LeBron James is about his business on and off the court. Although his career on the hardwood is looking up — the Cleveland Cavaliers are 13-7 and first in the Central division — his endeavor outside of the arena just added another point to the financial scoreboard.
ESPN reports that the NBA player inked a lifetime deal with Nike, a company he’s had a relationship with for over a decade. “We have already built a strong LeBron business over the past 12 years, and we see the potential for this to continue to grow throughout his playing career and beyond,” Nike said in a statement. It’s unclear how much the international brand shelled out to lock down James indefinitely, but reports state that it’s significantly more than Nike’s 10-year, $300 million contract with Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
During a quick chat with reporters after practice on Monday (Dec. 7), James said he’s humble by the news. “It’s been an unbelievable time for myself and my family, and I’m just grateful that Nike and [Nike founder] Phil Knight and everyone over there just believed in a skinny-old, skinny 18-year-old kid from Akron, Ohio, and I’m happy to be a part of such a great company.”
Even his former teammate, Dwayne Wade, took to Instagram to congratulate James, writing #formingablueprint and #biggerthanbasketball.