INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — LeBron James will wear the legendary swoosh for the rest of his life.

James and Nike have agreed on a lifetime contract that could serve as the next step toward a shoe empire similar to the Jordan brand Nike built around Michael Jordan.

The terms were not disclosed.

It is believed to be the first lifetime contract Nike has handed out and it is the largest guarantee the company has ever made to a single athlete, according to ESPN, which first reported the deal.

James first signed with Nike prior to his rookie season and is believed to have made at least $240 million lifetime already from the shoe giant.

“I’ve had a smile on my face for quite awhile,” James said Monday. “I’m just grateful that Nike and Phil Knight, and everyone over there just believed in a skinny 18-year-old kid from Akron, Ohio, and I’m happy to be a part of such a great company.”

James acknowledged there have been preliminary discussions between the two sides regarding a spinoff brand of his LeBrons similar to the Jordan brand, which easily remains Nike’s most popular. Although he has been retired for more than a decade, ESPN reported Jordan’s brand still generates more than $2.2 billion in sales.

Nike has released 30 versions of the Air Jordan. James is on his 13th version of the LeBrons. ESPN reported sales of James’ signature shoe are expected to top $400 million in 2015.

“It’s been a conversation. We’ll see when we get to that point,” James said. “If it makes sense for both parties, then we’ll do it. If not, then we won’t. We’ve done a great job of building my brand to this point here today. We want to just continue it. If it makes sense for us to have a ‘Team LeBron,’ or whatever the name will be, we’ll take a look at it and we’ll go from there.

“It’s a partnership between us. It’s not an endorsement deal. It’s a partnership where we always come together and figure out the best way possible for both brands to be successful.”

James seems to be planting roots throughout his life. When he returned home to play for the Cavaliers, he said he had no plans to leave again in part because he didn’t want to endure free agency anymore. Similarly, he said Monday he signed a lifetime deal with Nike because there is nowhere else he wanted to go and he wanted to wear the swoosh for the rest of his life.

“I’m just playing the game that I love and I’ll do anything for. And some of the benefits that’s coming with it is the humbling side. It’s the blessed side,” James said. “All the stuff, I will never forget or downplay what has gotten me to this point and it’s the basketball. The game. And I’ve treated it with so much respect. I give everything to the game and everything that comes to me, I treat it with so much dignity and honor.

“You all see my two boys over there, my little girl at home, my wife and my mom, and to be able to have them in a position where they don’t have to care for anything because I worked my tail off, that’s all that it’s about for me.”