WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Next season, LeBron James will be playing for the LA Lakers after signing a 4-year $154M deal on Sunday night.
- According to Spotrac, the new contract will pay James $35.6 million for his first season with the Lakers.
- James’ earnings would have totaled over $ 387.2 million, making him the top paid player in NBA history.
As announced by Klutch Sports Group, the agency representing LeBron James, the basketball superstar’s decision to join the Lakers came shortly after deciding not to renew his contract with Cavaliers to become a free agent.
His new contract will pay James $35.6 million for his first season with the Lakers with the annual value increasing every year until it reaches $41M for the 2021-2022 NBA season, his fourth and final year.
It was also noted that based on an all-time career salary, after James’ last and final season with the Lakers, his earnings would have totaled to over $ 387.2 million, making him the highest paid player in NBA history.
Moreover, after the 2017 NBA season that ended with Cavaliers losing to Golden State Warriors in the finals last June, he earned a total of $233.9 million in NBA salary for the 15 seasons that he played since his rookie year in 2003.
Due to the strict NBA salary structure that does not enable players to be paid more than the maximum amount that is assigned for each season, it is highly improbable that another player will be able to secure this kind of big contract to surpass James on the rankings on career salaries over the next four years.
What’s more is that James’ income doesn’t solely come from his NBA earnings. About sixty percent of his annual income is expected to come from an estimated $52 million immense endorsement deals in 2017 with Nike, Coke, Sprite, and Beats by Dre headphones. Forbes has estimated a total of $765 million earned by James from his NBA salary and earnings off-court since he turned pro.
Even though his total income hasn’t hit the billions yet, but given a roughly estimated $1 billion lifetime endorsement contract with Nike, he’s definitely on the path to becoming one.