As you might have heard, if you don’t live in a remote mountain cabin with no internet, Lebron James has taken his talents to Los Angeles. Lebron (yes, I’m going to refer to him by his first name) is arguably the most popular athlete on the planet, and one of the richest, too. His Nike deal is rumored to be worth a billion dollars, and the NBA contract he just signed is for $153 million over four years; that breaks down to about half a million dollars per game, or ten grand per minute. What kind of house does a guy like this buy when he moves to one of the most luxurious cities in the world? A pretty nice one.
Actually, scratch that – he bought two mansions in Los Angeles. He bought the first one in 2015, for $21 million. Located in Brentwood, and custom-built for a real estate developer in 2011, Variety described the six-bedroom, seven-bath Colonial as “dignified” and “understated.” Sounds pretty great, right? Well, unfortunately Lebron didn’t think so, because he went ahead and bought another house, just down the street, for $23 million. Could he just not resist the upgrade, like how I keep buying new pairs of black jeans even though they’re only 5% better than my present pair? Or maybe, in the vein of former NBA star Allen Iverson, who famously forgot where he parked at the airport and just bought a new car, Lebron just forgot the address of the first mansion? (Probably not, considering Lebron has a photographic memory.)
Lebron seems to be spending most of his time at the second mansion, according to some light Instagram stalking. (You can tell it’s the second house by the marble pool in the background.) Built (on spec!) just last year, this 15,800 square foot mansion is at the end of a long, gated driveway – the other house is right on the street – and has eight bedrooms and eleven baths.
The chef’s kitchen sports floors made of marble that was reclaimed from Spain. (If that sounds excessive to you, consider that William Randolph Hearst imported an entire monastery from Spain, just because.) There are also many fine high-end appliances – including a La Cornue range – that will never be used because billionaires don’t cook. I also love the petrified wood coffee table, if only because no one will ever bug you to use a coaster on something that’s already 30,000 years old.
The main level opens, via massive sliding doors, onto a loggia, which I thought, up until this moment, was a condition involving lot of excess mucus in your sinuses. (Turns out it’s an open-sided extension to a house.)
I love dining outdoors, but mostly because, sitting outside at a restaurant, you can not only watch people passing by, you can see them actually getting jealous of your leisurely meal. I’m not sure I’d want to dine outside if it was just in my backyard. (Sorry, my loggia.) What’s the point of being an outdoor-dinin’ billionaire if there’s no one around to get jealous?!
The master suite has dual bathrooms, dual walk-in closets, and more white-and-gray streaked marble. This marble might be found in every single room of the house. It must have been on clearance the day the developer went down to Marble Mart.
Here’s the master bath. What happens when you get sick of the streaked marble? Or is that a dumb question, like when my grandma was like, “what happens when you get sick of having a ‘Garfield the cat wearing a backwards baseball cap’ forearm tattoo?” (Actually, she was 100% right, I’m looking into laser removal or arm amputation, whichever’s cheaper.)
A very nice home office. Pundits claim Lebron moved to Los Angeles so he could learn the finer points of entrepreneurship from Magic Johnson, the former NBA player turned billionaire businessman; after all, an athlete’s career doesn’t last forever. Lebron’s probably going to get plenty of mileage from this office. It’s also kind of nice to just sit in here, give your eyes a rest from all that streaked marble.
Guess what that bar is made out of? Onyx. It must have taken them a long time to settle on onyx. We all know there’s an arms race regarding luxury counter materials – at this point, bragging about marble counters is like showing off photos of your top of the line Kia. But you can’t go too in-your-face high end; a solid gold counter, even if you could afford it, is just tacky. (I’m sure a solid gold counter is being installed in the White House at this very moment.) Hence, obscure materials are the way to go. And you don’t get much more obscure than onyx.
There’s also a lavish home theater, which is pretty cool, although going to a movie theater without a full concession stand featuring Coke slushies, popcorn (with disgusting non-butter topping) and overpriced box candy sounds, frankly, depressing. It’s hard being a billionaire! (No it’s not.)
There’s a huge backyard, a marble pool, and tall hedges to block those pesky paparazzi. Lebron better cross his fingers that the paparazzi are too stupid to figure out how to operate drones.