Born in 1984 in Akron, Ohio, LeBron James quickly attracted the attention of the basketball world while he was still playing basketball for his high school team. Knowing that he had a unique combination of basketball court vision, athleticism, strength, and size, James opted to skip college all together and join the NBA. In the 2003 NBA Draft, James was drafted first by the Cleveland Cavaliers and later moved on to the Miami Heat in 2010. After winning two NBA championships (2012 & 2013) with the Miami Heat, James opted to return to Cleveland for the 2015 season, and he helped the Cleveland Cavaliers reach the 2015 NBA Championship Finals.
LeBron in High School
Born on December 30, 1984, LeBron Raymone James showed in his early years that he had a natural talent for basketball. Back in 1999, LeBron was approached by St. Vincent-St. Mary High School to join their basketball team. During his freshman year, James put up great numbers, averaging 18 points per game, and helped his high school basketball team claim the Division III state title. In the title-decider game, James scored 25 points.
Throughout his short basketball career in high school, LeBron James received numerous honors, including:
- Being named High School Boys Basketball Player of the Year by Parade magazine;
- Being named Gatorade’s Player of the Year;
- Being selected for USA Today’s All-USA Team; and
- Being the first sophomore to ever be selected for USA Today’s All-USA Team.
Given the advancement of his game, LeBron James made the decision to join the National Basketball Association (NBA), where he quickly established himself as NBA’s best player scoring a total of 2,657 points, 523 assists, and 892 rebounds during his entire high school year.
LeBron James in Cleveland Cavaliers
Given his record in high school, there were high expectations when James was drafted first by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003, and he did not disappoint. In his first year with the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron:
- Helped his team reach the finals in a very competitive Eastern Conference;
- Made history by becoming the first Cleveland Cavalier player, as well as the first 20-year-old player, to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award during the 2003-2004 season;
- Became the third person to average 20 points per game in his rookie season (the other two players who managed to achieve such a fate are Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan);
- Won his first Olympic medal with the U.S. Basketball team during the Summer Games in Athens, Greece, after beating Lithuania; and
- Received a lucrative $90,000,000 endorsement deal with Nike.
During his first spell with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2004, James had a big year personally as he, together with Savannah Brinson (his girlfriend), welcomed a son named LeBron Jr. on October 6. The two welcomed their second son, Bryce Maximus, on June 14, 2007.
LeBron James, the NBA Star
During the same period with the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James continued to shine, averaging 27.2 points a game. In 2005, James yet again wrote his name in the history books after becoming the youngest player to score 50 points in a game. In the same year, James also outperformed some of the great names in NBA such as the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson by averaging 30 points per game. In recognition of his talent, he was selected for the annual NBA All-Star Game for the first time.
LeBron’s talents made him a target for many NBA teams that were keen on winning the NBA championship; and when he became a free agent, many teams in the NBA, including the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat, came knocking at his door.
LeBron James with Miami Heat
With his contract with Cleveland almost coming to an end, there was lots of speculation on James’ future with many analysts predicting that he would be joining Carmelo Anthony at the New York Knicks. However, James announced that he had agreed to sign a contract with the Miami Heat and join the likes of Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade.
With Miami, James continued to do what he did best, and that was bringing out his best game and averaging at least 26.7 points per game. By doing so, James helped the Heat win the 2011-2012 NBA season and the 2012-2013 NBA season.
LeBron’s Return to Cleveland
After having a stellar career and winning NBA championships with the Miami Heat, James decided to opt out of his Miami Heat contract. With that, another round of speculation on where the â€œKing,â€ as he was nicknamed, was going to play next became a very heated subject. James would put this question to rest by announcing that he would be returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In his return, James missed 18 of the 82 regular season games; but despite that, he helped the Cavaliers reach the NBA championship in the 2014-2015 season when they faced off with the Golden State Warriors. By doing so, James became the first player in over fifty years to reach the NBA championship round in five consecutive seasons.