American basketball gamer LeBron Raymone James Sr. (/ l ə ˈ b r ɒ n/; born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers National Basketball Association (NBA). Nicknamed King James, he is commonly thought about among the greatest gamers in NBA history and is regularly compared to Michael Jordan in arguments over the best basketball gamer ever.
The only player to have won NBA championships with 3 franchises (the Cleveland Cavaliers Miami Heat, and the Lakers) as NBA Finals MVP James has competed in ten NBA Finals, eight of them consecutively with the Heat and the Cavaliers from 2011 to 2018. His achievements consist of 4 NBA champions, four NBA MVP NBA Finals MVP awards, and 2 Olympic gold medals. Throughout his 18-year profession, James holds the record for all-time playoffs points, is 3rd in all-time points, and 8th in profession assists. James has been chosen to the All-NBA Group a record 17 times (with a record of 13 First Team choices and 11 consecutive First string choices, the latter of which is shared with Jordan and Karl Malone ), made the NBA All-Defensive First string five times, and has actually been called an All-Star 17 times, consisting of 3 All-Star MVP James played basketball for St. Vincent–-- St. Mary High School in his home town of Akron, Ohio, where he was heavily touted by the national media as a future NBA super star. A prep-to-pro, he was chosen by Cleveland with the first total choice 2003 NBA draft. Called the Novice of the Year, he quickly developed himself as one of the league's premier players, winning the NBA MVP Award in 2009 and 2010. After failing to win a champion with Cleveland, James left in 2010 to sign as a complimentary representative with Miami. This move was revealed in an ESPN The Decision, and is one of the most controversial free-agent choices in sports history. James won his first two NBA championships while playing for the Heat in; in both of these years, he likewise earned league MVP and Finals MVP. After his fourth season with the Heat in 2014, James pulled out of his agreement to re-sign with the Cavaliers. In, he led the Cavaliers to triumph over the Golden State Warriors NBA Finals returning from a 3–-- 1 deficit, delivering the franchise's very first championship and ending Cleveland's 52-year professional sports title drought. In 2018, James exercised his contract alternative to leave the Cavaliers and signed with the Lakers, where he won the 2020 championship and was granted his 4th Finals MVP. In 2021, James ended up being the very first player in NBA history to accumulate $1 billion in revenues as an active player.
), and tv commercials. He has actually hosted the ESPY Awards Saturday Night Live, and won 19 ESPY Awards himself. He likewise appeared in movies such as Trainwreck Area Jam: A New Legacy. James has been a part-owner of Liverpool F.C.
since 2011, with the club winning the 2018–-- 2019 UEFA Champions League Premier League. Having become more involved in philanthropic and activist pursuits later in his profession, James's charitable company, the LeBron James Household Foundation, assisted open a grade school, housing complex, and neighborhood center/retail plaza in his hometown of Akron.
James was born on December 30, 1984, in Akron, Ohio, to Gloria Marie James, who was 16 at the time of his birth.
: 22 His daddy, Anthony McClelland, has an extensive criminal record and was not associated with his life.
When James was growing up, life was frequently a battle for the household, as they moved from apartment or condo to house in the seedier areas of Akron while Gloria had a hard time to discover steady work.
Recognizing that her boy would be much better off in a more steady household environment, Gloria enabled him to move in with the household of Frank Walker, a local youth football coach who introduced James to basketball when he was nine years old.
James started playing organized basketball in the fifth grade.
He later on played Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball for the Northeast Ohio Shooting Stars.
The group enjoyed success on a local and national level, led by James and his buddies Sian Cotton, Dru Joyce III, and Willie McGee.
: 24 The group dubbed themselves the Fab 4 and assured each other that they would go to high school together.
As a freshman, James averaged 21 points rebounds per video game for the St. Vincent–-- St. Mary university The Battling Irish went 27–-- 0 en route to the Department III state title, making them the only kids high school team in Ohio to end up the season unbeaten.
