This week (February 7), LeBron James became the NBA’s all time leading scorer by passing the iconic Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. As legendary as LeBron is on the court, his impact off the floor is equally impressive. LeBron’s business acumen and willingness to bring his people up with him have put his friends in positions to succeed tremendously. To continue celebrating Black History Month, read how LeBron made it possible for his childhood friends to become household names (and legends) in their own right.
Since he was a teenager, LeBron James has been in the public eye. There’s never been a player who has had so much hype at such a young age. There’s also never been a player who has lived up to and exceeded the hype as much as he has. He was the first high school basketball underclassman to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Since then, LeBron has become one of the greatest (if not the greatest) basketball players we’ve ever seen and has done it gracefully. He has four MVP awards, four Finals MVP awards, three All-Star MVP awards and two Olympic gold medals. He has been named an All-Star a record-tying 19 times, selected to the All-NBA Team a record 18 times and selected to the All-Defensive Team six times. In 2021, James was selected to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.
As amazing as LeBron’s on court accomplishments are, it can be debated that he’s had a bigger impact off the floor. LeBron’s immense talent have made him an endorsement goldmine. Some of the companies he has worked with include Audemars Piguet, Beats by Dre, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nike and State Farm amongst many others. His endorsement money plus his NBA salary make him easily one of the world’s highest-paid athletes. James has made it a point to make sure he spreads the wealth by giving back and investing in others.
LeBron James was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. Home is surely the where the heart is because The Chosen One definitely hasn’t forgotten about where he grew up. Over the course of his career, he has undertaken countless public and charitable initiatives through the LeBron James Family Foundation. In his hometown, LeBron James has built an elementary school (I Promise School), the I Promise Institute at the University of Akron, a housing complex (I Promise Village), a community center/retail plaza (House Three-Thirty) and a medical center (I Promise Health). Additionally, all 193 students in the inaugural ‘I Promise’ class received free tuition to Kent State University for four years. James is the epitome of putting his money where his mouth is.
James is on the short list of athletes that are billionaires. Part of this is due to his talent. Part of it is due to his business acumen. Another large part of the equation is his inner circle. Through out his whole journey, LeBron has had his closest friends (who are also his business partners) right by his side. LeBron, Rich Paul, Maverick Carter and Randy Mims founded the marketing firm LRMR. LRMR creates successful partnerships between iconic athletes, performers and brands, leveraging relationships and consumer insight to implement innovative and impactful marketing initiatives. In the second part of this Legends Making Legends, we’ll dive into how the other three founders of LRMR have made their own lanes while simultaneously helping LeBron elevate as well.
The kid from Akron is unquestionably one of the most beloved athletes of his generation and quite honestly, of all time. For twenty plus years, we’ve witnessed him do amazing things on the hardwood and even more amazing things off of it. LeBron has used his god given gifts to make a boatload of money. With his blessings, The King has made sure to give back to the place that meant so much to his story and also empower the people who helped him get to where he is today. Through his endorsement deals and investments in numerous companies (we’ll touch on the specifics in the next Legends Making Legends post), LeBron has shown that he is one of the most business savvy athletes we have ever seen. The more LeBron accomplishes, the more opportunities he creates for the people around him. These opportunities have shined a light on his business partners and gave them the ability to make so many other moves to bolster their personal careers also. If there was ever an example of bringing your people with you, LeBron would be it.
LBJ’s legacy is truly unprecedented. Shout out to him for being a role model and understanding what being rich and famous is really about. During Black History Month, we want to give flowers where they’re due and he definitely deserves them if anyone does. Congrats to LeBron James for breaking the NBA’s all-time scoring record and congrats on just being a legendary person in general!