How much is LeBron James worth?
|Net Worth:||$490 Million|
|Profession:||Professional Basketball Player|
|Date of Birth:||December 30, 1984|
|Country:||United States of America|
About LeBron James
LeBron Raymone James is one of the greatest basketball players to ever play the game. Ever since he became noticed while playing for St Vincent-St Mary High School, people have predicted that he would become one of the best, if not the best player of all time. Discussions during his early days with the NBA have also centered on whether he would be better than Michael Jordan.
Born to a teenage mother and a father who had a history of criminal charges and who wasn’t around for him, LeBron’s early life was anything but easy. His mother struggled to find a job with a steady income and had to move Lebron from apartment to apartment while searching for a way to provide for the family. When LeBron was 9 years old, his mother had to make the difficult decision of letting him live with a local football coach, Frank Walker.
Frank Walker introduced a young Lebron to basketball, which led to one of the greatest basketball careers the world has ever seen. Growing up, LeBron also played football, often citing that football was his first sports love.
Lebron began playing organized matches when he was in his fifth grade, and later going on to play for Northeast Ohio Shooting Stars in the Amateur Athletic Union basketball games. Lebron had a lot of publicity even during his junior high school years, having appeared in Slam, an American basketball magazine before he started junior high and Sports Illustrated during the season. Lebron would continue to be placed under the public eye, generating a lot of media scrutiny and interest. His decision to enroll in St Vincent-St Mary High School was met with criticism as it comprised of a majority of white students.
Boasting high averages of points, rebounds, assists, and steals, Lebron became the first junior to be named Gatorade National Player of the Year. In his senior year, Lebron and his team, the Fighting Irish, played various nationally ranked teams around the country. In December 2002, Lebron’s match against Oak Hill Academy was televised on ESPN2. After that, Time Warner Cable covered all of St Vincent-St Mary High School’s games on a pay-per-view during that season.
In his senior year, Lebron was again the center of a controversy. This time he was accused of breaking amateur byelaws by accepting a Hummer H2, although he was subsequently cleared of the charges, as the SUV was a gift from his mother who took a loan to purchase it. He was again charged with breaking byelaws when he accepted 2 throwback jerseys from an urban clothing store in exchange for a photo op, which eventually earned him a two-season suspension, after he appealed.
Lebron was selected for the 2003 NBA draft by his hometown team. From then on, Lebron headed for superstardom. At the 2006 NBA All-Star Game, Lebron was named the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player, and in second overall position for the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award. He would go on to win the NBA Champion title 3 times, the NBA Finals MVP title 3 times, the NBA MVP title 4 times, the NBA All-Stars title a staggering 16 times, and the NBA All-Stars Game MVP title 3 times.
Throughout James’ basketball career, he has chosen to sign shorter contracts and negotiated for higher salaries. Lebron has strategically used his massive popularity, often making his moves to other teams a major media event, such as when he signed with Miami which was announced to his fans in a televised blitz called The Decision. Lebron caught a lot of flak from both angry fans and teams courting him as apparently they were not aware of his decision until moments before the telecast of The Decision.
James is adept at working the media and co-owns a production company called SpringHill Entertainment which produced Lions Gate’s More Than A Game (2009) which chronicled James’ high school years. SpringHill has gone on to produce documentaries, animation and television series. But perhaps, the most controversial of production has to be the documentary SpringHill has produced called Shut Up and Dribble, which looks at the changing role of professional athletes in today’s political and cultural climate. The documentary was in response to Fox News journalist, Laura Ingraham’s criticism of Lebron for expressing his criticism of President Trump.
Ever since he was in his teens, Lebron was already under an incredible amount of public scrutiny, and pressure. Many people have named him the most hyped prospect in the history of basketball.
As of 2021, LeBron James has an estimated net worth of $490 million dollars.
Love him or hate him, LeBron James is generally regarded as the most talented player in the game today. And there aren’t many reactions between “love” and “hate” where King James is concerned.
