as Nike, AT&T, Pepsi and Walmart.
The 18-time NBA All-Star has become the first active NBA player in history to make the billionaires list.
The only other basketball player who is on the list is the legendary Michael Jordan, but his net worth did not hit $1 billion until 2014, more than a decade after he retired, Forbes said.
The six-time NBA champion Jordan’s net worth stood at $1.7 billion as of Thursday, according to the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List. The 59-year-old is the first former player to become the majority owner of an NBA team — the Charlotte Hornets.
James, born in Akron, Ohio to a single-mother household, moved a dozen times in three years during his childhood.
He became the top-ranked high school basketball prospect of his time before signing his first deal with Nike in 2003 at the age of 18 for a whopping $90 million.
James signed a lifetime deal with Nike in 2015, with sales for his line of sneakers that year estimated to be over $400 million.
Regarded as one of the greatest NBA players ever, James is a four-time NBA champion (2012, 2013, 2016, 2020), winning titles with the Miami Heat (two), the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers.
He has been playing for the Lakers since 2018 but received criticism from the fans over the last season after the Lakers missed the playoffs.