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NBA Player, LeBron James Makes it to the Billionaire's List

American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association, LeBron Raymone James has now joined the list of Billionaires and has become just the second athlete to be worth $1billion.

According to Forbes, James, 37, is the second NBA great after Michael Jordan to be valued at ten figures, though James has done so while still an active player.

Jordan, 59, was not valued at $1 billion until 2014, 11 years after retiring and shortly after becoming an investor in the NBA's Charlotte Hornets.

According to Forbes, the Los Angeles Lakers star has "maximized his business," earning more than $1.2 billion before taxes. His NBA salary from three different teams has totaled $383 million over the last 19 years, and James has "raked in upwards of $900 million in income from endorsements and other business ventures," according to the magazine.

NBA player, LeBron Raymone James. PHOTO FILE

Forbes reported that in addition to lucrative endorsement deals with Nike (NKE), AT&T (T), PepsiCo (PEP), and Walmart (WMT), James structured his deals to include equity in those brands, giving him a "cut of the upside instead of a quick paycheck."

The four-time NBA champion has also invested in Tonal, a fitness startup, Lyft, and Blaze Pizza, a restaurant startup.

SpringHill Entertainment, a TV and film studio valued at around $300 million by Forbes, is another lucrative investment for James. The studio assisted in the production of "Space Jam: A New Legacy," in which he starred and earned $163 million in worldwide box office receipts.
James has long wished to be a billionaire.
In a 2014 interview with GQ, he said, "It's my biggest milestone." "Obviously, I want to grow my business. And if I get it, if I happen to be a billionaire athlete, I'm gonna be excited."

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