LeBron James to be highest-paid NBA player for 9th straight year with estimated $124.5 million

LeBron James

LeBron James is set to become the highest-paid NBA player in history this season, and that’s with a low estimate.

James topped Forbes’ list of the highest-paid NBA players for the ninth straight year on Thursday, and he’s nearly $30 million ahead of everyone else.

The league’s ten highest-paid players are set to collect about $750 million before taxes and agent fees — which broke last year’s record total of $714 million and is up more than 120% over the past decade.

James will make about $44 million from the Los Angeles Lakers this season to wrap up his two-year, $85.6 million deal. He signed a two-year, $97 million extension that will keep him with the Lakers through the 2024-25 season.

Forbes then estimated that James will make about $80 million off the court this year, bringing him to $124.5 million in total. That, the organization said, is a low estimate — as some of his investments won’t show up in their figures. For example, his SpringHill Entertainment company was valued at $725 million last year. He has several other big investments, including with a Major League Pickleball team, sports nutrition company Ladder, Canyon Bicycles and more. James is also a minority owner in the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC.

James became the first active athlete to be a billionaire earlier this summer and just the second NBA player in history to hit that mark, joining Michael Jordan. He also made a very public push earlier this month to own a potential NBA expansion team in Las Vegas when the time comes, something that is becoming increasingly possible.

James is one of just ten active athletes to surpass $100 million in pretax earnings in a single year, and one of just five to do so in a team sport. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and soccer stars Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar round out that list.

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is second on the list at $95.1 million. He’s split about evenly, too, with $48.1 million coming in on-court earnings and $47 million coming elsewhere. He signed a four-year, $215 million deal with the Warriors this past offseason — which will pay him $59.6 million in the final year of that deal in the 2025-26 season.

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant is third on the list at $88 million. Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is fourth at $86.5 million, and Lakers veteran Russell Westbrook is fifth at $82.1 million. Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, James Harden, Paul George and Jimmy Butler close out the top-10, in that order.

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