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LeBron James, Nike agree on lucrative lifetime contract

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James is the first Nike athlete with a lifetime deal.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James will be a Nike athlete for life. James signed the largest single athlete guarantee in Nike's 44-year history on Monday, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell.

The specifics of the deal were not announced, and a Nike spokesperson would not say how much the deal was worth. A source told ESPN that James' compensation would be more than the 10-year, $300 million deal Kevin Durant signed with Nike last summer.

"It's been an unbelievable time for myself and my family," James told reporters after the Cleveland Cavaliers' practice on Monday. "I'm just grateful that Nike and 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."

James has been a Nike athlete since 2003 when he signed a seven-year, $90 million dollar deal before he was even taken in the 2003 NBA Draft.

The 13th edition of James' signature shoe came out in October. Annual sales in 2015 for his line are estimated to top $400 million, according to Rovell.

It is Nike's first lifetime deal with an athlete, although it is believed Michael Jordan, who has his own brand within the company, has an unwritten agreement with the company.

James is averaging 26.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game this season, his 13th. He's chasing his third NBA championship -- it would be his first in Cleveland.