Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James may have just brought the city of Cleveland its first major professional sports championship in 52 years, but he still has plenty of money to earn if he wants to be the richest celebrity in the world in 2016. James, who has made $77 million, was named the 11th highest-earning celebrity in 2016 by Forbes on Monday, which is $6 million more than his high-water mark the year prior.
While the Akron, Ohio native made $23 million on the court, the majority of his income—$54 million to be exact—came off the court. Whether it's with his endorsements deals that include KIA, Coca-Cola, Beats by Dre, Blaze Pizza, or his lifetime deal with Nike, James has made much more money off the court in his career than what he playing the game of basketball. Keep in mind, he also has some equity stake in both Beats by Dre and Blaze Pizza and his recently-signed lifetime deal with Nike is rumored to be worth more than $1 billion.
Along with his endorsement deals, the 31-year-old also owns SpringHill Entertainment, which has produced several TV shows since striking a deal with Warner Bros. in 2015, though his earnings from this venture are unknown.
James is a very smart business man. Whether it's his endorsement deals, creating his own company in Hollywood, or signing one-year deals to play with the Cavs until the salary cap vastly increases in 2017, the point-forward not only knows how to get as much money as he can, but also seems to be careful with his money as well. While he is currently a free agent, all signs point to him returning to the wine and gold, on yet another one-year deal.
Although he has made almost $80 million in 2016, he has plenty of work to do if he wants to catch up to top earner Taylor Swift. The singer has made more than double ($170 million) that of James. He may be far behind Swift, but James is the top moneymaker among NBA players.
The Top 10:
- Taylor Swift, musician: $170 million
- One Direction, musicians: $110 million
- James Patterson, author: $95 million
- Dr. Phil McGraw, personality: $88 million
- Cristiano Ronaldo, soccer: $88 million
- Kevin Hart, comedian: $87.5 million
- Howard Stern, radio host: $85 million
- Lionel Messi, socccer: $81.5 million
- Adele, musician: $80.5 million
- Rush Limbaugh, radio host: $79 million