Defending NBA champion LeBron James, who may see his dreams of the Heat three-peat dashed if they don’t win the next three straight games, has public aspirations to become the first billionaire active athlete.
Another thing he will have in common with Air Billionaire Michael Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, whom he is often compared to Dr. Dre, who appeared with James on the cover of the February 2013 issue of ESPN The Magazine, assisted him on that quest. It’s been reported that Lebron James acquired $30 million in stock and cash after the Beats by Dre sale by Apple.
Even though his Heat are one game away from elimination, King James does have something to smile about since he has reportedly raked in 1% of the $3 billion sale of the headphone and music streaming company. Dr. Dre and partner Jimmy Iovine gave James prototypes of the Beats headphones back in 2008, prior to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Lebron James was given a share in Beats by Dre in exchange for promoting the headset. According to ESPN, this deal is being dubbed “the biggest equity cash payout for a professional athlete in history”.
Apple announced its plans to acquire Beats by Dre and Beats Music and bring both Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine into the Apple fold in May. The acquisition is expected to close in Q4 2014. It is still unclear if James will continue to work with Beats following the closing of the Apple acquisition. James who is in position to make another Decision, and can test the market again in the 2014 free agency, is well-known to be the top spokesperson for Apple’s main rival, Samsung.