According to Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes, LeBron James is expected to cross $1 billion in career earnings in 2021. James will earn a projected $95.4 million this season. Roughly $31.4 million of that will come from his on-court earnings as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. His contract itself calls for a $39.2 million salary, but players are expected to surrender 20 percent of their earnings to the league’s escrow system as the NBA grapples with the revenue lost without having fans in arenas. The remaining $64 million will come through endorsements.
It’s not only in traditional sponsorships James succeeds in, he’s also makes more money per sponsored Instagram post than any other player in the NBA, and it’s not particularly close. According to data from HopperHQ’s Instagram Rich List and Instagram marketing platform Later, James makes $300,850 per sponsored post, almost double the amount of the next player on the list, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who makes
James would become just the fifth active athlete to reach $1 billion in career earnings, joining Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. That would make LeBron the first American team sport athlete to accomplish the feat, though Michael Jordan did so after his career. James has a lifetime deal with Nike reportedly worth in excess of $1 billion itself, and recently left Coca-Cola to sign a new endorsement contract with Pepsi.