NBA

Lebron James Has a Financial Gift, According To Warren Buffett: ‘He Can Separate Out the Cream From the Crap’

Even if you’re not a diehard basketball fan, you probably know that LeBron James is a pretty special player. During his time in the NBA, the current Lakers star has done just about everything possible; he has four rings, countless individual honors, and, for better or worse, is usually cast as the modern equivalent to Michael Jordan. His accomplishments, however, aren’t limited to the hardwood.

According to Warren Buffett, LeBron James also has another natural gift: a “money mind.” And based on King James’ overall fortune, it’s safe to say that Buffett was onto something.

LeBron James has basketball talent to burn

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Given how he left Cleveland to form a ‘big three’ with the Miami Heat, LeBron James isn’t the most popular man in the NBA. Even if you can’t stand the Lakers’ star, though, it’s impossible to overlook his pure talent.

James burst onto the national scene as a teenager at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School and, after graduation, jumped directly into the professional ranks. He joined the Cleveland Cavaliers and immediately lifted the franchise to relevance; to the state of Ohio, he was their home-grown basketball savior.

LeBron, of course, infamously decided to take his talents to South Beach; he won two titles there before returning to Cleveland to claim a third championship. This fall, King James added a four ring to his resume, leading the LA Lakers to glory in an unprecedented NBA season.

While the forward is no longer a young man, he’s still playing basketball at a high level. During the 2019-20 campaign, James averaged 25.3 points, 7.8 assists, and 10.2 assists per outing; that’s nothing to sneeze at for anyone, let alone a 36-year old with more than 1,200 NBA games under his belt.

Warren Buffet praises LeBron’s ‘money mind’

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LeBron James’ talents aren’t limited to basketball, though. According to Warren Buffet—in theory, he knows a thing or two about business and investing—the NBA star also has a knack for making smart financial choices.

“People really do have minds that function better than other people’s in certain areas that you can’t give a test for,” Buffett told USA Today in 2018. “And LeBron, in addition to a lot of other talents, he has a money mind. And he gets stuff.”

While you can argue that James benefits from having a great deal of money to work with, he’s not just blindly throwing cash at potential business partners and seeing what sticks. In Buffett’s estimation, LeBron knows how to identify a good investment opportunity.

“He can separate out the cream from the crap, and you get more of the latter proposed to you than you do of the former,” Buffet continued. “You really have to be able to suss it out.”

It’s safe to say that Warren Buffet is right about LeBron James’ investments

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Based purely on his salary, LeBron James already has plenty of money in the bank. The way he’s used that $340 million, however, proves Warren Buffet right.

Beyond his massive Nike deal—while it wasn’t a conventional investment, it was a smart decision on his part to turn down Reebok—James has made some other shrewd financial moves. He turned a massive profit after teaming up with Beats; he’s also put money into Blaze Pizza, Liverpool F.C., and started his own production company with his long-time friend, Maverick Carter.

In total, LeBron James has built up a net worth that sits somewhere in the neighborhood of $480 million. Even if being a pro athlete makes things a bit easier, it’s still safe to say that he has a strong money mind.

Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference