LeBron James is the first active NBA player to become a billionaire

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LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers has become the first active NBA player with a net worth of R15,4 billion.
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers has become the first active NBA player with a net worth of R15,4 billion.
Sean Gardner

He's built an empire.

With his 19 years in the NBA, he's made money though sneakers, talk shows, a media company, and his legacy in the basketball world, making him one of the most influential athletes globally.

The 18-time NBA all-star, four-time NBA champion, and two-time Olympic gold medalist achieved something that no other NBA player has ever done - becoming a billionaire while still actively playing. 

Forbes estimates that the father of three has officially become a billionaire.

Read more | Rihanna makes her debut on the Forbes Billionaires list

The 37-year-old superstar, who ranks second on the league's all-time scoring list and has played in the league since 2003, has a net worth of R15,4 billion, according to the business magazine. 

His riches are in real estate holdings, ownership in Fenway Sports Group, which owns English Premier League side Liverpool, Major League Baseball's Boston Red Sox, and he made a deal to buy the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins. He also ventured into Hollywood with the film Space Jam: A New Legacy and sold a minority stake in his production company, SpringHill.

The only other basketball billionaire, Michael Jordan, didn’t hit ten figures until 2014, according to Forbes, which was more than a decade after he retired. 

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