When it comes to modern professional athletes, it’s hard to get bigger than LeBron James. Since bursting onto the scene as a high schooler, the forward has dominated the NBA landscape. That success has also made King James a financial powerhouse; he’s earned more than $300 million playing basketball and has come a long way from his tough childhood.
Being wealthy, however, hasn’t given the Los Angeles Lakers star a license to waste money. In fact, there’s one specific impulse buy that LeBron James still regrets.
LeBron James’ meteoric rise to NBA stardom
Most professional athletes follow a similar career path, heading from high school to college and, eventually, the pros. LeBron James, however, did things a bit differently.
James burst onto the national scene during high school; St. Vincent-St. Mary games became appointment viewing on ESPN. When it came time for graduation, LeBron was already a star. He was ready for the NBA and, unsurprisingly, became the first overall pick in the 2003 draft.
From the first moment he stepped on the floor with the Cleveland Cavaliers, James proved that he belonged. He cruised to the 2004 Rookie of the Year title; before long, he was taking home league MVP awards. There may have been some notable missteps—leaving Cleveland in The Decision proved to be a public relations nightmare—but King James has proven himself more than worthy of his crown.
James is currently in his 17th NBA season and still going strong. While his game has changed over time—before the 2019-20 campaign was suspended, he was dishing out more assists than ever—LeBron is still the league’s biggest star.
Regretting one expensive impulse buy
Although LeBron James has had an impeccable basketball career, everyone has regrets. In the forward’s case, he wishes he could take back one impulse buy from shortly after he went pro.
“I bought a house in Las Vegas,” James explained on an episode of UNINTERRUPTED’s Kneading Dough. While the purchase made sense at the time, LeBron soon saw the error of his ways.
“Every summer,” King James continued, “obviously our training camp was in Vegas. I would go to Vegas, I’m young … I’m there for a week, I’m having a ball there playing. [I’m also] having a good time, I’m 21, 22, my family’s coming out, they love it. Let’s buy a house. You idiot. Who buys a house in Vegas?”
Even with an occasional poor purchase, LeBron James has plenty of money in the bank
While it’s easy to look back on an impulse buy with regret, LeBron James doesn’t have anything to worry about. He has more than enough in his bank account to absorb the occasional mistake.
During his 17 seasons in the NBA, King James has made almost $307 million in salary alone. Basketball, however, isn’t his only source of money. Between his deal with Nike, conventional endorsements, and some smart investments, his net worth has ballooned to $450 million; it’s hard to imagine that number won’t keep rising.
If LeBron continues to follow in Michael Jordan’s footsteps—both in terms of becoming a brand and buying an NBA team—the sky is the limit for his bank account. Even if he makes an occasional impulse buy, he’ll still be set for life.