Cover LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers takes a free throw during the first half of their NBA game. (Photo: Getty Images)

The NBA star is also the second highest-paid athlete in the world in 2022, according to Forbes

Lebron James is no stranger to awards and accolades in the world of sports. As an 18-time National Basketball Association (NBA) all-star, four-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, James is decorated.

However, this weekend, the NBA player once again made history as the first active NBA player to become a billionaire and the second NBA player in history to reach the status after retired basketball star Michael Jordan. 

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James is also the NBA’s highest-paid player who earned US$121 million last year on and off the court. He earned the second spot on Forbes’ Highest-Paid Athletes of 2022 list as a result. 

The current small forward for the Los Angeles Lakers has also made US$387 million from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers. 

He also earned over US$900 million from his various endorsements and ventures such as his video production company, Springhill, that he created with Maverick Carter, an American sports-marketing businessman and James’ childhood friend.

His other significant earnings came from his lifetime sponsorship from Nike, Pepsi, Walmart and his ownership of 19 Blaze pizza franchises that netted him over US$35 million. 

Aside from these ventures, James has also produced music for rappers, starred in Hollywood movies and launched his own workout supplements. 

This news is indeed a major cause for celebration for James, who had a difficult childhood and grew up with a young mother who struggled to make ends meet after giving birth to him at just 16.

He has in the past talked about how his uncles always taught him to save whatever little money he got as a child and that those were lessons he carried long into adulthood. 

Now, James is up for a two-year US$97 million contract extension from the Lakers and is looking forward to one day playing with his son, Lebron James Jr.

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