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Lebron James Has Hit $1 Billion Career Earnings, Becomes First NBA Player to Achieve Feat

Lebron James has recorded a first career feat; becoming the first NBA player to make $1 billion while still active, Sportico reports.

The basketballer whose new film, Space Jam: A New Legacy opened this past weekend with $32 million earnings at the box office has earned his bragging rights.

James, 36, while still trying to beat Michael Jordan’s NBA titles had topped him as the first NBA player to crack $1 billion in career earnings while still active. Jordan fell short of $1 billion during his playing career, even adjusted for inflation.

Since being drafted in 2003, James has earned $330 million in playing salary—net of recent escrow deductions—and another $700 million off the court from endorsements, merchandise, licensing and his media business. Current endorsement partners AT&T, Beats, Blaze Pizza, GMC, Nike, PepsiCo, Rimowa and Walmart help James earn more than $100 million annually. The latest addition is Epic Games, where Fortnite players will have access to a pair of James-themed outfits or “skins.”

His closest competitors among active players are Kevin Durant ($580 million in career earnings) and Stephen Curry ($430 million). The only other athletes to earn $1 billion while still active are Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Roger Federer.

Lebron James is the first player in a U.S. team sport to hit the three-comma club, but he won’t be the last, as a new generation of athletes hunts for big scores through equity deals, and as changes to name, image and likeness rules can start the clock earlier on sports stars making bank.

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