As a sophomore, James averaged 25.2 points and 7.2 rebounds with 5.8 helps steals For some house games during the season, St. Vincent–-- St. Mary played at the University of Akron's 5,492-seat Rhodes Arena to satisfy ticket need from alumni, fans, as well as college and NBA scouts who wanted to see James play.
The Battling Irish ended up the season 26–-- 1 and repeated as state champs.
For his exceptional play, James was named Ohio Mr. Basketball and picked to the U.S.A. Today All-USA First string, becoming the first sophomore to do either.
Prior to the start of his junior year, James was featured in Slam, an American basketball magazine, and author Ryan Jones lauded him as potentially the very best high school basketball player in America today.
Throughout the season, James also appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, ending up being the first high school basketball underclassman to do so.
: 104 With averages of 29 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 3.3 steals per video game, he was again named Ohio Mr. Basketball and picked to the U.S.A. Today All-USA First String, and ended up being the very first junior to be called male basketball Gatorade National Player of the Year: 117 St. Vincent–-- St. Mary finished the year with a 23–-- 4 record, ending their season with a loss in the Department II national championship.
: 114 Following the loss, James unsuccessfully petitioned for a change to the NBA's draft eligibility guidelines in an effort to enter the 2002 NBA draft During this time, he used marijuana, which he said was to assist handle the tension that resulted from the constant media attention he was getting.
Throughout his senior year, James and the Fighting Irish circumnavigated the nation to play a number of nationally ranked teams, including a video game on December 12, 2002, versus Oak Hill Academy that was nationally televised on ESPN2 Time Warner Cable, wanting to capitalize on James's popularity, provided St. Vincent–-- St. Mary's video games to customers on a pay-per-view basis throughout the season.
: 143 For the year, James balanced 31.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.6 helps, and 3.4 takes per video game, was called Ohio Mr. Basketball and selected to the USA Today All-USA First String for an unmatched 3rd successive year,: 178 and was named Gatorade National Player of the Year for the 2nd consecutive year.
He took part in three year-end high school basketball all-star games the EA Sports Roundball Classic Jordan Capital Classic, and the McDonald's All-American Game National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility and making it official that he would go into the 2003 NBA draft.
Likewise throughout his senior year, James was the focal point of a number of controversies. For his 18th birthday, he skirted state amateur bylaws by accepting a Hummer H2 as a present from his mom, who had actually protected a loan for the automobile by utilizing James's future making power as an NBA superstar.
This triggered an examination by the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) since its standards stated that no amateur might accept any gift valued over $100 as a benefit for athletic performance. James was cleared of any misbehavior due to the fact that he had accepted the high-end vehicle from a relative and not from a representative or any outside source.
Later in the season, James accepted 2 throwback jerseys worth $845 from a city clothes shop in exchange for posing for pictures, officially violating OHSAA rules and resulting in him being stripped of his high school sports eligibility.
James appealed the judgment and his penalty was ultimately dropped to a two-game suspension, allowing him to play the remainder of the year. The Irish were likewise required to forfeit among their wins, their only main loss that season.
In his very first video game back after the suspension, James scored a career-high 52 points.
St. Vincent–-- St. Mary went on to win the Division II champion, marking their 3rd department title in four years.
As an underclassman, James played wide receiver for St. Vincent–-- St. Mary's football: 51 He was hired by some Department I programs Notre Dame At the conclusion of his sophomore year, he was called first team all-state, and as a junior, he assisted lead the Combating Irish to the state semifinals.
He did not play during his senior year due to the fact that of a wrist injury that he sustained in an AAU basketball video game.
2003–-- 2004: Novice season
James was chosen by his home town group, the Cleveland Cavaliers, as the very first general pick of the 2003 NBA draft In his first regular season video game, he scored 25 points versus the Sacramento Kings, setting an NBA record for most points scored by a prep-to-pro player in his launching performance.
At the conclusion of the season, he became the very first Cavalier to receive the NBA Novice of the Year Award and with final averages of 20.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.9 helps per video game, he likewise ended up being just the 3rd gamer in league history to average a minimum of 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game as a rookie.
