Strength and phenomenal leaping ability, these adjectives best describe LeBron James, an acclaimed and highly renowned basketball player today.
He jumped straight into the basketball court from high school, and since then, there was no looking back for him.
Currently, he plays for the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA. Having played for three teams, he is the only NBA player with NBA championships to his name with three franchises as Finals MVP.
His early life and high-school basketball career
LeBron was born on December 30, 1984, in Akron, Ohio, to Gloria Marie James and Anthony McClelland.
As a child, life was not easy for LeBron. His father was a record criminal but had no involvement in his life. With no steady work, his mother struggled to give him a normal childhood. On failing, she let LeBron live with Frank Walker, a local youth football coach.
In fifth grade, LeBron began playing organized football and later played for Northeast Ohio Shooting Stars at AAU (Amateur Athletic Union). He, along with his friends Sian Cotton, Willie McGee, and Dru Joyce III, tasted success on local, as well as national level. When LeBron was just nine years old, Frank introduced him to basketball, and his life changed for good.
LeBron went to St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron. He led his team to 3 state titles and earned the “Mr. Basketball” title for three years in a row.
As a second-year high school student, he was selected for the USA Today All-USA First Team and became the first sophomore to be selected for this honor. The next year PARADE magazine named him the High School Boys Basketball Player of the Year, as well as the Gatorade Player of the Year.
He had a terrific year on the court and was touted as the upcoming NBA player. Owing to his skills in the game, he was selected in the 2003 NBA Draft.
His journey with Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers were struggling when they signed LeBron, and their decision worked in their favor. During the 2003-04 season, when he was just 20 years old, he won the NBA Rookie of the Year award and became the first Cavalier franchise member and the youngest player to have won this award. He joined the likes of Michael Jordan and Oscar Robertson by averaging 20 points per game.
The following season also proved great for him as his average moved from 20 to 27.2. In 2005, he scored more than 50 points in a game, becoming the youngest player to do so.
He rode high on success in 2006 by defeating the Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons. Although his team couldn’t win, his efforts and abilities were lauded.
In the next season, his team won the Eastern Conference after defeating Detroit Pistons but lost the NBA Finals against San Antonio Spurs.
With LeBron’s efforts, the Cavaliers fared well in the 2007-08 season by making it to the semi-finals in the Eastern Conference. The same year proved to be a boon for him, where he outshone the performances of players like Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant. He averaged 30 points per game, creating the record highest average in the regular season of the NBA.
LeBron drew the attention of the classes and the masses with his stellar performance on the court.
His journey with Miami Heat
After a short stint as a free agent, he joined forces with Miami Heat for the 2010-11 season. His move drew ire from his fans. He was tagged as “heartless” and “selfish”. His exit was termed as a “cowardly betrayal”. However, these remarks never deterred him.
In his first season with the new franchise, he finished second in the league averaging 26.7 points per game. In the following season, James took Miami Heat to success by defeating Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA finals and went on winning his first title.
He created history in the next season (2012-13) by becoming the youngest player to score 20,000 points. With this, he also became the 38th player in the history of the NBA to have achieved this feat. His jump shot in the final moments of the game led his team to victory.
His team won the Eastern Conference against Indiana Pacers and later went on winning its second NBA championship in a row.
During the 2013-14 season, his team lost to San Antonio.
LeBron bid goodbye to Miami Heat and returned to the Cavaliers. His back and knee injuries kept him away from the game for some time but he returned to the court with a bang. He averaged 25.3 points per game. He led his team to NBA Finals and created a new record by becoming the only player in around 50 years to have reached the championship round in five seasons in a row.
In 2015-16, he led his team to their first-ever championship in the history of the franchise. The next year, he again drove the Cavaliers through the Eastern Conference and made the seventh appearance in the NBA finals in a row.
The following year, he played an 82-game regular season and averaged 27.5 points and 9.1 assists per game. He showed his best game in the following playoffs and led the Cavaliers to their fourth consecutive NBA final series against the Warriors. Unfortunately, Warrior won the series.
His journey with the Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron joined the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2018-19 season and continued his stellar performance with an average of 27.4 points, 8.3 assists, and 8.5 rebounds. However, his injury kept him away from the game for a long time.
In 2020, after the play resumed post the pandemic, the Lakers claimed the 17th NBA title of the franchise after defeating Miami Heat. LeBron averaged 29.8 points, 8.5 assists, and 11.8 rebounds per game.
LeBron James T-Shirt
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