LeBron James’ luxury life: how the king of NBA makes and spends his US$1.2 billion net worth – on mansions, cars, a cryotherapy chamber … and getting a friend into a Samsung ad?
He is equally relentless off the court, signing a lifetime endorsement deal with Nike worth more than US$1 billion – a move that was so big it is more like the merger of two corporations.
Check out how he spends his money below …
He will be the highest-paid NBA player of all time
LeBron James is one of the most accomplished players in NBA history. He’s also one of the wealthiest. He has made US$387.3 million during his 19-year NBA career.
He signed a two-year, US$97 million extension with the Lakers in 2024-25, meaning he’ll earn US$141 million over the next three years, making him the highest-earning player of all-time, with US$532 million.
He has secured lucrative endorsement deals
But in addition to his NBA salary, James also made roughly US$90 million in endorsements off the court. He led all athletes with US$126.9 million in on- and off-court earnings in 2021. His endorsements include Walmart, Intel, Kia and he has a long-time sponsorship with Beats by Dre.
He also has a monster deal with Nike. The company signed him to a seven-year, US$93 million deal right out of high school. And in December 2015, Nike signed him to a lifetime deal that will go far beyond the standard shoe endorsement and is expected to be worth US$1 billion.
James used to have an endorsement deal with McDonald’s, but he gave up US$15 million in choosing not to renew it in 2017. Instead, he became a spokesman for Blaze Pizza, a company where he was a founding investor.
The basketball star is also very active on Instagram. It’s estimated that he makes about US$428,000 per sponsored Instagram post.
He’s also quite the businessman himself
LeBron owns a piece of Liverpool FC, the esteemed English Premier League club. He bought a 2 per cent stake in the team for about US$6.5 million, and his share has grown to be worth about US$32 million.
He doubled down in 2021, buying into Fenway Sports Group to become a part-owner of the Boston Red Sox. Though he was previously an outspoken fan of the Red Sox’s bitter rivals – the New York Yankees.
In 2015, LeBron’s media venture, Uninterrupted, got US$16 million from Warner Bros. He also started a production company called Springhill and sold a “significant” stake in a deal where it was valued at US$725 million. Springhill produced Space Jam: A New Legacy, which he also starred in.
He spends his fortune on luxury cars and houses
Bron owns a Porsche 918 Spyder, a Ferrari, a Mercedes-Benz Maybach 57S, a Lamborghini Aventador Roadster and a Rolls-Royce Phantom with TVs in the seats. He also bought his mum a Porsche for her birthday, and a Ferrari Testarossa for his wife.
But he insists that he drives a Kia, even to work. But to be fair, his custom K900 luxury sedan is not your typical Kia – even the wheels have his personal logo.
When he joined the Miami Heat, he bought a US$9 million home in Coconut Grove. He sold it for a US$4 million profit, and in 2017 he bought a US$23 million mansion in Los Angeles that has 10 bedrooms and an onyx bar. He also owns a 30,000 sq ft compound in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
The cheapest guy in the NBA?
Despite all the spending, Dwyane Wade once called James “the cheapest guy in the NBA”. LeBron said that was “so, so, so, so falsely true”.
James won’t even use his phone if it is not on wifi: “No, I’m not doing that. I’m not turning on data roaming, I’m not buying no apps, I still got Pandora with commercials.” When Pandora heard that, they offered LeBron a free premium account.
He spends money on taking care of his body
But James isn’t cheap when it comes to keeping himself in proper basketball shape, as he reportedly spends more than US$1.5 million per year just to take care of his body.
James also uses one of the most exclusive tattoo artists in the country, Bang Bang Tattoos in New York City, which charges a minimum of US$500 per hour.
He splurges on his wife and his assistant coach too
His lavish purchases aren’t just for himself though. He bought his wife Savannah Brinson an engagement ring reportedly worth US$300,000. Their wedding was a three-day party in San Diego. They went to Italy for their honeymoon and later travelled to Greece.
He also helped arrange to get former Knicks head coach David Fizdale into a Samsung commercial as a wedding gift. Fizdale even got paid, calling it “a nice little check for an assistant coach”.
He has employed his wealth for bigger causes
In 2018, James opened the I Promise School, a fully-funded public junior school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, that primarily serves at-risk children.
And he’s poured his efforts into “More Than a Vote,” a campaign that encourages voting in the United States. The organisation even has merchandise, which James rocked before a 2020 playoff game.
- Thanks to his NBA salary and lucrative endorsement deals with the likes of Nike and Beats by Dre, James lives a lavish lifestyle, complete with an LA mansion
- He’s set to become the highest-paid player of all time with his new Lakers contract, owns a Porsche, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Lamborghini and a Rolls-Royce, and splurged on his wedding too