*Four MVP Awards. Four championships. 17 All-Star Game selections. And now eight straight years topping Forbes’ list of the highest-paid players in the NBA, with more than $110 million earned.
It’s safe to say LeBron James reign as King of pro basketball is very much secure, with 36 years of living and coming into his 19th season under his crown.
According to Forbes, James’ 41.2 million salary for the upcoming 2021-22 season and an estimated $70 million from his off-court ventures has the Los Angeles Laker set take in $111.2 million in a single year to smash the $96.5 million NBA earnings record he put up over the 12 months ending in May. Forbes’ top ranking is the latest financial happening in a year that saw James surpassng $1 billion in career earnings before taxes and agents’ fees. The magazine estimates the financial milestone has elevated King James pushing his net worth to roughly $850 million.
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The estimate is a footnote in James reaching billionaire status as his Los Angeles-based media and entertainment business, the SpringHill Company, recently announced the sale of a minority stake at a valuation of about $725 million.
A source close to the transaction told Forbes that James is not expected to pocket much cash from the deal. Instead the source mentioned James reinvesting the bulk of the money into the business, which is known for services that range from producing movies and documentaries (Space Jam: A New Legacy, What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali) to doing marketing work for J.P. Morgan.
Forbes further notes that James and his business partner Maverick Carter will keep a controlling interest in the SpringHill Company, which has a TV deal with ABC Studios and a first-look film agreement with Universal Pictures.
Coming behind James’ on highest-paid players ranking in Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, earning $92.8 million. The top five rankings is rounded out with fellow NBA all-stars Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets ($87.9 million), the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo ($80.3 million) and the Lakers’ Russell Westbrook ($74.2 million).
All together, the NBA’s ten top-earning players are set to make $714 million, a 28% increase from 2020-21 and 19% increase from the previous high of $600 million from 2019-20. Going deeper, the current total represents a 132% increase from a decade ago.
For a complete rankings breakdown of all the players on its list of the highest earners in the NBA, click over to Forbes.