Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James may be the second-highest-paid player currently in the NBA behind his current second-round foe in Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, but, as far as professional athletes are concerned, he finds himself falling a bit lower on the totem pole.
In a recently penned piece by Forbes discussing the 10-highest paid athletes in the world, the “King” falls to the fourth slot in the rankings behind three all-world soccer stars: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Kylian Mbappe, respectively.
LeBron James trails the third-placed Mbappe by half a million with earnings of $119.5 million, and writer Brett Knight highlighted the various ways in which he's managed to accumulate such a revenue stream.
“On top of his impressive endorsement portfolio, the Los Angeles Lakers forward is behind sports nutrition company Ladder and the SpringHill Company, which develops and produces TV and other entertainment content, and he was a producer on its 2023 film House Party, which was set at his mansion. He also has a stake in Fenway Sports Group—owner of the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC and the Pittsburgh Penguins—and he recently invested in a Major League Pickleball team while proclaiming his desire to someday own an NBA expansion team in Las Vegas. James was an early backer of Lobos 1707 tequila and over the last year has invested in Canyon Bicycles, climate-conscious dairy company Neutral Foods and sports apparel brand Mitchell & Ness,” Knight wrote on LeBron James.
As highlighted by Knight, LeBron James' $44.4 million NBA salary is only a small part of what makes him a top-five earner as an athlete in the world.