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Even in the world of real estate, everything that LeBron James touches turns to gold. The basketball legend recently made a $4.4 million profit on the swanky mansion he called home during his four-year stint with Miami Heat. And as you’d expect, the 6ft 8in star, who’s now enjoying a second spell at Cleveland Cavaliers, knows how to live the high life in more ways than one – as just one look at his incredible former pad proves.
But, if the extravagant property had been sold at its original asking price, James would have had an even tidier sum in his bank account after he’d jetted back to Ohio. That’s because the home was first put on the market back in October 2014 – following his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers – at $17m. The asking price was then reduced to $15m in March 2015, before the house finally sold for $13.4m five months later – still not bad at all, considering.
Real estate developer Timo Kipp and his spouse Nathalia are now the lucky owners of the 12,178-square-foot, Mediterranean-style property. And it’s not the first home of an ex-Miami Heat player that Kipp has snapped up, either – he has also previously purchased a property that was once the dwelling of team veteran Alonzo Mourning.
James’ former home, meanwhile, is aptly described by Opulence International Realty, which listed the mansion, as “the most opulent estate in Miami.” It is situated in the exclusive neighborhood of Coconut Grove which, over the years, has boasted the likes of Tennessee Williams, Robert Frost and even Madonna as residents.
And the luxury of the property is evident even from just a quick look around its grounds; after all, a three-car garage would probably be enough for even the most ardent of motorheads. However, as James is renowned for buying automobiles almost like most people buy underwear, the NBA star would have been forced to play favorites with his vast range of expensive vehicles.
Its inside, though, is even more impressive – and proves that James knows how to make an entrance at home as well as on the court. Alongside a soaring staircase leading to the second floor, the hallway of the property also features paneling carved out of the precious mineral onyx and a show-stopping crystal chandelier that measures up at eight feet tall.
The stunning kitchen, meanwhile, hosts two massive islands big enough to host the whole Miami Heat team. More than adequate, then, for James to sit down and enjoy his Fruity Pebbles at breakfast time.
And the super-sized laundry room is the stuff of housekeepers’ dreams, coming as it does with a pair of washing machines and matching twin dryers. Impressive household tech can also be found in the kitchen, which boasts two Bosch-brand dishwashers, the same number of refrigerators and an astonishing three ovens.
Given James’ executive producer credits for Starz basketball sitcom Survivor’s Remorse and his YouTube animated series The LeBrons, he’s no stranger to the small screen, even without his occasional television cameos. But assessing potential shows to appear in in his tastefully decorated lounge may have come second place to surveying the room’s awe-inspiring view of Biscayne Bay.
And James apparently isn’t content with just conquering the world of basketball; if his memorable appearance in 2015 film Trainwreck is anything to go by, he seems to be setting his sights on a potential career in Hollywood as well. The Amy Schumer comedy would no doubt have been screened at least once in this sumptuous home movie theater.
What’s more, the mansion’s new occupants are unlikely to get caught short, no matter how many guests they invite round, thanks to its staggering eight and a half bathrooms. There may still be a fight to use this particular one, however, given its freestanding tub and picturesque views.
And when you go into apparel, like James did with his Nike collaboration, you need a place to store your extensive range. Perhaps that’s why the home also comes equipped with an impressive walk-in closet that would be the envy of any ardent fashionista.
Naturally, the property also offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the year-round Florida sunshine. Alongside an al fresco summer kitchen, there’s also a private terrace reachable from the master suite.
However, the property’s pièce de résistance is undoubtedly the infinity edge pool with glass inlay. Not only does it overlook the warm waters of Biscayne Bay, but it also boasts a bar crafted from coral rock and a mini waterfall that tumbles down into the pool itself.
And night-time visitors will certainly know which property to head towards. The house shines like a Christmas tree in the evening, thanks to the array of fluorescent lighting which adorns the infinity pool area.
Anyone who deigns to make their way to the property by yacht, meanwhile, is more than amply provided for by the bespoke dock that can host not one but two such vessels. There’s only room for 120 foot of craft in total, though – which rules out James’ friend Jay Schottenstein’s 150-foot behemoth of a yacht, sadly.
Talking of big spending, James reportedly once racked up a $171,000 drinks bill at a Las Vegas nightclub. But who needs the bright lights of Sin City when you can entertain at a five-seater wet bar or your very own games room?
However, the property also caters for those whose leisurely pursuits are a little more cultured. Bookworms will be happy cracking open a tome in its mahogany-clad library and study area, while those who know their Cabernet from their Chardonnay will be able to indulge their passion by amply stocking the wine cellar.
And the new homeowners should certainly be able to sleep easy. The mansion is surrounded by a privacy wall and is monitored by a top-of-the-range security system, while the estate also includes a security station to provide that extra peace of mind.
Privacy is also provided by a cloister secreted in the courtyard area. That’s hidden from prying eyes by lofty hedges and entered into through a decoratively stuccoed archway.
Image: Jason Miller/Getty Images
Despite all its magnificent vistas and luxurious mod-cons, though, the pad James bought for $9m back in 2010 wasn’t enough to keep him in Miami. Perhaps he splashed out some of the considerable cash from the sale on his $21m new pad in the plush Los Angeles neighborhood of Brentwood, which he was reported to have purchased in November 2015. So maybe that Hollywood move isn’t so far away after all…