Is basketball legend LeBron James making a play for even larger star status as a Hollywood celeb? It sure seems like it, since James just bought a mansion near Los Angeles for $21 million.
While the NBA star still has his much more modest abode in hometown Akron, OH -- commutable distance to the Quicken Loans Arena, where his Cleveland Cavaliers play -- apparently he took a shine to the big screen after appearing in Amy Schumer's summer comedy "Trainwreck." (He also executive produces the loosely autobiographical Starz series "Survivor's Remorse.")
So, perhaps it's no surprise that, according to an unnamed source interviewed by Fox Sports, James is splurging in L.A. to "be a billionaire mogul movie producer dude."
And his posh new pad certainly fits the role: Situated in the exclusive Brentwood neighborhood, James' new six-bedroom, six-bathroom estate has every luxury an athlete-turned-actor-turned-movie-producer mogul could want.
According to Variety, the 9,440-square-foot, 21-room East Coast -- style home features a huge swimming pool with lap lanes complete with a cabana, a gorgeous sun porch for outdoor dining, and "a cook-friendly kitchen fitted with slab marble back splashes and every high-quality stainless steel appliance known to mankind." The estate was custom-built in 2011 by Ken Ungar, a builder who specializes in luxury mansions.
At $21 million, James' new digs dwarf the sticker price of most other NBA athletes' homes. For instance, Knicks legend Patrick Ewing is selling his home in Cresskill, NJ, for a mere $7 million. In September, Shawn Bradley listed his Murray, UT, home for $3.9 million.
So is James' new mansion a sign that he could be making a way bigger commitment to life under the klieg lights? Could be; rumors abound that he could be starring in a sequel to "Space Jam," the semibeloved Michael Jordan/Bugs Bunny opus from the '90s.
But here's one thing that should put Cavs fans at ease: This move doesn't mean he's bailing on his old team.
"No one should read this as any indication about basketball. It's a vacation house," said another unnamed source. "He likes L.A., he plans on spending time there in the summer, and he has a growing number of business opportunities."
He'd better if he's going to keep up those massive maintenance payments on his huge new vacation home.