Do you know how much LeBron James earns?

At 33, the NBA superstar is among the 10 most profitable athletes in the world and is close to free agency

Do you know how much LeBron James earns?

For the fourth year in a row, Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James played the NBA finals. Days later, Forbes magazine reported that the basketball player earned approximately US $ 85.5 million between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018, a figure that corresponds to both salary and earnings from sponsorship contracts. This makes him the sixth highest paid athlete in the world, just behind the boxer Floyd Mayweather, footballers Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, and mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor.

Leer en español: ¿Sabe usted cuánto gana LeBron James?

Despite being the player in the NBA with the most total income, LeBron is not the athlete with the highest salary in the league, which is surpassed by Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. However, the basketball player is far from cheap for the Cleveland Cavaliers. With an annual salary of US $ 33.5 million, LeBron James is the best-paid player on the team, with the league's highest payroll: approximately US $ 137.7 million, according to HoopsHype.

His current salary contrasts with the salary of US $ 4 million he had in his early days, when at the age 19 he signed with the same team in his first season in the NBA in 2003. This wage increase responds to the undisputed quality of LeBron James, who after fourteen years in the league has played nine finals (eight of them in a row), of which he has won three. In addition, James has been chosen the most valuable player of the three finals he won and four different seasons.

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Considering these figures, the unknown at this time is James' next destination and what this could cost his new team. Starting next July 1, LeBron will be a free agent and will have the opportunity to sign a new sports contract with any team of his choice. However, it is well known that not any team can or is willing to pay for James' sports services.

First, there is the most obvious limitation: the salary demands of the Cleveland superstar. According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, James has made it clear that he expects an annual salary of approximately US $ 36 million, US $ 2.5 million more than the current one, and that in no case would he be willing to cut his current salary. This would put between the sword and the wall to almost any team given the wage limit established by the NBA, which is at US $ 99,093 million at this time.

Any team that intends to acquire James will have to dispose of more than a third of its salary budget exclusively for him, which goes hand in hand with the inability to pay high salary figures to the rest of its players.

This comes IGNORE INTO tension with a second factor that must be taken IGNORE INTO account when trying to determine the next LeBron team: his ambitions. If James wanted to win a fourth NBA trophy it is clear that he can not do it alone, but he needs a quality team for it. This means that either his new team will have to have some other superstar, which makes the salary cap issue even more difficult, or will have to have young promises able to develop enough to build a competitive team, which is difficult thanks to the prominence that James would take on any team.

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Regarding the first option, Windhorst reports that Los Angeles Lakers is the only team in the league both capable and willing to open more than US $ 70 million to hire LeBron along with another top-level player.

Speaking of the second, Scott Sousa, a reporter for SouthCoast Today and a specialist in the Boston Celtics (another team that could hire James), mentions that no young player has developed considerably playing with LeBron, this being one of the reasons why Kyrie Irving decided to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers in mid-2017.

Considering this last factor, and in addition to the desire of the family of James to stay in Akron, Ohio, Windhorst mentions the possibility that the Cavaliers rehire LeBron when his current contract ends in a few weeks. The truth is that, although nobody knows for sure where LeBron James could be playing next season, everyone knows that the team that manages to hire him will have to invest in him a high sum of money.

Beyond the salary: sponsorships and investments

Now, not all of James' income comes from his salary as a Cleveland player. In fact, most of these correspond to what comes from sponsorship contracts. According to Forbes, $ 52 million of James' total earnings belongs to these contracts.

According to the same magazine in an article about the highest paid players in the NBA during 2018, the basketball player born in Ohio is currently sponsored by renowned companies, such as Nike, Sprite, Beats Electronics, Kia Motor, Intel and Blaze Pizza.

His contract with Nike is particularly special, since James is not only the active basketball player who sells more athletic shoes, but at the end of 2015 he signed a lifetime sponsorship contract, which earns him around US $ 30 million per year. According to Maverick Carter, James' business manager, this contract with Nike could eventually make LeBron earn more than $ 1 billion.

According to a Verdict report, James receives US $ 5 million annually for his contract with Kia Motors, US $ 4.5 million for his contract with Intel, US $ 4 million for his contract with Beats Electronics and US $ 3 million for a contract he has with Verizon, among other contracts he has.

Such sponsorships are not surprising if we take IGNORE INTO account that, as reported by Hookit, an analysis and evaluation tool for sports sponsorships, James was the second athlete in the world with the highest number of social media interactions during March 2018, just for behind of Cristiano Ronaldo. In fact, more than 100 million users follow James on his social networks.


A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

In addition to their sponsorship contracts, James' relationship with Blaze Pizza is striking. In addition to having a sponsorship contract with the company for US $ 1 million per year, Verdict reports that LeBron invested in the fast food company in 2012 when he bought 10% of it.

Added to this, the investment group of James decided to open a number of Blaze franchises, which currently include 17 in Florida and Chicago, plus another seven that are in development, reports Forbes. No doubt this will mean another increase in the assets of LeBron James, because according to the publisher of Forbes, Kurt Badenhausen, after the increase of two to two hundred points of sale in four years, Blaze has become the U.S. food chain with the fastest increase in history.

Latin American Post | Juan Diego Bogotá

Translated from "¿Sabe usted cuánto gana LeBron James?"