- Name: LeBron James
- Position: Small Forward
- Height: 6-8
- Weight: 250
- School: St. Vincent/St. Mary’s High School, Akron Ohio
- Birthdate: December 30, 1984
- Home Town: Akron, Ohio
- Drafted: First overall (Cleveland Cavaliers), 2003 NBA Draft
Strengths: Too many budding young superstars have been compared to Michael Jordan. LeBron plays more like Magic Johnson 2.0. He has remarkable quickness for his size and sees the floor as well as any guard; he’s nominally a small forward, but is more than capable of running the point. But he also has the strength to defend all but the biggest power forwards and centers, which makes him an absolute matchup nightmare. He shoots the three-pointer well enough to command respect, which makes it even more difficult to defend him on the drive… and he may well be the best finisher in the world. He’s probably the best perimeter defender in the league, and is able to play defense without fouling.
Weaknesses: James draws a great deal of criticism – not all of it deserved – for being too deferential; a pass to an open teammate is always the right textbook basketball play, but fans want to see the three-time MVP taking the last-second shot.
He has no post-up game to speak of; if he ever develops the ability to play with his back to the basket, he’ll be totally unstoppable. And he’s not a great free-throw shooter (career .746 from the line), which may make him less willing to attack the basket at key moments.
One of the Last Great Prep-to-Pros
James was a nationwide celebrity before graduating high school; his games at St. Vincent – St. Mary’s were regularly picked up for broadcast by ESPN or pay-per-view providers. He was a mortal lock to be selected first overall in the 2003 NBA Draft, even before his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers won the draft lottery.
After the 2003-04 season, the NBA changed draft eligibility rules; since then, players must be at least 19 years old to enter the draft, which typically means at least one year of college ball before making the jump. James and Dwight Howard – the number one overall pick in 2004 – became the last superstar high-schoolers to graduate directly to the pros.
James was an instant success in the NBA; with 25 points in his first professional game, he set a new record for points by a prep-to-pro making his professional debut. He would go on to win Rookie of the Year honors as the best player in a stellar draft class that also included Carmelo Anthony and future teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
But James couldn’t turn the Cavs around single-handedly… the team finished with a 35-47 record. That was a major improvement from the previous year’s 17-65 mark, but wasn’t enough to qualify for the postseason.
The Cavaliers qualified for the playoffs in James’ third season, reaching the Eastern Conference semifinals. In his fourth, they reached the Finals, but were swept by Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs. Some may point to that as evidence of James’ inability to take over at crucial moments, but the fact that Cleveland reached the Finals at all with a team heavily reliant on the likes of Larry Hughes, Donyell Marshall and Zydrunas Ilgauskas makes a pretty good counter-argument. Many consider that Cavs team to be the least-talented squad to reach the Finals in the better part of a decade.
Problems in assembling a championship-caliber supporting cast would continue to plague the Cavaliers. Despite ranking among the league’s best regular-season teams and James’ MVP-caliber play, their playoff runs in 2008, 2009 and 2010 were stopped by the Celtics, Magic and Celtics (again) without another trip to the championship series.
The Decision and the Miami Heat
The summer of 2010 proved to be a turning point for James – and the league as a whole. Several teams cleared salary cap space in the hopes of making a run and James and fellow free agents Wade, Bosh and Amar’e Stoudemire; James surprised many by turning his back on his hometown team and announcing his plans to “take his talents to South Beach.” The format of the announcement was as controversial as the decision itself, as James and his handlers packaged “The Decision” into an hour-long television special broadcast by ESPN.
He further aggravated fans with a massive pep-rally with his new teammates, at which he predicted the newly-configured Miami Heat would win as many as eight NBA titles.
The Heat did reach the Finals in James’ first season there, but lost to the Dallas Mavericks, four games to two. Miami struggled to overcome the Mavs’ zone defensive schemes in the series; Dallas held James to 17.8 points per game during the series – nearly nine points below his season average.
James turned in a stellar campaign in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, winning his third MVP award in four seasons and leading the Heat back to the Finals.
James has been a fixture on USA Basketball’s senior national team since his arrival in the NBA, but with mixed results. In 2004, he was part of the so-called “Nightmare Team” in Athens. Olympic coach Larry Brown clashed with point guard Stephon Marbury and refused to play youngsters like James and Wade; that team finished a disappointing third. He was also a member of the 2006 World Championship squad that suffered a shocking upset at the hands of Greece in the quarterfinals, finishing with another bronze medal.
But with the 2008 “Redeem Team,” James, Wade, Anthony and Bosh took on a much larger role and re-claimed the gold medal in Beijing. That foursome, along with Kevin Durant and other key players from the 2010 FIBA World Championship squad, will likely form the core of the 2012 team in London this summer.
