LeBron James’ salary every season of his career

good to be King James.


  • NBA player LeBron James is the second highest-paid
    player in sports.
  • He’s earned a total of $234 million in salary over his
    NBA career.
  • Still, the majority of James’ net worth comes from
    endorsement deals.


It’s good to be King James.

Cleveland Cavaliers player LeBron James, the second
highest-paid player in sports
behind Cristiano Ronaldo, has
earned $234 million from 15 seasons in the NBA, according to

Spotrac data

In his rookie season, James made $4 million as a 19-year-old
fresh out of high school thanks to the league’s rookie salary
scale. This season, his salary is more than $33 million.

James is currently in the middle of a three-season contract

worth $100 million
. He can opt out of his contract next
season, foregoing a $35.6 million salary, to become a free agent.

Check out the chart below to see the progression of James’
season-by-season earnings, from 2003 to 2018.

BI Graphics_LeBron James' career salarySamantha Lee/Business Insider

Worth the money

James currently holds career highs in assists per game, field
goal percentage, and three-point percentage.

James has won the MVP Award four times, appeared in the All-Star
game every year since 2004, and made the playoffs 12 seasons in a
row, and his teams have won the NBA championship three times.

LeBron is sixth on the NBA’s all time
earnings list
, eclipsed only by players with several more
seasons played than him. Golden State Warriors
player Stephen Curry
is the only NBA player earning more than
James in the 2017-2018 season.

James took a pay cut in 2011 to recruit other talent like Chris
Bosh to the Miami Heat but it didn’t affect his earnings much,
since he was playing in Florida, a state with no state income tax.

Ultimately though, the bulk of James’ wealth comes from
endorsement deals. His lifetime deal with Nike is
worth over $1 billion and he also makes money from Verizon, Beats
by Dre, Coca-Cola, and Kia Motors, according to Forbes.

BI Graphics_LeBron James' career to dateSamantha Lee/Business Insider

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