The NBA is an extremely lucrative league. Everyone earns a hefty paycheck, with higher profile or more skilled players earning millions upon millions of dollars each season. There are many large earners in the league, but nobody has made more money in the modern NBA than Lebron.
The King is one of the greatest to ever step on the court, and he’s paid as such. The following guide will break that down into figures to look at both how much he makes per game, as well as what other top athletes earn around the league.
The Top Earner
Lebron is a great player who has made more during his career than anyone else to ever play in the NBA. Though he’s still behind a few players (most notably Michael Jordan) in terms of overall net worth, his contract earnings are nearly at $400 million.
Most of that money came from his years in Miami and Cleveland, but he’s currently on an impressive contract with the Lakers as well. He’s on the first year of a two-year, $85.6 million deal that will pay him an incredibly impressive $41.2 million this season and $44 the next.
Though some players will earn more in the long term, that much money in one season is close to the top of all athletes across the league.
A Per Game Basis
On his current contract, Lebron is set to make more than $40 million a season. At that rate, he gets an astonishing $502,201 a game. That then translates to $135,594 per quarter and $11,299 per minute.
That puts into context just how much being a star athlete can pay off. Lebron gets in one quarter what many people will make in five to ten years.
In fact, in the 2022-2023 season Lebron’s $44 million contract will push him over the $400 million mark. He will be the first player ever to hit that figure, putting himself even further ahead of the league’s second all-time earner, Kevin Garnett.
The only people who will make more money than him during next season are Stephen Curry, James Harden, John Wall, and Russell Westbrook. However, none of them are anywhere close to him in total earnings, which are right up around $1 billion.
Lebron is the highest paid athlete on Earth. A lot of that is due to his various contracts and big signings, but he gets a ton of income from endorsement deals as well. That’s important to note because such contracts don’t factor into his NBA salary, but rapidly raise his overall wealth.
The King has a ton of brand deals that include everything from Walmart to GMC to AT&T and PepsiCo. On top of that, he also signed a rare lifetime deal with Nike back in 2015 that is set to pay him more than $500 million throughout his entire life.
He has also made plenty of external investments. For instance, he has part ownership in the Fenway Sports Group that owns Liverpool, the Boston Red Sox, as well as the New England Sports Network.
Taking all of that into account, Lebron actually makes way more per game than what his salary pays him. His endorsements don’t pay out in the same way the Lakers do, but that’s an afterthought when it comes to a final check.
In a world where everyone earns giant paychecks, it’s hard to separate yourself from the pack. Lebron has done just that through a combination of large contracts, big bonuses, and strong endorsement deals.
That led to him being one of the most valued players in the NBA, and one of the only athletes to pull in more than $500 thousand every single time he goes out onto the court.