LeBron becomes first active NBA player worth $1 billion: Forbes

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has become the first active player in NBA history with a net worth of $1 billion, Forbes magazine reported on Thursday.

LeBron James (AFP)

The 37-year-old forward, a four-time NBA champion and four-time NBA Most Valuable Player, ranks second on the league's all-time scoring list and has played in the league since 2003.

In the Forbes list of highest-paid world athletes from May 2021 to May 2022, James ranked second in total income with $121.2 million, trailing only Argentine playmaker and Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi's $130 million.

The Lakers struggled to a 33-49 season and James missed the playoffs for only the fourth time in his career, but he still became the oldest player to average 30 points a game, hitting 30.3 per contest.

In a 19-year NBA career, James has made more than $385 million in salary alone as a player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Lakers.

Off the court, James took a star turn in Hollywood with the film "Space Jam: A New Legacy" and sold a minority stake in his production company, SpringHill.

More than $500 million of his value comes from cash and investments.

James has an ownership stage in Fenway Sports Group, which owns English Premier League side Liverpool, Major League Baseball's Boston Red Sox and made a deal to buy the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins.

His stake in Blaze Pizza is estimated to be worth $30 million while his $80 million in real estate holdings includes a mansion in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, and two homes in Los Angeles.