Lebron James becomes highest-paid NBA player of all time

·1 min read
LeBron James
LeBron James MICHAEL TRAN/AFP via Getty Images

LeBron James is sticking with the Lakers — and raking in some unprecedented cash.

James has agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers, making him the highest-paid NBA player in history "with $532 million in career guaranteed money," ESPN reports. The previous highest-paid player of all time was Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets.

According to ESPN, the NBA champion's contract has a starting salary of $46.7 million. James was set to make $44.5 million during his previous deal's final year, the Los Angeles Times notes. Prior to this two-year extension, there had been questions as to whether James would become a free agent in summer 2023. The extension includes a player option for the 2024-25 season, ESPN says.

In June, Forbes reported that James has officially become a billionaire, making him the first active NBA player to make the outlet's billionaire list. In addition to his NBA salary, "off the court, he has raked in upwards of $900 million in income from endorsements and other business ventures," Forbes said, including deals with Nike, AT&T, PepsiCo, and Walmart. Forbes estimates he's the second-highest paid athlete in the world after soccer star Lionel Messi. James previously told GQ in 2014, "If I happen to be a billion-dollar athlete, ho. Hip hip hooray! Oh, my God, I'm gonna be excited."

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