NBA superstar LeBron James led the Los Angeles Lakers to their first NBA championship in a decade on Sunday night, defeating the Miami Heat in six games. He won his fourth Finals MVP award after averaging nearly a triple-double in his 10th NBA Finals appearance.
James is one of the highest-paid athletes in the world, and the 2020 title will boost both his legacy and his bank account.
Big Winner: James will earn $88.2 million in 2020, according to Forbes. In addition to his four-year, $153 million contract with the Lakers, the 35-year-old also has the most lucrative collection of enforcement deals in the NBA. His current endorsement deals include Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE), Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO) and Kia Motors Corporation (OTC: KIMTF).
The Lakers are paying James $28.2 million this year, but he will earn more than twice that amount ($60 million) in endorsements.
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Big Investor: Not only is James the fifth highest-paid athlete of 2020, but he is also the ninth highest-paid celebrity of any kind.
James has also invested some of his earnings in entrepreneurial endeavors. He owns 19 Blaze Pizza restaurants, production company SpringHill Entertainment, media brand Uninterrupted and a minority stake in the Liverpool English soccer team.
As of 2018, Forbes estimated James had amassed a net worth of $450 million; Celebrity Net Worth estimates it now sits around $480 million.
As for the Lakers, they're certainly getting a decent return on their investment. In addition to the 2020 championship, the value of the Lakers franchise has increased by $1.4 billion since 2017, the year before LeBron signed his four-year deal.
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