Honors and Awards
A partial list of the awards and honors James has received during his basketball career:
- 2004 NBA Rookie of the Year
- NBA All-Star (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
- NBA Most Valuable Player (2009, 2010, 2012)
- All-NBA First Team (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
- NBA All-Star Game MVP (2006, 2008)
What makes him so successful?
One could call LeBron James a complete package both on and off the court. His incredible success is a combination of many things, but mostly his natural athleticism and talent, his toughness mentally, and intelligent planning.
Being 6 foot 9 inches and around 250 pounds, LeBron is built like an old school Power Forward. But he is much more mobile and athletic than that. He moves around the floor like a guard, with incredible speed and agility for his size. His vertical leap is also a thing of myth and legend, one of the highest the NBA has ever seen.
His ability to live under the immense pressure, especially that he was under through his teen years is also a big aspect of his success. There hasn’t been a player in the history of the league who has had to live to such high expectations. And LeBron has done that. He is the rare example of a potential great actually becoming an all-time great.
It was his ability to deal with publicity and to use it to his advantage that Lebron thrived on and off the court. He has been able to use his huge popularity in a way that is unapologetic. Lebron uses his wealth and popularity to build schools, produce films and television, and even to takedown presidential egos a couple of notches, besides signing on endorsements with world renown brands like Nike, Coca Cola, Audemars Piguet, McDonald’s and Beats Electronics, to name but a few.
Finally, he is also a product of intelligent planning. He takes more care of his body than any other player. Ever since he joined the NBA he has employed personal trainers and chefs to keep his body in an optimal state year-round. That is probably the biggest reason why he never suffered from any serious or even mildly annoying injury in his long, successful, and grueling NBA career.
How did LeBron James get so rich?
Even if he had many offers to join a college team, LeBron James opted for the NBA draft. He felt he was ready, as did many NBA Draft analysts who projected him as the potential number 1 pick in his draft. That 2003 draft would become both famous and infamous. It is hailed as one of the greatest ever, with LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh as the best players from that generation. The draft is also infamous because it included one of the biggest busts in NBA history, the Serbian center Darko Milicic who was taken at number 2.
As it became apparent that LeBron will go pro without going to college, every possible sports merchandise firm wanted to sing him as a client. There was one of the biggest bidding was in the history of sports. In the end, Nike came out as winners, signing LeBron for 8 years and 83 million dollars. That was the first of many multi-million deals that he would sign during his career.
During his career, Lebron has always chosen to sign onto shorter contracts to maximize his salary. When he was with Cleveland, he would sign onto a new contract at the end of each season to gain from rising salaries allowed by the NBA cap. In total so far in his NBA career, Lebron has made over $450 million dollars. In other non-sports related deals, he has made just over $300 million dollars. LeBron has also invested money in ventures and given plenty to charities.
We estimate Lebron James to be worth $490 million dollars in 2020. And with a salary topping $100 million we are sure to see this figure increase in the coming years.
Why is he so famous?
Ever since he was a teenager, LeBron was under the spotlight of the media. Many college and professional coaches and scouts came to see him in Akron, Ohio, where he played as the starting point guard for his local high school team. Even as a freshman he excelled, finishing with an average of 21 points and 6 rebounds, leading his team to an undefeated season and a state title.
As his high school basketball career progressed, so did his fame and hype increase. As a junior in high school, he was the first junior to be featured in magazines such as Slam. He was even the first underclassman to feature on the cover of Sports Illustrated. But that wasn’t the only piece of history LeBron created as a junior in high school. At the end of the year, he was selected as the best high school player in the nation, the first junior to do so. In 2008, Lebron James again graced the cover page of another magazine. This time, it was for Vogue’s April edition. Lebron James became the first black NBA star to be featured on the cover of Vogue. In 2019, Lebron was included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people.
LeBron James went from a kid living in near poverty to one of the greatest NBA players in history. Under his name are numerous MVP awards, NBA championships, Olympic medals, etc. He has managed to transition from a much-hyped junior player to a magnificent expert at every aspect of basketball. Grit, determination, combined with smart planning, mental fortitude, and athletic gifts gave us one of the greatest sports stories of all time.