A recent Forbes list of the world’s top 10 paid athletes placed the self-proclaimed “King” LeBron James at No. 2, earning a hefty paycheck of $121.2 million in 2021.
While his Los Angeles Lakers didn’t make the playoffs this year, James has been securing the bag with his many recent ventures off the court. According to Forbes, James is worth an estimated $850 million, after the sale of a major minority stake in production company SpringHill, responsible for Space Jam: A New Legacy and his talk show, The Shop: Uninterrupted.
Additionally, the Ohio native has struck up lucrative endorsement deals, including the likes of Crypto.com, where he immediately starred in a Super Bowl commercial with a computer-generated version of young Bron; invested in home gym company Tonal; and sports VR training startup StatusPRO.
James shattered his previous 2020 record of $96.5 million. Big bucks are needed in the world of the four-time MVP, as he is rumored to spend over a million dollars a year taking care of and conditioning his body. Such an investment spurred inspiration to Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson.
He follows soccer player Lionel Messi from Argentina, who takes the title of richest athlete in the world, racking up an estimated $130 million.
In the paint, King James brought in a total of $41.2 million, amassing $80 million to his non-NBA-related projects.
Some other brand endorsement deals consist of 2K Sports, AT&T, Beats Electronics, Coca-Cola, GMC, KIA Motors, Nike, RIMOWA, Walmart, Ruffles, Mountain Dew, and Wheaties.
While the Forbes list includes only men, three other Black NBA superstars made the ticket, including the other half of the Splash Bros, Warriors’ Stephen Curry at No. 5 with $92.8 million earned; Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant at No. 6 with $92.1 million earned; and Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo at No. 10 at $80.9 million earned.