NBA superstar LeBron James never before played for the Los Angeles Lakers, but his announced move to the storied franchise represents something of a homecoming.
The four-time league Most Valuable Player and three-time champion owns two homes in Brentwood, having spent a significant amount of time in L.A. in what has become a popular offseason residence for players around the league.
James made his first foray into L.A. real estate in November 2015, when he paid $21 million for a 9,440-square-foot custom-built mansion in Brentwood.
The purchase came a year after he famously re-signed with his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, the team he left Miami for in 2010. At the time, there wasn’t much speculation that King James was planning a move to the Lakers any time soon. The home was the site of an incident two years later, when someone spray-painted a racial slur on his front gate.
In August 2015, James sold his Coconut Grove mansion in Miami for $13.4 million, which netted him a $4 million profit.
He sold the the 12,200-square-foot home — originally listed for $17 million — to an LLC controlled by Mayfair in the Grove owner Timo Kipp and wife Nathalia.
James had purchased the six-bedroom home in 2010, when he signed with the Miami Heat.
But he may have telegraphed his pass in December 2017, when he purchased a second Brentwood home for $23 million. That got the rumor mill spinning.
James picked up a two-story mansion much larger than his first home in the neighborhood It spans nearly 16,000 square feet and includes a wine cellar, cigar room, sauna and home theater. The eight-bedroom estate includes reclaimed marble and oak from Spain. TMZ reported last month that James was dropping around $70,000 to add a basketball court — which seems useful — along with an indoor wine tap, and make changes to the home theater and pool.
The purchase made headlines because James was considering opting out of the final year of his contract, which he made official Sunday night when he signed a four-year contract with the Lakers for $154 million.
It was at that Brentwood mansion the night before that he met with Magic Johnson, now president of basketball operations for the franchise, to discuss a possible move to L.A.
Santiago Arana, James’ broker on the latest Brentwood purchase, said he doesn’t know what the newest Laker will do on the real estate front. “He just announced that he was coming to the Lakers, he was just in the Finals, he’s on vacation right now, you know, so this is probably the last thing on his mind,” Arana, who works at the Agency, told TRD.
James leaves Cleveland behind but he and his family can still return to the area whenever they want. James built a 30,700-square-foot mansion in his hometown of Akron. He purchased the land in 2003, and built the two-story palace around 2007. It has six bedrooms, a two-lane bowling alley, barbershop, and a recording studio. The home is estimated to be worth around $9.2 million.
A word of caution. If he has any intention of selling, James may want to consider another all-time great’s trouble.
Michael Jordan’s 13,000-square-foot estate in a Chicago suburb has been stuck on the market for six years. Spread over the seven acres, the custom-designed Highland Park home was initially listed for $29 million in 2012. Despite the Hall of Fame pedigree, the home has languished, and can now be scooped up for $14.4 million.