LeBron James makes a lot of money. Just from playing basketball, he’s scheduled to make $14.5 million this coming season. Last season, according to Sports Illustrated, James made another $30 million from various endorsements including Nike, Sprite and Upper Deck. As such, he’s a very, very rich man. One of the richest.
And according to Forbes Magazine, one of the 40 brightest stars under 40 years old in the business world.
The Miami Heat forward and two-time reigning NBA MVP was ranked No. 20 on the list, which took into account both his earning power on and off the floor (an estimated $42.4 million this year) and the attention he generated during the free agency process this summer.
James was not on the inaugural version of the list last year. James is also the youngest person on the list; at 25, he’s one year younger than Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who held the No. 2 spot in the rankings.
As it turns out, being good at basketball can be a lucrative enterprise. Who knew? (Lots of people.)
But really, even if you don’t like LeBron, it’s still pretty impressive that he’s the only athlete on this list. Yes, a lot of that is because he’s very concerned with making money, but he’s obviously very good at it. Being a huge, internationally known superstar certainly helps, but 35-year-old Alex Rodriguez made more than $30 million this baseball season and he’s not on this list. 34-year-old Peyton Manning makes more per season than LeBron, is in a ton of commercials and still didn’t make the list. LeBron being in the top 20 is pretty impressive any which way you slice it.
That being said, Mark Zuckerberg takes a look at LeBron’s bank account and says “Where’s the rest?” Plus, “The Social Network” was way better than “More Than A Game,” so LeBron’s still got some work to do.