Cleveland eventually finished the season 35–-- 47, stopping working to make the playoffs in spite of an 18-game improvement over the previous year.
2004–-- 2008: Rise to superstardom
James made his very first NBA All-Star Video game, contributing 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists in a winning effort for the Eastern Conference Around the league, teams kept in mind of his quick development, with Denver Nuggets George Karl informing Sports Illustrated, It's odd talking about a 20-year-old kid being a terrific player, however he is an excellent player ... He's the exception to practically every rule. On March 20, James scored 56 points versus the Toronto Raptors, setting Cleveland's brand-new single-game points record.
With final averages of 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.2 helps, and 2.2 steals per game, he was called to his very first All-NBA Team Despite a 30–-- 20 record to start the year, the Cavaliers again failed to make the playoffs, completing the season 42–-- 40.
James gets his dribble versus Caron Butler Washington Wizards in November 2006.
James takes part in his pre-game ritual of tossing crushed chalk into the air in March 2008; the routine was mostly ended after 2011.
2006 All-Star Video game
, James led the East to victory with 29 points and was called the NBA All-Star Video Game Most Prized possession Gamer Behind final season averages of 31.4 points, 7 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game, he likewise ended up second in total NBA The majority of Belongings Gamer Award Steve Nash Under James's leadership, the Cavaliers got approved for the playoffs for the very first time because 1998.
In his postseason debut, James tape-recorded a triple-double in a winning effort versus the Washington Wizards In Video Game 3 of the series, he made the very first game-winning shot of his profession, making another in Game 5.
, James's averages decreased to 27.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1.6 takes per video game.
Some analysts attributed the fall to a regression in his passing skills and shot choice, which originated from a lack of effort and focus.
The Cavaliers completed the season with 50 wins for the second consecutive year and entered the playoffs as the East's second seed.
In Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, James notched 48 points with 9 rebounds and 7 assists, scoring 29 of Cleveland's last 30 points, including the game-winning layup with 2 seconds left in a double-overtime game against the Pistons After the video game, play-by-play announcer Marv Albert called the efficiency one of the greatest moments in postseason history and color analyst Steve Kerr explained it as Jordan ESPN ranked the performance the 4th greatest in modern-day NBA playoff history.
The Cavaliers went on to win Game 6 and claim their first-ever Eastern Championship game making them a matchup with the San Antonio Stimulates the Finals Throughout the champion round, James struggled, balancing 22 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per video game on simply 35.6 percent shooting, and Cleveland was removed in a sweep In February of the 2007–-- 08 season, James was named All-Star Video game MVP for the 2nd time behind a 27-point, 8-rebound, and 9-assist efficiency.
On March 21, he moved previous Brad Daugherty as the Cavaliers' all-time leading scorer in a video game versus the Raptors, doing so in over 100 less games than Daugherty.
His 30 points per video game were likewise the greatest in the league, marking his first scoring title In spite of his private achievements, Cleveland's record fell from the year before to 45–-- 37.
Seeded fourth in the East going into the playoffs, the Cavaliers defeated the Wizards in the preliminary for the third successive season prior to being gotten rid of in 7 games by the eventual-champion Boston Celtics in the next round.
Throughout the definitive seventh game in Boston, James scored 45 points and Paul Pierce scored 41 in a game the Associated Press described as a shootout.
2008–-- 2010: MVP seasons
DeShawn Stevenson in April 2008. The 2 had a brief feud after Stevenson called James overrated.
At the conclusion of the 2008–-- 09 season, James ended up second in NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award ballot and made his very first NBA All-Defensive Team chase-down obstructs and a career-high 93 total blocks.
He likewise became only the fourth postmerger player to lead his team in points, rebounds, helps, takes, and blocks in a single season.
Behind his play and the acquisition of All-Star guard Mo Williams, Cleveland went a franchise record 66–-- 16 and fell just one video game short of matching the best house record in league history.
