LeBron James Net Worth: Breaking Down His Salary, Shoe Contract and More

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistJune 13, 2018

LeBron James has been getting buckets in the NBA and cashing (large) checks for 15 years.
LeBron James has been getting buckets in the NBA and cashing (large) checks for 15 years.Charles Krupa/Associated Press

LeBron James continues to bolster his already sterling basketball resume every season, but the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar also boasts quite the impressive off-court profile.

Not only is he one of the NBA's highest-paid players, but he's built a strong endorsement portfolio with Nike, Coca-Cola and Kia, among several others. James is also involved in several different areas of business.

LeBron's pro career will eventually end—provided he isn't actually robot sent to destroy the Eastern Conference, that is—but his legacy as a businessman will extend beyond his NBA days.


What Is LeBron's Contract?

While he's expected to decline his player option and become a free agent this summer, LeBron just finished the second year of his three-year, $99.8 million contract. He earned $33.3 million this season and would be due $35.6 million in 2018-19 if he opted in, per Spotrac.

Regardless of whether he re-signs with Cleveland or joins a different team, James' salary figures to be north of $35 million next season. It will also be the largest of his career.

According to Basketball Reference, LeBron has earned nearly a quarter-billion dollars in NBA salaries over his 15 seasons. Including this past season, his current total is $237 million.

That's only a portion of his overall earnings.


Endorsement Deals

Most notably, LeBron has a lifetime contract with Nike.

Maverick Carter, James' business partner, hinted in a GQ interview that the unprecedented deal is worth more than $1 billion. He initially signed with the brand in 2003 for $93 million over seven years. 

LeBron has also long worked with Coca-Cola, having appeared in many commercials throughout his careerlately for Sprite.

Intel is a recent addition to an endorsement portfolio that also includes Beats by Dre and Kia. James has worked with McDonald's, State Farm, Microsoft, Verizon and Samsung, too.

LeBron has also gone "undercover" to promote Blaze Pizza, a restaurant chain in which he owns a roughly 10 percent stake.


Entrepreneurial Spirit

Thanks to his vision off the court, LeBron has accumulated a personal fortune of an estimated $440 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

When Apple bought Beats by Dre for $3 billion in 2014, sources told ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst that LeBron received more than $30 million.

In 2011, LeBron acquired a minority stake in Liverpool FC as part of a joint venture with Fenway Sports Group. According to ESPN.com's Darren Rovell, James' 2 percent share of the club cost $6.5 million at the time and is now worth $32 million.

Last year, Rovell reported James' near-$1 million investment in Blaze Pizza has grown to a value of between $35-40 million.

James co-founded production company SpringHill Entertainment and has a video platform called UNINTERRUPTED.


Philanthropic Efforts

GRETNA, LA - FEBRUARY 15: LeBron James, Sprite and the LeBron James Family Foundation unveiled a legacy project, including a refurbished gymnasium, at the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Louisiana-Westbank Unit on Saturday, February 15, 2014 in Gretna, L
Aaron Davidson/Getty Images

Considering the wealth LeBron has accrued throughout his career, it's no surprise he's worked to become a positive force in the communityespecially in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

According to Paula Schleis of the Akron Beacon Journal, as many as 2,300 students could receive a scholarship to the University of Akron through the LeBron James Family Foundation.

The foundation has also donated more than $2 million to St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, LeBron's alma mater.

When James left Cleveland for the Miami Heat in 2011, Mark Gillispie of the Cleveland Plain Dealer noted the $3 million of proceeds from the telecast of "The Decision" were distributed to 59 Boys & Girls Clubs across America.

In 2016, James donated $2.5 million to support the "Muhammad Ali: A Force for Change" exhibit at the Smithsonian National Institute of African American History and Culture, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.