Basketball: LeBron James joins billionaires' club

LeBron James is the first active NBA player ever to reach that stratosphere.
LeBron James is the first active NBA player ever to reach that stratosphere.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - National Basketball Association (NBA) superstar LeBron James has joined the billionaires' club, Sportico reported Thursday (July 22).

The "Space Jam: A New Legacy" star is the first active NBA player ever to reach that stratosphere.

James, 36, has earned US$330 million (S$448.6 million) in player salaries and another US$700 million off the court from endorsements, merchandising, licensing and his media business, according to the report.

His current endorsement partners include Nike, PepsiCo, AT&T, Walmart, GMC, Epic Games, Beats, Blaze Pizza and Rimowa.

The only other athletes to earn US$1 billion while still active are golfer Tiger Woods, boxer Floyd Mayweather, tennis star Roger Federer and football greats Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

A 17-time All-Star, four-time league MVP and four-time NBA champion, James averaged 25.0 points, 7.8 assists and 7.7 rebounds in his third season with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020-21.

On the NBA's all-time lists, James ranks third in points (35,367) and eighth in assists (9,696) through 18 seasons.