By Robert Stitt
Granted, the exact terms and dollar amount of the deal have not been released, and even if those numbers are accurate, the money will not all be paid at once. This means that LeBron is not a billionaire, yet.
Dr. Dre owned 25 percent of Beats by Dre when the company was sold to Apple for $3 billion. Celebrity Net Worth notes that in the race to billionaire status, this should have put Dr. Dre over the top when the proceeds from this sale were added to the hundreds of millions he already had from his successful music career, “music sales, real estate, commercial endorsements, royalties, producer fees, concert tickets, merchandise and more.”
Too bad for Dre, Uncle Sam stepped in. The nearly $800 million Dre would get from the Beats sale was quickly knocked down to just over $500 million once taxes were taken out. Lucky for Dre, however, he also got a million shares of Apple stock in the deal. If the stock kept rising at the level it did in 2014, and he made no other money in the meantime, Dr. Dre would be a billionaire in May 2017.
Once again, too bad for Dre. His Apple stock has actually been declining and is worth less today than when he received it. This means that if Dre wants to become a billionaire in this decade he will have to find some other way to make money, or hope Apple makes a miracle turnaround, and soon.
In addition to LeBron’s NBA salary and Nike deal, he is also the owner of several Blaze pizza franchises, has been making Hollywood movies, and he has a digital platform with Warner Bros. It is not unreasonable to assume that LeBron will command another several hundred million dollars over the next five or six years of his NBA career, and he has many more endorsement deals to sign. He could easily make another $600-$800 million over the next five to eight years. As we learned from Dre, that number gets chopped down pretty quickly by Uncle Sam, so he should net $300 to $500 million during that time. This would put LeBron’s net worth around $700 – $800 million.
If nothing major changes for LeBron or Dr. Dre, it does not look like either will hit the Big B this decade, but both should make it well before they have to file for Social Security.