According to Forbes, basketball superstar LeBron James has officially joined the ranks of the world’s richest as the first active NBA player to become a billionaire.

NBA legend LeBron James has now surpassed the $1 billion net worth mark, per Forbes‘ calculations. The aforementioned media outlet estimates $121.2 million in earnings for last year alone.

As a result of the financial milestone, ‘King James’ is now also the first NBA athlete to attain the billionaire title while active.

To celebrate the achievement, the basketball community has now dubbed him ‘Billionaire Bron’. Shortly after, the term was trending on Twitter.

Nevertheless, James’ skills on the court aren’t the only ones that led to the net worth accomplishment.

How did LeBron James come to be the first active NBA billionaire athlete?

Indeed, LeBron has earned a significant amount as a prolific basketball player. To be precise, the collective sum from his activity with teams LA Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Miami Heat exceeds $385 million, according to Blavity.

However, James’ business deals have been decisive in propelling him to billionaire status.

Specifically, his brand deals, investments, and overall business endeavors totaled to over $900 million. James’ extensive list of partnerships and deals include McDonald’s, Walmart, AT&T, and Nike, among others.

In a mid-2010s interview with GQ, the star had expressed his long-time desire of becoming a billionaire:

“If it happens. It’s my biggest milestone. 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.”

— LeBron James in conversation with GQ, 2014

While LeBron James isn’t the only billionaire in basketball, he is the first to reach the status as an active player. Michael Jordan had previously held the title as the only b-ball billionaire in the world. However, he had hit the milestone well after retirement, in 2014.

James’ new record-breaking title also comes after ranking as the second-highest-paid athlete in the world, only a few millions behind soccer icon Lionel Messi.

Featured image source: LeBron James / Instagram


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