May 20, 2023 – LeBron James, An Example of Black Excellence

LeBron James is much more than a basketball star. He is also a businessman and outstanding philanthropist.

He is a smart businessman. He is part owner of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, the New England Sports Network, RFK Racing, and the Liverpool F.C.. He and Drake became part owners of the Italian football club, AC Milan. LeBron is also part owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, a National Hockey League team.

In 2006, he signed a three-year $60 million contract extension with the Cavaliers, which allowed him the option of seeking a new contract worth more money as an unrestricted free agent following the 2010 season. This move allowed him to sign with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh with the Miami Heat.

He began to option out of contracts after each season to take advantage of higher salaries resulting from the NBA’s rising salary cap.  In 2016, he signed with the Cavaliers in a three-year deal that made him the highest paid player in the League. In 2022, he signed a contract with the Lakers that pays him nearly $100 million over two seasons.

LeBron James is the first active NBA player to become a billionaire according to the June 2022 issue of Forbes magazine.

LeBron was born on December 30, 1984.  His mother, Gloria Marie James, was 16 years of age at the time.  His father had an extensive criminal record and was not involved in his life. They moved a lot.  His mother allowed him to move in with the family of a local youth football coach who introduced him to basketball when he was nine years old.

LeBron started playing basketball in fifth grade. As a freshman he stood 6’2”. He was on the cover of Sports illustrated – the first high school basketball player to do so.

In 2012, he and Paul Wachter invested less than $1 million in a pizza chain. In five years, their investment grew to $25 million.

In 2020, he became an angel investor of the tequila company Lobos 1707. He has made upward of $900 million off the court from business ventures and endorsement deals with the likes of PepsiCo, Walmart and Nike.  He is more than a pitchman, taking equity in brands he works with, including Beats by Dre and the Blaze pizza chain. 

LeBron has supported the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Children’s Defense Fund not to mention the National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

The LeBron James Family Foundation opened its first elementary school in 2018. He has pledged more than $40 million to send kids to college. He established the I Promise Institute at the University of Akron, the I Promise Village (housing complex), House Three Thirty (community/retail plaza), and the I Promise Health Quarters (Medical Center).

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