With final averages of 28.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.2 blocks per video game, James became the first Cavalier to win the MVP Award.
Assessing James's efficiency for ESPN, John Hollinger later on wrote, He's having what is probably the greatest individual season in history, and it's time we provided him his due for it. the playoffs, Cleveland swept the Pistons Atlanta Hawks to earn a matchup with the Orlando Magic in the Conference Finals.
In Video game 1 of the series, James scored 49 points on 66 percent shooting in a losing effort for the Cavaliers.
In Video game 2, he struck a game-winner to tie the series at 1–-- 1.
Cleveland would lose the series in 6 video games, and following the loss in Game 6, James right away left the flooring without shaking hands with his opponents, which was an act that lots of media members viewed as unsportsmanlike For the series, he balanced 38.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 8 assists per video game, completing the postseason with a profession playoff-high 35.3 points per game.
In February of the 2009–-- 10 season, James was pushed into a momentary point player function following a series of injuries to players in the Cavaliers' backcourt.
Behind his management, Cleveland lost no momentum, completing the year with the best record in the league for the second successive season.
Due in part to his increased minutes as the Cavaliers' primary ball handler, James increased his statistical production, balancing 29.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 8.6 assists, 1.6 takes, and 1 block per video game on 50 percent shooting en route to another MVP Award.
the playoffs, Cleveland advanced past the Bulls to make a matchup with the Celtics in the 2nd round.
James was greatly slammed for not playing well in Game 5 of the series, shooting only 20 percent on 14 shots and scoring 15 points.
The group suffered its worst loss in franchise history, and at the conclusion of the game, James walked off the court to a smattering of boos from Cleveland's home crowd.
The Cavaliers were formally removed from the postseason in Game 6, with James posting 27 points, 19 rebounds, 10 helps, and nine turnovers in the losing effort.
James with the Cavaliers in November 2009. He finished his very first stint with the Cavs averaging 27.8 points, 7 rebounds, 7 helps, and 1.7 takes per video game.
James became an unlimited free agent Throughout this time, he was gotten in touch with by a number of groups, including the Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers Miami Heat New York Knicks New Jersey Nets, and Cavaliers.
On July 8, he announced on a live ESPN special titled The Choice that he would sign with the Heat.
The telecast was transmitted from the Boys & & Girls Club Greenwich, Connecticut and raised $2.5 million for the charity. An additional $3.5 million was raised from advertising income, which was contributed to other charities.
The day before the unique, fellow free representatives Chris Bosh Dwyane Wade also revealed that they would sign with Miami;
reports later arose that back in 2006 the trio had actually talked about among themselves their approaching 2010 totally free agencies.
James chose to accompany Bosh and Pitch in part so that he could carry less of the offending load; he thought that his better teammates would give him a better chance of winning an NBA champion than had he remained in Cleveland.
Pat Riley played a significant function in selling James on the concept of having fun with Bosh and Wade.
James would be eased of the concern of scoring, and he believed he might be the first gamer because Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double in a season.
Upon leaving the Cavaliers, James drew intense criticism from sports experts, executives, fans, and current and previous players. The Decision itself was likewise inspected and deemed unneeded. Numerous idea that the prolonged wait on James's choice was unprofessional as not even the teams courting him understood his choice up until moments prior to the show.
Upon learning that James would not be going back to Cleveland, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert released an open letter to fans in which he aggressively knocked James's actions.
Some upset fans of the group tape-recorded videos of themselves burning his jersey.
Previous NBA players, including Michael Jordan Magic Johnson, were likewise crucial of James, condemning him for joining with Bosh and Wade in Miami and not trying to win a champion as the male.
James drew even more criticism in a September interview with CNN when he declared that race may have been a factor in the fallout from The Decision.
As a result of his actions during the 2010 totally free firm duration, he rapidly gained a credibility as one of America's most disliked professional athletes, which was a transformation from prior years.
The phrase taking my talents to South Beach became a punch line for critics.
In retrospection, James has expressed some regret over his handling of The Decision.